Title

Remembering the Grandmothers: The International Movement to Commemorate the Survivors of Militarized Sexual Abuse in the Asia-Pacific War

RIS ID

135911

Publication Details

ackie, V. & Crozier-De Rosa, S. (2019). Remembering the Grandmothers: The International Movement to Commemorate the Survivors of Militarized Sexual Abuse in the Asia-Pacific War. Asia-Pacific Journal- Japan Focus, 17 (4), 1-29.

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Japan Focus

Abstract

It is over seventy years since the issue of systematized sexual abuse in the Asia-Pacific War came to light in interrogations leading up to the post-Second World War Military Tribunals. There was also widespread vernacular knowledge of the system in the early postwar period in Japan and its former occupied territories. The movement for redress for the survivors of this system gained momentum in East and Southeast Asia in the 1970s. By the 1990s this had become a global movement, making connections with other international movements and political campaigns on the issue of militarized sexual violence. These movements have culminated in advances in international law, where militarized sexual violence has been addressed in ad hoc Military Tribunals on the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and is explicitly addressed in the Rome Statute which established the International Criminal Court.1(https://apjjf.org/#_edn1) Cultural politics and the politics of commemoration have also been an important element of the movements for redress. Here, we survey some of the physical sites of commemoration of this issue. We survey sites in Australia, South Korea, Japan,the US, China, and Taiwan. The elderly women,who have been demonstrating and campaigning for decades are respectfully referred to as the'Grandmothers'. We argue that these sites commemorate not only suffering, but also the activism of the survivors and their supporters.These twin themes can be introduced through a discussion of the Australian War Memorial's depiction of Dutch-Australian survivor Jan Ruff O-Herne

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