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Shusenjo: Comfort Women and Japan's War on History

Director - Miki Dezaki
Run Time - 120 minutes
Language - English, Japanese & Korean with English subtitles
Format - Digital
Year - 2019
Genre - Documentary

Educational Interests- Asia, China, Communication, Conflict Resolution, Cultural Studies, History (World), Human Rights, Human Trafficking, New Releases, Political Science, Sex and Sexuality, Women's Studies, World War II

Institutional DVD Price: $395

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One of the most heated issues in Japan and Asia today is over something that occurred 80 years ago: the Japanese Imperial Army's sexual enslavement of an estimated tens of thousands of Korean women and others in military brothels during World War II. Many nationalist Japanese conservatives (with the surprising support of Western media influencers) believe the women were mostly willing prostitutes, not 'sex slaves', and that the estimated number is far smaller than are claimed. But contemporary historians, activists and - most significantly - the surviving victims and their families, believe otherwise; the denial of their suffering so long ago has created an entirely new trauma.

Director Miki Dezaki, a second-generation Japanese American who learned about comfort women from his Japanese immigrant parents, questions why accounts in the Western media have often sided with the Nationalists. With a keen eye for detail and precision, he interviews historians, advocates and lawyers who discuss the evidence: historical documents related to the Japanese military's direct role in managing the brothels, and harrowing testimonies by former comfort women. 'Shusenjo' is a deep dive into this impassioned subject - bringing to light the hidden intentions of the supporters and detractors of comfort women.

Film website

Interview with director Miki Dezaki