Sex in Japan’s Globalization
constructed on the basis o a general doctrine such as ‘good wie and wise mother’(
), which was difused across classes by example and the orce o ide-ology, in efect efaces the multiplicity o experience born out o class, age and place. An aim o this monograph is to address this silencing efect by dramatizing how contemporary claims made about overseas prostitution by a large and ideo-logically disparate body o interested parties pre-empted the voices o the poor while simultaneously concealing the exploitation and agency o women working as overseas prostitutes.
Our present understanding o these women is as
– Japanese women who went to work as prostitutes, mainly in South-East Asia, but also in placessuch as Siberia, Manchuria, China, the South Pacic, Australian colonies andthe North American north-west aer the Meiji Restoration (1868). However,the history o the term
reveals a very diferent picture. Te noun
has its origins in Kyushu’s north-west region.
Although the ini-tial derivation and application is unclear, aer the Meiji Restoration the noun
was one o many used in north-west Kyushu to denote migrantso both sexes who le to nd work abroad.
, in this context, reerred tothe general body o land that awaited the migrants once they traversed the seasthat separated Kyushu rom the Asian continent. By the turn o the century,however, the denition o
had come to reer generally to women who le north-west Kyushu to work in brothels overseas.
During the aisho period (1912–26) the term underwent a urther change in meaning, coming toconnote the considerable number o women who le Kyushu to engage in workat various locations in the Pacic, especially South-East Asia. Te majority o young women went to work in house-brothels, specically established to servicethe carnal needs o the large number o male labourers relocated to the region to work the mines and plantations o the new colonies. Consequently,
becamemore specialized in meaning. Instead o reerring to an undiferentiated bodyo land overseas, it became a category denoting the Pacic basin region and, in particular, South-East Asia.Aer the Pacic War, the category
underwent yet anotherchange in denition. In 1959, there appeared two academic pieces o researchconcerning the
. Tese were
Jinshin baibai – kaigai dekasegi onna
White Slave rade
by Mori Katsumi, and a chapter entitled ‘Amakusa onna’(‘Amakusa Women’) in the rst volume o the series
Nihon zankoku monoga-tari
Narratives of Atrocities in Japan
Mazushiki hitobito no mure
Te Masses of the Poor
), and edited by Shimonaka Kunihiko, a pupil o theamous Japanese olklorist Origukuchi Shinobu.
Both o these works present