Feb 15: Film Screening & Director Q&A: Miki Dezaki's "Shusenjo: The Main Battleground of the 'Comfort Women' Issue"

Submitted by Anna Schnell on

On Wednesday Feb. 15 join us for an in-person film screening of "Shusenjo: The Main Battleground of the 'Comfort Women' Issue" and Q&A with director Miki Dezaki.


This event is open to members of the UW and the public, but registration is required and space is limited. Please register to attend.


This film screening event explores the fraught discourse and contemporary representations of the “comfort women,” a euphemism for the sex slaves of the Japanese empire. It will begin with a screening of "Shusenjo: The Main Battleground of the 'Comfort Women' Issue" (2018), a documentary by Miki Dezaki and conclude with a Q&A with the filmmaker in attendance.

The “comfort women” issue is perhaps Japan’s most contentious present-day diplomatic quandary. Inside Japan, the issue is dividing the country across clear ideological lines. Supporters and detractors of “comfort women” are caught in a relentless battle over empirical evidence, the validity of oral testimony, the number of victims, the meaning of sexual slavery, and the definition of coercive recruitment. Credibility, legitimacy and influence serve as the rallying cry for all those involved in the battle. In addition, this largely domestic battleground has been shifted to the international arena, commanding the participation of various state and non-state actors and institutions from all over the world. This film delves deep into the most contentious debates and uncovers the hidden intentions of the supporters and detractors of "comfort women". Most importantly it finds answers to some of the biggest questions for Japanese and Koreans: Were "comfort women" prostitutes or sex slaves? Were they coercively recruited? And, does Japan have a legal responsibility to apologize to the former "comfort women"?

Questions? Please contact Professor Davinder Bhowmik at dbhowmik@uw.edu

This event is sponsored by the departments of Asian Languages and Literature, the UW Japan Studies Program, and the East Asia Center.