First Hand Account

My name is Emiko Morioka. I’m now an old Japanese woman but I can still vividly recall the years of the Japanese Imperialism. I was 11 at the time and
My siter and me before the soldiers came and destroyed our lives.
My siter and me before the soldiers came and destroyed our lives.
my sister, Nozomi was 16. Japanese soldiers kidnapped us from our family. We were moved into a brothel and became forced prostitutes called ‘comfort women.’ Nozomi and I were surrounded by girls as young as 9 and 10.

I didn’t realize the seriousness of what was going to happen to my sister and I. My sister knew or at least understood what kind of attrocities lay before us because she was older and more mature. She had heard about these brothels. She couldn’t explain it well enough for me to understand, but it wasn’t long before I did. Each day I was forced to have sex with forty to fifty Japanese soldiers, along with the hundreds of other girls. I lost my virginity at age 11 to a stranger who was three times my age. I have tried to block the memory from my mind but it still comes back to me in the form of nightmares while I sleep. On top of the rape, we were beaten daily and if we didn't cooperate it would lead to worse circumstances. My sister was a strong girl. She thought she could get us out of there and back to our family. We were caught trying to leave, and I was forced to watch my sister brutally stabbed to death. They did not kill me. I ended up having to suffer unenduring torture that lasted for weeks. I was beaten three times as much as I normally was, I was starved, and forced to serve many more soldiers than I had before. I had died and gone to Hell.

By the time I was 18, I had seen more suicidal deaths from the girls whom I considered family than anyone has or should have to witness in their lives. I had contracted all kinds of diseases from the soldiers and I was so skinny, I looked like a skeleton. None of the soldiers wanted me anymore. I disgusted them because I was consitered old and ugly from the severe beatings all across my body. The rejection was more of a relief to me. They kicked me out because I was no longer making them money, but I had nowhere to go. My family was no longer in the same house they had been in when I was kidnapped 7 years earlier and my sister was long dead. I had no one left in the world.

My story may seem sad to you, but hundreds of girls could probably tell you stories much worse than mine. Although I eventually was reunited with my family, most of the other “comfort women” weren’t so lucky. Many of them died in the brothel, whether from starvation, from illness, or from being murdered. So although I may seem like I had it terrible, I was extremely blessed to get out alive.