Comfort Woman - Huwan Kumju Testimony


Huwan Kumju testified her experiences during the World War II many times in Japan. However, she changed the contents of the testimonies many times.


After Kim Hak-sum appeared in media, many Korean women began their testimonies as a Military Comfort Woman during the World War II. Huwan Kumju was one of the famous persons who told details of her experiences. In the early 1990s, Japanese people were surprised to know the life of the Korean woman.

The Military Comfort Woman Problem became one of big issues in Japan in 1990s, and there were many disputes of the problem.

The followings are testimonies about Military Comfort Woman:

  • I lived poorly. When I was 12 years old, I was sold at 100 Yen. I worked as a maid of a rich family in Seoul. In 1938, when I worked as a maidservant in South Hamgyong Province, I was forcibly brought to Manchuria as a substitute for the daughter of the house and became a Military Comfort Woman. - "Military Comfort Woman and War Compensation", Takagi, 1992
  • When I studied in a girl school in Hamgung at the age of 17, in 1939, I was mobilized and thought that I would go to a military factory. However, I arrived at a sex house in Jilin. - Asahi Shimbun, 1995
  • When I was 17 years old, the Japanese leader's wife in the village ordered all unmarried Korean girl to go to the Japanese Army's factory. I thought that I was mobilized as a worker at that time. - Coomara-swamy Report, United Nations Economic and Social Council, 1996
  • When I was 18 years old, a man came and told that the village should provide girls. - the tour of Japen-Korea Social Science Exchange to Korea, 1997
  • In 1941, the Japanese leader of the village terrified me saying "a person from a family should go", and I left Korea and arrived at a sex house. - Meeting to hear testimonies of Military Comfort Woman, 1997
  • I was 19 years old. I was forcibly brought by the Japanese Army to a sex house 25 days before the graduation. - TBS, 2001
  • When I was 14 years old, I was forcibly brought to Manchuria for so called "Girl Delivery", and used as a tool of sex with Japanese soldiers. - Meeting to hear testimonies of Huwan Kumju at Tokyo University, 2001

These testimonies were told by a Korean woman - Huwan Kumju.

Korea JoongAng Daily, a Korea media, introduced her life as:

  • When she was 17 years old, she was forcibly brought by Japanese Army and worked at a glass factory in Hungham. When she was 20 years old, she was brought to Jiandao and became a Comfort Woman, November 18, 2006

Chong Seo-Un Case

Korea JoongAng Daily introduced another Comfort Woman as:

  • Chong Seo-Un, who was brought to Indonesia when she was 13 years old, and had to live as a Military Comfort Woman for Japanese Army for 7 years, passed away of old age at home in on 26th (February 2004). Aged 80. - February 26, 2004

This article implies that Chong Seo-Un was born in 1924, brought to Indonesia in 1937, and worked as a Comfort Woman until 1944. Indonesia was the colony of Nederland in 1937 and Japanese Army occupied Indonesia in 1942.

Lee Yong-soo Case

Lee Yong-soo is also a Korean woman who testified her experience but changed the contents several times. She testified from 1993 to 2006 that she brought to Taiwan in 1944 when she was 15 (sometimes 14 or 16) years old and worked as a Comfort Woman for 3 years. Note that the war ended in 1945. After the contradiction was pointed out, she changed her testimony and insisted that she was a Comfort Woman from 1944 to 1945. In 2007, she answered in an interview of CNN and said that she was 14 when Japanese soldiers took her from her home in 1944 to work as a sex slave in Taiwan.

Why this fact affects the rightward trend?

Since researchers cannot find evidences of the organizational abduction of Korean women for the sex industry, testimonies by Korean women are very important for the left wing and Korea to prove that Japanese Army forcibly brought Korean girls to the battle fields during the war.

The fact that Huwn Kumju told different stories as her testimony excites suspicions of fabrications of testimonies by other Comfort Women.