An Sandakan Brothel No. 8: An Episode in the History of Lower-class Japanese Women / Edition 1

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This is a pioneering work on karayuki-san, impoverished Japanese women sent abroad to work as prostitutes from the 1860s to the 1920s. The narrative follows the life of one such prostitute, Osaki, who is persuaded as a child of ten to accept cleaning work in Sandakan, North Borneo, and then forced to work as a prostitute in a Japanese brothel, one of the many such brothels that were established throughout Asia in conjunction with the expansion of Japanese business interests. Yamazaki views Osaki as the embodiment of the suffering experienced by all Japanese women, who have long been oppressed under the dual yoke of class and gender. This sad tale could not be more relevant for present times. It provides the historical and anthropological context for understanding the sexual exploitation of Asian women before and during the Pacific War and for the growing flesh trade in Southeast Asia and Japan today. Young women are being brought to Japan with the same false promises that enticed Osaki to Borneo eighty years ago.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Yamazaki records the life story of Osaki, a karayuki-san, the term for rural Japanese women sold into overseas prostitution between the 1860s and 1930s. Sent to Sandakan, North Borneo at age ten, she shared a fate with thousands of other young women in the name of Japanese colonial expansion. Like many of them, Osaki sent all her earnings home. But upon her return, her older brother, whom she assumed was benefitting from her sacrifice, rejected her, as did the remainder of her family, including, later, her own son--the stigma of prostitution was overwhelming. Translator Colligan-Taylor (Japanese studies/women's studies, Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks) introduces Yamazaki's work in its sociohistoric context, relating the sexual exploitation of Asian women to the growing flesh trade in Southeast Asia and Japan today. Yamazaki's oral history was critically acclaimed when published in Japan in the early 1970s and is still in print there. A well-written study suitable for history and women's studies curricula.--Kay Meredith Dusheck, Anamosa, IA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765603548
  • Publisher: Sharpe, M. E. Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/4/1998
  • Series: Sandakan Brothel Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Age range: 18 years
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Translator's Preface and Acknowledgments
Translator's Introduction
Author's Foreword to the English Translation
Ch. 1 A Prologue to the History of Women at the Lowest Level of Society 3
Ch. 2 A Chance Encounter - My First Trip to Amakusa 18
Ch. 3 My Attempts at a Second Trip 29
Ch. 4 Life with Osaki 32
Ch. 5 Osaki's Story - The Life of an Overseas Prostitute 45
Ch. 6 Many More Voiceless Voices 108
Ch. 7 Ofumi's Life 116
Ch. 8 Oshimo's Grave 134
Ch. 9 Okuni's Birthplace 146
Ch. 10 The Home of Gagnon Sana 162
Ch. 11 Farewell, Amakusa 171
Ch. 12 Epilogue - Karayuki-san and Modern Japan 181
Author's Afterword to the First Edition (1972) 195
Translator's Afterword 199
Maps 206
Sandakan Brothel No. 8, the Film, Two Photos 208
Index 209
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