Comfort women translates in Japanese as Ianfu, a euphemism for shōfu (娼婦) meaning prostitute. The first comfort station, staffed by (legalized) volunteer Japanese prostitutes, was established in 1932 in the Shanghai Japanese concession. However, as Japanese conquests increased throughout Asia, the military began coercing local women into serving in these stations.
A cadre of young ultranationalist naval officers and army cadets assassinated Prime Minister Tsuyoshi Inukai in May 1932. Inukai Tsuyoshi’s last words to his killers were: If I could speak, you would understand. Although sentenced to fifteen years’ imprisonment, the assassins were widely viewed as idealistic patriots. Tsuyoshi’s successor Makoto Saito was a strong proponent of military action in […]
In the summer of 1932, with the March of the Bonus Army, thousands of veterans descended on Washington, D.C. demanding immediate receipt of bonus pay approved by Congress for distribution in 1945. Congress denied their demands and the confrontation of lingering demonstrators by police and the US Army ended in violence.
The historian Frederick Lewis Allen called 1932 the “cruelest year of the Great Depression.” – Unemployed in USA ~ 12.5 million – One million transients on the move – Breadlines & beggars in unprecedented numbers
Japanese propaganda attempted to portray the puppet state of Manchukuo as harmonious and progressive. Japanese businesses, factories and colonists were encouraged to immigrate to this land of opportunity. (I wonder if Japan commissioned this rather flattering documentary). The sphere of Asian Co-prosperity was becoming a reality with Big brother Japan leading the way.
The Depression notwithstanding, the Summer Olympics were held in Los Angeles in 1932. Many athletes from the 1928 Olympics could not afford to participate. Baron Takeichi Nishi (to die on Iwo Jima in 1945) won the equestrian jumping event. The 1936 Olympics were held in Berlin. Due to WWII, the 1940 Olympics planned for Tokyo never took place.
Here is the stereotypical American view of Japanese women in the 1930s Female participation in Japanese society has varied over time and social classes. In the 8th century, there were women emperors. In the 12th century women could inherit and manage property alone. But in the late Edo period (1603-1868) the status of women declined. […]