Dr. Park Yu Ha’s book describes the conditions of life in comfort stations. An online digital museum dedicated to preserving the memory of former Comfort Women also details in English life in these comfort stations, with black and white photographs which show what life looked like in Asia during the Second World War.
According to the official website,
Life in Comfort Stations
Women at comfort stations were forced to render sexual services to many officers and men, their human dignity trampled upon. According to various regulations, comfort stations were open for long time from 9:00. or 10:00 to late evening. There were such regulations as that of Morikawa unit stationed in Huarongzen, regulating soldier time from 10:00 to 18:00, noncommissioned officer time from 19:00 to 21:00.
In ordinary comfort stations soldiers were paying a certain sum of money directly or indirectly. The sum of money was usually divided into halves between proprietor and comfort women. But it was not clear whether the sum of money was handed to women surely.
Holiday came once in a month, and rarely two days were given. There were comfort stations working without holidays. Going out of comfort stations was possible only with permission of the military.
Japan’s Losing Battles
As the war situation deteriorated for Japan, life at the comfort stations generally became even more miserable.
The women were forced to follow the military time after time, and had no freedom whatsoever. When the Japanese military began retreating from one place to another in Southeast Asia, the women were either abandoned or destined to share their fate with defeated military. Some perished and others narrowly escaped to be protected by the United forces.
End of War
In addition, the research shows us that many women feared returning home after the official end of the war in August of 1945. Many gave up on returning to their home cities and countries sue to the fear of shame that they would face from their societies. Many of the women remained in the countries where they served for the rest of their lives.
In some cases, those who returned home suffered from injuries and were unable to forget their wartime experiences.