& occasionally about other things, too...

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Lei Guiying’s experience inside a comfort station

I turned thirteen in 1942 and I began menstruating that year. Mrs. Shanben (Japanese landlady) smiled at me. “Congratulations!” she said, “You are growing now!” I remember that it was a summer day and a lot of Japanese troops came to the Shanbens’ house. I saw them picking out good-looking girls and mumbling something. Mrs. Shanben told me to change into a Japanese robe that had a bumpy sash at the back and to go that large room. Before I could figure out what was going on, I was pushed over to the Japanese soldiers. I was frightened. A Japanese soldier pulled me over, ripped off my clothes, and threw me on the wide bed. I resisted with all my strength. My wrist was injured during the fight and the wound left a scar that is still visible now. The Japanese soldier pressed my belly with both his knees and hit my head with the hilt of his sword while crushing me under his body. He raped me.

I suffered horrible torture in the comfort station. One day a Japanese soldier came in the afternoon. He put his two legs on my abdomen, which hurt me badly and made me bleed. I resisted hard as I could, trying to push him off my body. The Japanese soldier then beat me and stabbed my leg with his bayonet. I used all my strength to crawl towards the door. Several people saw me and one young woman who was a distant relative of mine saved me from being killed, but the bayonet stabbing crippled me.

I realized that, sooner or later, I would be tortured to death by the Japanese troops at Gaotaipo; I was determined to escape. I worked as the nanny in the house, so I knew the way out. When my wounded leg recovered and I was able to walk, I made up my mind to run away.

I did so in the early morning one-day towards the end of 1943. The weather was very cold. I sneaked out the back door of Gaotaipo Comfort Station when the rest of the people were still sound asleep. Running for my life, I dared not look back. I ran all the way to my mother’s house in Ligangtou Village. After a period of hiding, I settled down in the village.

After liberation, my life changed. I worked hard and became the leader of the local women’s work team. At seventeen, I married a man of the Tang family, but I was unable to bear a child. We adopted an abandoned boy who was very sick and almost dead. I held him in my arms and felt very sorry for him, so I brought him home from the local police station.

I haven’t been to Gaotaipo again since my escape. For about half a year I was raped by Japanese troops there; I never want to see that place again. When I escaped from Gaotaipo, I brought a few things with me, including a Japanese lunchbox and some Japanese clothing. I didn’t keep them because they made me angry and upset when I looked at them. Now I only have this left. I saw the girls in the comfort station use it. I thought it must be useful medically, so I took it with me. But I didn’t know what it was.

[Lei Guiying showed the interviewers a small bottle with dark powder in it. A test conducted later indicated that the powder was potassium permanganate, which must have been put in wash water for hygienic purposes in the comfort station.]

[Lei Guiying died on 27 April 2007 at age 79]

Excerpt from Chinese Comfort Women - Testimonies from Imperial Japan's Sex Slaves

No comments:

Post a Comment