The Motif of Tears: Representations of Activism and Suffering in the Liji Alley Museum in Nanjing

Eveline Buchheim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Although the International Military Tribunal for the Far East condemned and prosecuted rape crimes, there was only limited justice for victims of militarised sexual abuse. This goes especially for the majority of victimised Chinese women. The court’s focus was on the so-called Rape of Nanking rather than on the sexual enslavement in military brothels. After the Second World War, the stories of the Chinese women used as military sex slaves by the Japanese military were soon excluded from the heroic Chinese master narrative. Outrage over mass rape was not primarily concerned with violence towards women, but rather with the ‘humiliation’ of men as nationalist subjects. In this article, I will focus on the Liji Alley Former Comfort Station Exhibition Hall in Nanjing and analyse how the museum moves in politically contested arenas and how activism and suffering is represented in the exhibition. How are the personal stories of former ‘comfort women’ used to evoke emotional reactions in the visitors and to what end?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)914-932
JournalWomen's History Review
Volume31
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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