Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Angelina Chin

Reader 2

Jih-Fei Cheng

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

2023 Vicky Hsing


Comfort women or comfort girls were women and girls forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army in occupied countries and territories before and during World War II. The term "comfort woman" is a euphemistic translation of the Japanese ianfu, which literally means "comforting, consoling woman." In comfort stations, women underwent regular gynecological examinations in the prevention of venereal diseases. In the recounts of former “comfort women,” the examination was a site of trauma that often-required public scrutiny and projected onto these women’s bodies an almost entertaining gaze from soldiers. At the same time, the examination reflects the internal colonialization of Western bio-medical knowledge was founded upon the exploitation of enslaved Black women during the era of US chattel slavery. The thesis zooms into a specific comfort station in Sanzao Island, China to understand these historical intersections. Based on an oral history interview conducted with Zhong Quan, Tan Tianlun, and Tan Guijue, the thesis discusses two main sources of trauma related to the comfort women issue: the nationalization of regional memory that accompanied the silencing of sexual violence and the internal colonialization of Western medical violence.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.