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Use of prostitution by military and facts of prostitution in Korea

Japanese Prisoner of War Interrogation Report No.49,
being kept at the US National Archives

The following is a copy of the Report 49 obtained from the National Archives of the United States of America.

This copy was obtained from the Office of War Information of the US National Archives by an American.

The Report is an official document prepared by the US Army during the World War II, in 1944.
It summarizes the results of the examinations done by the Psycologica War Unit of the US Forces for
the Koean and Japanese comfort girls ho were the prisoners of war in the midest of the Pacific War.

This report shows the facts of Korean and Japanese comfort girls hired by the Japanese Army.

It can be said that this report is the objective information on the Korean and  Japanese comfort girls
which was compiled by the third party. It can also be said that the war prisoner examination and the preparation
of the Report were intended to clarify the crime and illegal act of the Japanese army.
If there were facts of the kidnapping  of the Korean comfort girls and of forcing  the comfort services,
the Report should specify such facts. If there were no such examination results, there were no such facts.

Copy of the Report

Text of the Report No.49

Psychological Warfare Team, Attached to U.S. Army Forces ,India-Burma Theater
APO 689
Japanese Prisoner of War Interrogation Report No. 49.
Place interrogated: Ledo Stockade
Date Interrogated: Aug. 20 - Sept. 10, 1944
Date of Report: October 1, 1944
By: T/3 Alex Yorichi
Prisoners: 20 Korean Comfort Girls
Date of Capture: August 10, 1944
Date of Arrival: August 15, 1994
at Stockade


This report is based on the information obtained from the interrogation of twenty Korean "comfort girls"
and two Japanese civilians captured around the tenth of August, 1944 in the mopping up operations after
the fall of Myitkyin a in Burma.

The report shows how the Japanese recruited these Korean "comfort girls", the conditions under which they
lived and worked, their relations with and reaction to the Japanese soldier, and their understanding of
the military situation.

A "comfort girl" is nothing more than a prostitute or "professional camp follower" attached to
the Japanese Army for the benefit of the soldiers. The word "comfort girl" is peculiar to the Japanese.
Other reports show the "comfort girls" have been found wherever it was necessary for the Japanese Army
to fight. This report however deals only with the Korean "comfort girls" recruited by the Japanese and
attached to their Army in Burma. The Japanese are reported to have shipped some 703 of these girls
to Burma in 1942.


Early in May of 1942 Japanese agents arrived in Korea for the purpose of enlisting Korean girls for
"comfort service" in newly conquered Japanese territories in Southeast Asia. The nature of this "service"
was not specified but it was assumed to be work connected with visiting the wounded in hospitals, rolling
bandages, and generally making the soldiers happy. The inducement used by these agents was plenty
of money, an opportunity to pay off the family debts, easy work, and the prospect of a new life
in a new land, Singapore. On the basis of these false representations many girls enlisted for
overseas duty and were rewarded with an advance of a few hundred yen.

The majority of the girls were ignorant and uneducated, although a few had been connected with
"oldest profession on earth" before. The contract they signed bound them to Army regulations and
to war for the "house master " for a period of from six months to a year depending on the family
debt for which they were advanced ...

Approximately 800 of these girls were recruited in this manner and they landed with their
Japanese "house master " at Rangoon around August 20th, 1942. They came in groups of from
eight to twenty-two. From here they were distributed to various parts of Burma, usually
to fair sized towns near Japanese Army camps.
Eventually four of these units reached the Myitkyina. They were, Kyoei, Kinsui, Bakushinro,
and Momoya. The Kyoei house was called the "Maruyama Club", but was changed when the girls
reached Myitkyina as Col.Maruyama, commander of the garrison at Myitkyina, objected to the
similarity to his name.


The interrogations show the average Korean "comfort girl" to be about twenty-five years old,
uneducated, childish, and selfish. She is not pretty either by Japanese of Caucasian standards.
She is inclined to be egotistical and likes to talk about herself. Her attitude in front of
strangers is quiet and demure, but she "knows the wiles of a woman." She claims to dislike
her "profession" and would rather not talk either about it or her family. Because of the
kind treatment she received as a prisoner from American soldiers at Myitkyina and Ledo,
she feels that they are more emotional than Japanese soldiers. She is afraid of Chinese
and Indian troops.


In Myitkyina the girls were usually quartered in a large two story house (usually a school
building) with a separate room for each girl. There each girl lived, slept, and transacted
business. In Myitkina their food was prepared by and purchased from the "house master" as
they received no regular ration from the Japanese Army. They lived in near-luxury in Burma
in comparison to other places. This was especially true of their second year in Burma.
They lived well because their food and material was not heavily rationed and they had
plenty of money with which to purchase desired articles. They were able to buy cloth,
shoes, cigarettes, and cosmetics to supplement the many gifts given to them by soldiers
who had received "comfort bags" from home.

While in Burma they amused themselves by participating in sports events with both officers
and men, and attended picnics, entertainments, and social dinners. They had a phonograph
and in the towns they were allowed to go shopping.


The conditions under which they transacted business were regulated by the Army, and in
congested areas regulations were strictly enforced. The Army found it necessary in
congested areas to install a system of prices, priorities, and schedules for the various
units operating in a particular areas.  According to interrogations the average system
was as follows:

1. Soldiers
10 AM to 5 PM
1.50 yen
20 to 30 minutes
2. NCOs
5 PM to 9 PM
3.00 yen
30 to 40 minutes
3. Officers
9 PM to 12 PM
5.00 yen
30 to 40 minutes

These were average prices in Central Burma. Officers were allowed to stay overnight for
twenty yen. In Myitkyina Col. Maruyama slashed the prices to almost one-half of the
average price.


The soldiers often complained about congestion in the houses. In many situations they
were not served and had to leave as the army was very strict about overstaying.
In order to overcome this problem the Army set aside certain days for certain units.
Usually two men from the unit for the day were stationed at the house to identify soldiers.
A roving MP was also on hand to keep order. Following is the schedule used by the "Kyoei"
house for the various units of the 18th Division while at Naymyo.

18th Div. Hdqs. Staff
Day off and weekly physical exam.
Mountain artillery

Officers were allowed to come seven nights a week. The girls complained that even with
the schedule congestion was so great that they could not care for all guests, thus
causing ill feeling among many of the soldiers.

Soldiers would come to the house, pay the price and get tickets of cardboard about
two inches square with the prior on the left side and the name of the house on the
other side. Each soldier's identity or rank was then established after which he
"took his turn in line". The girls were allowed the prerogative of refusing a customer.
This was often done if the person were too drunk.


The "house master" received fifty to sixty per cent of the girls' gross earnings
depending on how much of a debt each girl had incurred when she signed her contract.
This meant that in an average month a girl would gross about fifteen hundred yen.
She turned over seven hundred and fifty to the "master". Many "masters" made life
very difficult for the girls by charging them high prices for food and other articles.

In the latter part of 1943 the Army issued orders that certain girls who had paid
their debt could return home. Some of the girls were thus allowed to return to Korea.

The interrogations further show that the health of these girls was good. They were
well supplied with all types of contraceptives, and often soldiers would bring their
own which had been supplied by the army. They were well trained in looking after both
themselves and customers in the matter of hygiene. A regular Japanese Army doctor
visited the houses once a week and any girl found diseased was given treatment, secluded,
and eventually sent to a hospital. This same procedure was carried on within the
ranks of the Army itself, but it is interesting to note that a soldier did not lose pay
during the period he was confined.


In their relations with the Japanese officers and men only two names of any consequence
came out of interrogations. They were those of Col. Maruyama, commander of the garrison
at Myitkyina and Maj. Gen.Mizukami, who brought in reinforcements. The two were exact
opposites. The former was hard, selfish and repulsive with no consideration for his men;
the latter a good, kind man and a fine soldier, with the utmost consideration for those
who worked under him. The Colonel was a constant habitué of the houses while the General
was never known to have visited them. With the fall of Myitkyina, Col. Maruyama supposedly
deserted while Gen. Mizukami committed suicide because he could not evacuate the men.


The average Japanese soldier is embarrassed about being seen in a "comfort house"
according to one of the girls who said, "when the place is packed he is apt to be
ashamed if he has to wait in line for his turn". However there were numerous instances
of proposals of marriage and in certain cases marriages actually took place.

All the girls agreed that the worst officers and men who came to see them were those
who were drunk and leaving for the front the following day. But all likewise agreed
that even though very drunk the Japanese soldier never discussed military matters or
secrets with them. Though the girls might start the conversation about some military
matter the officer or enlisted man would not talk, but would in fact "scold us for
discussing such un-lady like subjects. Even Col. Maruyama when drunk would never
discuss such matters."

The soldiers would often express how much they enjoyed receiving magazines, letters
and newspapers from home. They also mentioned the receipt of "comfort bags" filled with
canned goods, magazines, soap, handkerchiefs, toothbrush, miniature doll, lipstick,
and wooden clothes. The lipstick and cloths were feminine and the girls couldn't understand
why the people at home were sending such articles. They speculated that the sender
could only have had themselves or the "native girls".


"In the initial attack on Myitleyna and the airstrip about two hundred Japanese died
in battle, leaving about two hundred to defend the town. Ammunition was very low.

"Col. Maruyama dispersed his men. During the following days the enemy were shooting
haphazardly everywhere. It was a waste since they didn't seem to aim at any particular thing.
The Japanese soldiers on the other hand had orders to fire one shot at a time and
only when they were sure of a hit."

Before the enemy attacked on the west airstrip, soldiers stationed around Myitkyina were
dispatched elsewhere, to storm the Allied attack in the North and West. About four
hundred men were left behind, largely from the 114th Regiment. Evidently Col.
Maruyama did not expect the town to be attacked. Later Maj. Gen. Mizukami of
the 56th Division brought in reinforcements of more than two regiments but these
were unable to hold the town.

It was the consensus among the girls that Allied bombings were intense and frightening
and because of them they spent most of their last days in foxholes. One or two even
carried on work there. The comfort houses were bombed and several of the girls were
wounded and killed.


The story of the retreat and final capture of the "comfort girls" is somewhat vague
and confused in their own minds. From various reports it appears that the following
occurred: on the night of July 31st a party of sixty three people including the
"comfort girls" of three houses (Bakushinro was merged with Kinsui), families,
and helpers, started across the Irrawaddy River in small boats. They eventually landed
somewhere near Waingmaw, They stayed there until August 4th, but never entered Waingmaw.
From there they followed in the path of a group of soldiers until August 7th when there
was a skirmish with the enemy and the party split up. The girls were ordered to follow
the soldiers after three-hour interval. They did this only to find themselves on the bank
of a river with no sign of the soldiers or any mea ns of crossing. They remained in
a nearby house until August 10th when they were captured by Kaahin soldiers led by
an English officer. They were taken to Myitleyina and then to the Ledo stockade where
the interrogation which form the basis of this report took place.


None of the girls appeared to have heard the loudspeaker used at Myitkyina but very
did overhear the soldiers mention a "radio broadcast."

They asked that leaflets telling of the capture of the "comfort girls" should not be
used for it would endanger the lives of other girls if the Army knew of their capture.
They did think it would be a good idea to utilize the fact of their capture in any droppings
planned for Korea.

Source of information:

Report No.49
Texas Daddy/Comfort Women
Video on the Report
Korean  Comfor Women and Korea