Introduction

The bibliography provides information on writings dealing with the history of rape, including sexual child abuse, sexual harassment, sexual molestation, child prostitution, forced prostitution, sexual slavery, sexual(ized) violence. The blog informs about calls for papers, forthcoming events and new literature in this field.

May 3, 2011

ART: Pan-pan girls

Author: Rumi Sakamoto
Title: Pan-pan girls
Subtitle: Humiliating liberation in postwar Japanese literature
Journal: Portal. Journal of multidisciplinary international studies
Volume: 7
Issue: 2
Year: July 2010
Pages: 15 pages
ISSN: 1449-2490
Language: English
Full Text: UTSePress [Free.]

Abstract: »This paper looks at some literary representations of the ‘pan-pan girls’ in postwar Japan. ‘Pan-pan’ is a derogatory term for street prostitutes who (mostly) served the soldiers of the occupying forces. Immediately after World War II, the Japanese government established the RAA (Recreation Amusement Association) and employed several thousand women to provide sexual services for foreign soldiers, ostensibly to protect Japanese women of middle and upper classes from rape and other violence. When the RAA was closed down in 1946 due to the US concern over widespread VD, many of the women who lost their jobs went out on the street and became private and illegal prostitutes – the pan-pan girls. With their red lipstick, cigarettes, nylon stockings and high-heel shoes, often holding onto the arms of tall, uniformed American GIs, the ‘pan-pan girls’ became a symbol of the occupation, and have been textually reproduced throughout the postwar period. This paper analyses the images and representations of the ‘pan-pan girls’ in postwar Japanese literature, to consider how the ‘pan-pan girls’ have functioned as a metaphor for the occupation and contributed to the public memory construction of the occupation. I identify some major codes of representations (victimisation, humiliation, and national trauma; eroticism and decadence; sexual freedom and materialism) and argue that the highly gendered and sexualised bodies of the ‘pan-pan girls’ have continued to allow simplistic and selective remembering of the occupation at the expense of recalling the pivotal role of Japanese patriarchy in the postwar period.« [Source: Portal.]