Indonesia: Comfort Women by Jan Banning

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Mardiyah (born 1926) was one of tens of thousands of 'comfort women' forced into prostitution by the Japanese military during World War II..A Japanese corporal took the married Mardiyah under the pretext of getting a job as a laundry lady and forced her into sexual services as a live-in at a nearby barracks. She also had to wash clothes and help forced labourers build roads and dig trenches. After his reassignment, the corporal took her with him, first to barracks in Ambarawa and later back to Banyubiru. Mardiyah miscarried while hauling rocks. "I didn't even know I was pregnant, but when I saw the bleeding, I was relieved. At least I was spared the shame of having a Japanese child. Nothing would stand in the way of me meeting my husband again, I thought then." At the end of the war, she managed to escape during a transport of a large group of prisoners. But she would never see her husband again. He had ended up in Kalimantan as a forced labourer and had remarried there. "I received a letter from him in which he wrote: 'You can just go to Japan, if you like.' But why would I want to go there?" She stayed in the village and married two more times. With her third husband, she had three children. "They come to visit me sometimes. I live here by myself now and work in the fields.".