From Shanghai to Shanghai: The War Diary of an Imperial Japanese Army Medical Officer, 1937-1941

From Shanghai to Shanghai: The War Diary of an Imperial Japanese Army Medical Officer, 1937-1941


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“My war records are of military comfort women…”, writes Dr. Aso, “…cabaret dance girls, the military secret service, missionaries, and . . . the incident”. The “incident”, as it is often referred to in books about Japanese comfort women, alludes to the fact that Dr. Aso (1910–1989) was the first Japanese medical officer officially ordered to perform health examinations on military comfort women. This policy was instituted in 1937 for a new contingent of comfort women freshly sent to Shanghai to serve the Japanese military. It was the initial measure undertaken by the Japanese High Command to reduce venereal disease among the troops. Dr. Aso performed this duty throughout the term of his assignment in China.

From Shanghai to Shanghai (Shanhai yori Shanhai e) is the most unusual, grass-roots diary of Dr. Aso, a 27 year-old gynecologist who takes us with him to work and on his travels throughout China during his various tours of duty in the Sino-Japanese war. The journey begins in late 1937, when he first arrived in Shanghai, and continues for four years, until 1941, when he returned to Japan from Shanghai after tours of duty in Shanghai, in Nanjing, and in a number of other parts of central China.

Dr. Aso Tetsuo was quite literally born into a world of gynecology and prostitution. His father was a gynecologist with a private medical and teaching practice in the “entertainment quarters” — red light district — of Fukuoka. Besides being a school for midwives, Aso’s childhood home was a medical clinic for the prostitutes employed in the neighboring teahouses and brothels. As a child, Aso knew the women who were his father’s patients as his “big sisters”. It was only natural, Aso later reflected, that when he grew up he would become a gynecologist and specialize in the health of working women. After the end of the war in 1945, Aso was frequently accused by the press of having forced women into prostitution during the war. This prompted him finally to tell his side of the story by compiling this remarkable book from his wartime diary.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781788690058
Publisher: Camphor Press Ltd
Publication date: 11/30/2017
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.44(d)

Table of Contents

"Testimony" (An Overview)5
1Letters: From Japan to Shanghai aboard the Mizuho Maru11
The Chiyo Trading Company
The China Dyeing Company
B.B. -- The Blue Bird Dance Hall
Cafe Lion
Dr. Su Jizhi
Wang Bingnan
Army Vehicles and Me
First Message from Nanjing
Zhonghua Gate
The Chiba Red Cross Team
Zhao Chaotian
Daiyangcun and the Tsumazuru Restaurant
The Clearing Hospital Outpatient Examination Room
The Somesogo Shop
The Caucasians of Jiujiang
The Water of Light Hospital and Dr. Perkins
Danforth Hospital
Dojin [Universal Benevolence] Hospital
The Second Special Area (The Former Russian Concession)
Morishige Cobbler Shop
Oriental Garden Dance Hall
Tea Dance
People in the Oriental Garden
Crossing the Yangzi to Wuchang
Two Doctors Named "Wang"
The Koa Hotel
Li Chuzhen
The Wuchang Kempeitai
Major Horie
Farewell Wuchang
7An Easy Road Home165
AppendixA Positive Method for Prevention of Venereal Disease172

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