Survivor of Japan's WWII 'comfort women' system dies at 94

2024-02-21 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Shen Jianmei, a survivor of the "comfort women" system forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II, passed away on Sunday in Changsha county, Hunan province, at the age of 94.

Shen's death, confirmed by the Research Center for Chinese Comfort Women at Shanghai Normal University, leaves only eight registered survivors of this system in mainland China.

Born in 1931, Shen experienced unimaginable suffering at the hands of the Japanese army. In 1942, during the invasion of Changsha, she was captured alongside her family's oxen, which she attempted to protect.

Her congenital deafness and muteness further compounded the trauma of her capture and subsequent experiences.

After extensive searching, Shen's father later found her barely alive in a temple several miles away from their home, where was previously used as the base camp by Japanese invaders, and rescued her.

Before Shen's mother's passing, she entrusted Shen to the care of her younger brother, who dutifully looked after her in her later years.

In January, Shen was hospitalized, and on Feb 18, her family informed the research center of her passing.


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