August 6, 2006


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wahoo...the paper is done

Praise the lord, the paper is done. I hope that it conveys the interest I have in the topic as well as being a decent attempt at scholarly discussion. If any of my esteemed classmates want to read it and let me know what they think, that would be fan tab!!!!

This first class was awesome and I really feel like this program is a good fit. Hooray!

July 23, 2006

so its been brewing

I have read more articles and another book and am building my argument surrounding my paper and I am enthralled by what I have learned this week in my genocide and human rights class. I have found many connections to my topics and some new ways of thinking of things. Armed with all of this new inspiration, I find that as usual, I am stuck figuring out how to put it all together. I am hoping to have a better outline. I am trying to develop better writing habits and I am having a hard time breaking old ones.

I know that bottom line, why should people care about the comfort women system of the japanese army during WWII? Because it is an example of internal aggression during wartimes and in a new period of introspection understanding the atrocities and outcomes of human behavior in war, puts a new perspective of understanding out own current sense of humanity.

thoughts? ideas??

July 11, 2006

historical questions

I just wrote this thing and it disappeared from my screen. how frustrating!

I think that historicans would ask questions that had to do with timelines and cause/ effect relationships. I believe that historians ask why people did things in reference to where they happened to be living and the historical snapshot in which they lived in. Historians ask a lot about time and dates. Some times historians ask about geography and place and how these things effect human development. Historians take the expertness of other areas and plug that information in to their way of thinking and make broad generalizations of time period or groups in power. When you get broad and sweeping time periods like the renaissance, the reformation and the scientific revolution, you get really interesting questions because each time period has certian characteristics that are indpendent of each other but yet all influence each other.

so historians ask:

when did this event happen? why did it occur where it did? what else was going on politically, socially and economically for this to happen?

how does this fit into a timeline? what is the ultimate significance of this event?

July 10, 2006

thesis, thesis, thesis....that annoying little thing

I really had no misgivings that the question and answer pair that I posted were not a thesis, but I think that my claim is that the way that Asia culture set itself up around the ideology of Confucius (is and how Japan changed it into their own understanding) combined withthe intense militaristic view of everything that the Japanese had going on at that time, (their views of the inherant inferiority of the Chinese, Koreans and anyone else who wasn't Japanese) combined to produce a situation where women were excepted and forced to serve as comfort women to the army, navy and other military governmental officials.

Sara posed some interesting questions such as what is the connection between Confucianism and Militarism and the irony is that Confucius hated the military, he believed ( and his followers interpreted through the ages) that war was a pointless waste of energy ( desrtuctive to society) however, war sometimes was a necessity of societies and what Confucianism did preach, over everything else was an orderly society. This orderly society was brought about when everyone knew their roels and accepted their roles and their own individual responsibility to fulfill their job in society. What Confucius put in the placeof morals was correct behavior, benevolence and duty to family. Ritual was important and organization for society was a must. I actually have some ideas on where to go with this, from the questions posed so I am trying to work on my authoritative voice.....we shall see.

Along with making people aware of what happened in Japan during WWII, the thing that I keep coming back to is the concept of historical memory. WIth the passing of time, the view gets a little fuzzy and time seems to negate the validity of things like war crimes, like in the last line of the book Hiroshima, ".....the memory of the world gets fuzzy" or something to that effect. I am really interested in how historical revisionism looks or proceeds in a place like Japan, that is seen as honorable and private. I believe that there is much to look at in the attempts of a few Japanese historians and others to analyze what was done in the name of the emperor and how it effected the common people, which is something that isn't really examined.

anyway.....hopefully I can gain some clarity.

so back to the thesis, I am convinced that I can work out a thesis that is representative of a critical voice, that makes a claim and that provides some new insight into the topic of japanese comfort women ( if that is possible without killing myself with methodilogical readings about how the research was conducted!!)

July 6, 2006

lets try this one on for size

ok-after beginning my research and reading what the rest of your lovely people are shaping your questions as, here is mine. This is the rough ( did I say ROUGH) direction I think I might possibly be heading. ( could I sound any less sure???)

topic: expectations of women during war (maybe narrowed to WWII)

question: In what ways does the phenomenonn of Comfort Women during WWII reflect the intense militarism and traditional Confucian expectations of women in society?

answer: Under Confucian ideology, there are five key relationships that keep society working properly. One of these relationships is the subjugation of women in social, economic and political situations. During WWII, these Confucian traditions were amplified and broadcasted as the new national ideology, because of this the occurance of Comfort Women, women chosen, cajoled or forced into state sponsored prostitution, reflected this underlying assumption of inequality. In a nation that expected personal sacrifice and undying loyalty to the emperor and the state, it would be a natural biological function for women to passively surrender their sexuality for the good of the army.

thought, insights or criticism is HIGHLY appreciated!!!

July 1, 2006

as of July 5, what would my paper be about?

I thought I was ready to write this one but upon further review, i think that I need to develop this more. sitting in the sun, by my parents pool, that is a sure place to add insight into the plight of Asian women during WWII......I think that I am more focused or at least on my way to gathering a focus, which for me is sort of like herding cats, than I was before we had class this week. I am really looking for how to write something that was more than a research paper, I need to find my voice, which for as talkative as I am seems to be elluding me right now. I am open to any suggestions etc. I will post my random ramblings when I can at least herd them into a sentence, right now the fragments and run-ons are going to take on a life of their own!!!

June 29, 2006

hmmmm...topic for a paper

I am struggling with what I want to write about. As I looked at the power point presentations, which were really helpful, and I am struggling as to narrow down my focus or develop one and I know that there are things that I am interested in and want to pursue but I am not sure if I am making a claim.

My two areas of interest are:

Comfort women in WWII--these were women, both non-Japanese and Japanese that were convinced, kidnapped or forced into prostitution to serve the "emperor" and the army.

Hiroshima Maidens--a group of young women who were "sponsored" by missionaries to receive surgery to fix the unbearable injuries they endured as a result of the atom bomb

I am fascinated by this time period in Japan and also interested in the story of these women and how it fits into the story of of Asia between 1937-1945. There is more information on the comfort women but I am more inclined to the Hiroshima maidens because I met one and found her fascinating. The one thing that she asked of us, as teachers and Americans, was to teach peace and to tell the story.

Anyway, I am open to suggestions as to how to craft a thesis and a focus.

June 27, 2006

focus, focus, focus

Hmmm, the true understanding of focus might be something that I learn in this class! The quesitons posed for us is to explain how, if at all, has our original idea of what we wanted to accomlpish or what our focus was going to be.

A little bit of background: I have always been anxious to get back into school, although I spend all of my time at a school. Analyze that one! I spend my days with students and "puke out knoweldge" to them everyday. I find that sometimes I need to be recharged so I am hopeful that I will be able to "fill my bucket." I love history and I enjoy learning about the personal experience among the broad themes of history. I found that I was hungering for some connections and new ways of looking at the world.

My focus is of course fragmented right now, I am just so excited to be meeting, learning and working on furthering my education. I am hopeful to make some new connections. I find myself at a huge crossroads in my life. I got married last August and my husband is in the Army and is currently deployed. I feel like the past 10 months have been a lot of just making it through, without having much personal growth so if nothing else that is what I am looking for.

I am passionate about learning and history. I am hopeful to gain a broad understanding of themes like gender and inequality, education and the social physchology and education and of course history and how it all fits in to create a well rounded view and of course will help me in my teachings. being able to make connections between new information and things my students already know is extremely important to me and my connections with my students.

Here is to my first successful, I feel so accomplished!


Really not sure what in the heck I am doing techno dufas and technologically inept!