Women in Motion
The Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan provide information, in varying degrees of detail, on roughly 125 “abducted” women; many others remain undocumented. This path follows the flow of documents about the life and movements of one woman, Ogura Nobu and, to a lesser extent, her husband Chen Zhaopin. It also contains links that elucidate other women's experiences, and offers some reflections on the larger issues that these transgressive mobilities reveal. In the “Temporality 2” part of the path, I offer examples of transgressive mobility in the other direction (toward Japan) since the 1990s, to situate those mobile stories within the overlapping but distinct spatiality of post-Cold War Sino-Japanese relations.
Note that while the title of this path is “Women in motion,” children were also in motion. Though I do not focus on this topic here, I discuss it in detail in David R. Ambaras, Japan's Imperial Underworlds: Intimate Encounters at the Borders of Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018).