Using the Liji Alley Museum as a vantage point, this article examines the politics of remembering “comfort women” in contemporary China. I situate the museum within three contexts: Chinese museums on Japanese aggression, the global initiative to create women's museums, and the trans-Asian movement to found museums dealing exclusively with the comfort women issue. On the one hand, I discuss how the Liji Alley Museum has made important interventions by foregrounding the relevance of gender to discussions of civilian wartime experience and by normalizing critical discussion of violence against women. By examining the museum's physical layout, narrative frameworks, and display techniques, I reveal its use of a combination of survivors' testimonies and affective devices to engage visitors. On the other hand, I analyze its limitations vis-à-vis present-day China's gender politics. The museum's reliance on government funding and its incorporation into the state-sponsored system of patriotic education have constricted its potential to offer a more complex critique of the multilayered causes behind comfort women victims' suffering, and to connect the comfort women issue with contemporary discussions of gender-based violence.

You do not currently have access to this content.