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The mistreatment and captivity of women by the Japanese is a little known and poorly documented aspect of the Second World War. In The Real Tenko, Mark Felton, who has a fast growing reputation as an authority and author on the war in the Far East, redresses this omission with a typically well researched yet necessarily gruesome account of the plight of Allied service-women, female civilians and local women in Japanese hands.
Among the atrocities shamefully committed by the Emperor's forces were numerous massacres of nurses; that at Alexandra Hospital, Singapore being perhaps the best known. The lack of respect for their defeated enemies extended in full measure to both European and Asian women and their vulnerability was all too often shockingly exploited. Those who found themselves imprisoned fared little better and suffered appalling indignities and starvation. Also covered are the hardships of gruelling marches under extreme conditions. Whereas the sexual enslavement of so called 'Comfort Women' has been regarded as affecting only Asiatic women, it transpires that this horror was experienced by whites as well.
The Real Tenko is a disturbing and shocking testimony both to the callous and cruel behaviour of the Japanese and to the courage and fortitude of those who suffered at their hands.
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