Content Notice: Sex Trafficking
Currents in Global Literature
3 May 2022
Unessay 2 Reflection
For my unessay I decided to write a diary entry. This diary entry is supposed to be written by a young 13- year-old girl who is living in Japan during the 1720s. In a way this stance could be written by Koharu, one of the main characters in the play, “Chikamatsu” which we went over in class. However, I decided to keep the character neutral and change a few details to neutralize the instance. This is because Japan at the time the original play was set was a very unsafe environment for women at the time. They were treated as objects and sometimes sold into prostitution at ages as low as 7 to support their family financially. After doing additional research, I realized how common this was for young girls to be sold into prostitution at places like brothels at such a youthful age. After discovering more on the matter, I then began to decide what type of approach I would take to complete this unessay. I thought about doing a board game again, but I thought my main message was to show the perspective of a young girl placed in such a horrid situation. I thought to do a traditional essay since the research unveiled a huge amount of information to make a quality essay. Then I thought this makes this situation sound too educational and too formal, rather showing the truth which is more emotional and real. The lives lived by Koharu in the book as well as countless other young girls is much more than words on a paper. Each girl is a story. So, for that reason, I decided to take the approach of writing a diary entry. I mentioned aspects of Sokhom syndrome, hopelessness, etc. For that reason, I chose to name her love, Hope, which translates to,” Nozomu: in Japanese. This diary entry goes into the typical feelings felt by someone in this situation. It shows a sense of legitimacy. Children in other countries, especially in prior centuries, are forced into prostitution before they are old enough to even comprehend what is happening to them. To show how extreme it is I chose to make the character 13, also stating that she was only 8 when she entered this cruel sentence. Although the story written behind this diary entry is not exactly like the play we read in class, it shows similar and, in some ways, more extreme instances of the brutal life lived by Japanese citizens in the 1720s. As I was writing this, I became very emotional. Some things are so gruesome to write, especially from the perspective in which it was being written from. As a female, I looked back on my own life throughout the years and tried to envision myself in a situation like this. It became real to me the extent of the mistreatment that has gone on for centuries all across the globe. However, if other people had to live through it, the least I could do is write a diary entry from their perspective to pay respect to the inequality that has been occurring for this long to other females. In conclusion, this semester has taught me a number of valuable lessons and new perspectives on issues happening worldwide. However, for me, reading literature which took place in Japan stood out to me the most. Japan is a place we never hear that much about. I found it essential to educate myself where I was less knowledgeable. Addionally, I took this unessay as an opportunity to furthermore research Japan during this time frame which filled in some of the puzzle pieces as to why things were the way they were during the time frame of the play.
In conclusion, my goal with this piece was to bring an experience similar to Koharu’s to life through an emotional diary entry from the perspective of a young prostitute in 1721 Japan.
Hix, Lisa. “Sex and Suffering: The Tragic Life of the Courtesan in Japan’s Floating World.” Collectors Weekly, https://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/the-tragic-life-of-the-courtesan-in-japans-floating-world/.
How to Say ‘Yesterday’ in Japanese – Quora. https://www.quora.com/How-do-you-say-yesterday-in-Japanese.
The Love Suicide at Amijima – Yorku.ca. https://www.yorku.ca/inpar/amijima_miyamori.pdf.
Meshida. “Why Japanese Brothels Don’t Accept Foreigners!?” Comedian Meshida, Meshida, 15 Jan. 2021, https://funnyjapanproject.com/why-japanese-brothels-dont-accept-foreigners/.