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Daughters of the Dragon

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  13,214 ratings  ·  1,035 reviews
During World War II, the Japanese forced 200,000 young Korean women to be sex slaves or “comfort women” for their soldiers. This is one woman’s riveting story of strength, courage and promises kept.

In 1943, the Japanese tear young Jae-hee and her sister from their peaceful family farm to be comfort women for the Imperial Army. Before they leave home, their mother gives the
Kindle Edition, 462 pages
Published January 8th 2014 by MADhouse Press LLC (first published December 9th 2008)
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Jenny Taylor The novel is historical fiction. During WWII, the Japanese did conscript women as "comfort women", or sex slaves, for their soldiers. The characters…moreThe novel is historical fiction. During WWII, the Japanese did conscript women as "comfort women", or sex slaves, for their soldiers. The characters (Anna, Mrs. Hong, Colonel Matsumoto) are fictitious. The author includes a list of references at the end of the novel for more information on the history.(less)

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Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A part of history that needs to be taught to every student, just like the holocaust. Only apparently Japan does not acknowledge this horrific atrocity. The afterword of this book will forever be seared in my brain- 80 and 90 year old women victims march every Wed at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul. Trying to make sure the world knows what happened and with a list of demands for the Japanese Govt. I stand in solidarity with these courageous comfort women
Dec 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
I had never heard of the comfort women. This story opened my eyes to this dark part of Korean/Japanese history and pushed me to learn more. The story is so well told that I often forgot it was a novel. I couldn't put this book down and my thoughts always came back to the treatment of these women and how humans can justify such treatment of other humans. Loved this book for the truths in it.
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Addendum to my review: The issue of comfort women continues to haunt South Korea to this day. Japan continues to try to skirt responsibility. From today's New York Times (12/27/17): "SEOUL, South Korea — A South Korean government-appointed panel faulted on Wednesday a “final and irreversible” deal struck with Japan in 2015 to resolve a decades-old dispute over Korean women who were forced into sexual slavery during World War II" In the deal, "Japan expressed responsibility (subject to terms--Jap ...more
Jun 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“If we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.” George Santayana

Daughters o the Dragon opened my eyes to ‘Comfort Women’, a term I had never heard. During World War II, thousands of young women were abducted from their homes and forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army. They were unnervingly called ‘comfort women’ and the brothels ‘comfort stations’. The stations were set up during the war to keep up morale of Japanese soldiers and discourage their rape of local wom
Amanda Leon
*I was sent a copy in exchange for an honest review*

I'm a big fan of historical fiction, ranging from stories based on real people from history and just about the time setting in itself. I didn't know much about Japan and Korea during WWII and the Korean War, let alone about 'comfort women', women who were kidnapped and forced into prostitution in the latter half of the 20th century.

The subject matter is ambitious and bringing to light and writing about events and suffering that happened in his
Dec 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I didn't stop til I read the entire book

I'm not sure how I've never heard of this terrible time in history. This book and the story caused a very visceral reaction. I was sick. I cried. I was beyond angry. The author does a wonderful job weaving the story. It makes me want to read more from the author and certainly more on the subject. These women deserve so much more and I agree that until these atrocities are acknowledged by every nation it will almost certainly happen again.
My first 5-star book of the year. What a profound and emotional account of the horrors perpetrated against Koreans, especially women, throughout that nation's history. I learned so much from this book, and will be thinking about it for some time to come.

I have read a lot of historical fiction, but this is the first time I have read about the comfort stations and what those women suffered through.

A word to those just starting the book - look at the pictures at the back of the book before you sta
Travis Tucker
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four stars for the main story retelling the past. Two stars for the present day story, which at times was cringe-worthy. Averaging that gives three stars, but I'll add another star for the Korean history lesson. Perhaps if I were better versed in Korean / Japanese history beforehand it wouldn't have been as interesting, but it was an accessible way to learn some basic dynamics of the region's history and culture and make me eager to read further on the subject.
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I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Daughters of the Dragon is written by Bill Andrews and is historically based around the women who were forced by the Japanese to be “comfort women” or ianfu during World War II.

A girl named Anna is a Korean who was adopted by an American family as a baby. When her American mother dies of cancer she finds that she is at an impasse in life
This book was more powerful than I could have imagined, and I will never understand how I managed to stop myself crying until right at the end. The whole story, from both Anna and Jae-hee's perspectives, read like a biography and I'm struggling to accept that it wasn't one.

I've found that I learn about history best by reading historical fiction, as you don't just learn the facts, you feel them too, and I've been incredibly educated during this read. I had no idea how the Koreans were treated dur
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
During WW II, the Japanese forced young Korean women to be sex slaves for the Japanese soldiers. This is the story of Ja-hee. She and her sister are forced into this life and it is a brutal existence until Ja-hee escapes after her sister’s death. She tries to build a new life but has always felt embarrassment and the shame of her past even though it was not her fault what she had to endure. Her mother had given the girls an ivory comb of a two-headed dragon saying it is to protect them. Over the ...more
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another book on horrors of World War II but this one is a lesser known story, obscured from the world. More than Hundred thousand Asian women were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese army who were housed into dingy comfort stations where the Japanese soldiers could appease themselves by raping these women.

This book tells a sad story of a Korean girl who was forced to be a comfort woman at the age of 14. Her story doesn't end with the war. The physical brutality might have stopped but she
Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
Powieść Williama Andrewsa to bolesna, poruszająca opowieść o koszmarze wojny, o horrorze, który nie miał miejsca w okopach, na pierwszych liniach frontu, ale w małych, zawilgoconych brudnych domkach na uboczu, gdzie każdego dnia kobiety cierpiały w imieniu „wyższego dobra”. „Córki smoka” to historia tych upokorzeń, ale także przejmująca wizja odkupienia, poszukiwania sensu i wewnętrznej siły, by przetrwać, by zawalczyć o swoje. To jedna z tych opowieści, które wzruszają uniwersalnością, bo przyp ...more
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, war, orient
An amazing journey!

Searching for her Korean birth mother leads twenty year old American Anna Carlson into a dark story of suffering, anguish and despair that the Japanese nation still has to properly apologize for.
This novel is a further example of women caught up into war and used and abused by those who think of themselves as more entitled and more powerful. An age old story.
Andrews has woven a wonderful heart wrenching story, without apology, and without false emotions.
What unfolds is the lif
I feel pretty ambiguous about this book. On one hand, it is tragic and fascinating, especially the grandmother's story, but on the other it somehow feels cheap in a way. Past tense narrative (grandmother bits) flows much easier than the present tense (granddaughter). Something about the use of present tense just felt really jarring here, and that is weird cause I usually love present tense narration as it adds to intimacy and feels closer and much more immediate, but here it just didn't work. Al ...more
Joy D
This book is historical fiction of the life of a "comfort woman," a euphemism for a sex slave, to the Japanese military during WWII. The main character tells her story to her granddaughter, who had been adopted at birth by an American family, and had travelled to Korea to seek her birth mother. I read it quickly, and found it compelling. I wondered if a grandmother would tell her story in such detail to her granddaughter, but dismissed it as a plot device. I had known of the existence of these w ...more
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5* A really good read
I feel really bad about giving this such a "low" rating. This is a piece of history that, as many things that happened during WWII, is almost entirely overlooked. I'd heard the term "comfort women" in passing while reading another novel based in (now) South Korea but the details were quickly glossed over, so when this came up on the Kindle store I had to download it (and even read it in one day).

But the writing was sort of..rough. As another reviewer pointed out, some parts of the story were odd
Neha Garg (thereadingowl_)
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: All fans of Historical fiction
I loved reading this book. It takes you to pre-world war II Korea which was dominated first by Japanese, then Russians and later Americans. Still struggling with civil war between North and South, the country did not fare well even in earlier years.
This is the story of Anna's grandmother who worked as a comfort woman for Japanese. The shadows of those painful and shameful days never left her. Even when Korea became independent, and she earned her living with her gift of languages, a threat of th
Philippa Mary
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow - that was not an easy read, but it is a book that needs to be read. It deals with a part of history that I knew very little about and what these women went through is horrific - I think it is shocking that it hasn't really been acknowledge. It was written well and is very accessible - I thought the structure of it was well done. It was a very interesting book - I know very little about the regions history - and it was engaging throughout. I finished this in a few sittings - I just needed to ...more
Michelle Cameron
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is so precious to me.

During one of my MA Research courses, we were told to pick any topic in history and write a paper. I chose Comfort Women. It was a topic I had shockingly never heard about. The amount of research and information I learned shocked me. It left me devastated with how Japan never gave a formal apology and soldiers faced no real consequences (as portrayed in this book).

I noticed this book come up a lot during my own research, never picked it up then because it’s techn
Marie Parks Gaffney
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read in years. This book took me on a journey around the world, showed me things I didn't want to see, broke my heart and warmed my heart. This is a book all women should read.
Apr 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of Japan, Asia, History, Cultural Exchange, Quick and Powerful Reads
Trigger warnings for rape and abuse against women in the novel.

"You an still be saved," Soo-hee said, "and then you can tell them what hapened here."
"I don't want anyone to know what happened here," I said.
"Then,: Soo-hee said, :they will get away with it...You must go, please, do this for me. Do this for all of us."

Plainly written and to the point, and yet still beautiful and powerful, this is a story about a part of history that has been put under the table, almost duct-tapped in it's attempt
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Historical fiction is tricky, especially when it is written about topics as horrifying as comfort women. That said, this book does a good job bringing to light the horrors comfort women faced. As well as, the extreme prejudice they faced for decades after Japan's defeat by their own citizens, as well as the Korean War. I lived in Seoul for 4 years and the book made me think about/miss different sites in Seoul (House of Sharing, Itaewon, Gyeongbokgung Palace, etc.) I also appreciated the comments ...more
Sushma Rao
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nothing really makes me stop reading because I found it too hard to digest. But there were instances in this book which made me freeze. I dint bawl my heart out. But that lone tear did come out. I did hold my breath in shock as my heart went out to the women so different from my DNA. It just occured to me women everywhere were the same. I felt grateful for the safe surroundings I was in. I pray everybody gets the same. The writing is simple. The story needs to heard, read by all esp women. Ident ...more
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, and was thoroughly engrossed by it. I would have given it 5 stars if the author had better - or at all - developed the character of Anna. Her small part of the novel was rushed and unrealistic, as this novel was mainly a series of flashbacks told by her grandmother, a comfort woman during the Japanese occupation of Korea. I love historical fiction, and this is certainly a tragic story that needs telling.
Sandra Cohen
Nov 05, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Angry. This book made me angry. The story is an important one to tell and one that was, in abstract, moving. I am not minimizing the horrific things that happened to Ja-hee. The voice was not, however, from that woman but from a white man detailing the gratuitous violence done. Anna was just a prop and even her struggles were brushed over. At no point did I feel the hearts, the Yi, of any of the women. One star for the overview of Korean history and Japanese (and American) oppression.
May 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Okay so this is horrible, weird and perverted. Even if he wanted to express the horrors of being a comfort woman, a lot of things could've been worded differently. Felt like perverted smut. Like I understand the author is expressing rape, but why do we need to know about penis size, etc? As a Korean, the dialogue was cringe worthy as well. This book is ridiculous.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully told story of a harrowing subject. Well told and to the point very quickly. I read the whole book over 3 days. I could'nt put it down reading late into the night. A sure sign of a book with impact for me. Most of the narrative is by the grandmother of the story teller Anna. Anna, who is an adopted Korean brought up in the USA travels with her adoptive father to somehow find herself and meets her real grandmother who tells her story as a comfort girl forced into sexual slavery to se ...more
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can't decide 5 10 Mar 11, 2018 07:48PM  
Play Book Tag: Daughters of the Dragon by William Andrews 5 stars 7 24 Feb 08, 2018 05:24PM  
Play Book Tag: Daughters of the Dragon by William Andrews - 5 stars 1 15 Jul 13, 2016 08:14PM  
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“petal.” I don’t look at it that closely. “That blossom started as a seed,” she continues. “It was buried deep in the cold, dark ground. One day when the soil was warm and moist, the little seed split apart and began to climb to a world it could not see. Imagine the courage it had! It did not know what it would find when it broke through the surface. The scorching sun? The gardener’s blade? The crushing hoof of a cow? But the seed courageously pushed on so that one day, it could become a beautiful flower.” She points a finger at me. “You must have the courage of the seed, Anna. Without it, you will stay buried. You will rot and die. It does not matter how smart you are, or how pretty, or if you have money and many friends. If you do not have courage, you will never blossom into the flower you were meant to be.” 1 likes
“bo,” I begged. “Please, breathe.” After a few minutes, the contraction subsided, and Soo-bo sank into the bed. Her face was ashen, and sweat matted her” 0 likes
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