This article from April 1944 shows that this system of internment camps had expanded to at least 13 in Seoul housing a total of 650 internees. That is an increase from 2 camps housing a total of 520 internees as described in the February 1944 article (340 internees at Ewha, 180 internees at Sookmyung). But whereas the February 1944 article described pretty intense training 6 hours a day (3 hours in the morning, 3 hours in the afternoon), this article describes a shortened training schedule from 1:30 to 4 p.m. with an average of 2 hours a day. Perhaps the intense pace of training was unsustainable due to the escalating demands of war with labor, material, and food shortages, and physical labor took precedence over academic studies.
One word popped out at me when reading this article: 傭人 (yonin), which is hard to find an English equivalent word for, so I’ll just call it “enlisted laborers” here. Many comfort women have been listed as yonin in Japanese military name rosters, as one paper notes. Back then, it was a word generally used to refer to a category of uneducated physical laborers working for the Japanese government or the Japanese military. In the context of the times, this probably means that most of the internees became physical laborers working directly under the Japanese military. That would have meant being eventually sent to Japan proper or some other destination depending on the immediate labor needs of the Japanese military.
April 21, 1944 Gyeongseong Ilbo (Keijo Nippo)
We’re Also First Year Students
Women of the Peninsula who strive to become mothers of strong soldiers
“What is this, everyone?” “Yes, it’s a cherry blossom.” In response to the young female instructor’s question, the young women of the peninsula, who were aiming to become the mothers of strong soldiers, chanted clearly and powerfully in the Japanese language, their voices echoing in the quiet classroom window and flowing into the sunny spring sky. The Seoul Provincial Women’s Youth Training Centers, which are designed to improve the qualities of young women on the peninsula as imperial women in order to foster strong soldiers in preparation for the implementation of the glorious peninsular draft, opened on the 15th of last month at 13 locations in the province, accommodating 650 young women of appropriate age. From 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. every day, they are taking Japanese language class and other subjects with the passion of peninsular women in imperial training who are engaged in the fight.
On the 20th, we took a look at the students and instructors of Jaedong Women’s Youth Training Center in Jongno District, Seoul who were united as one in passionate training. The attendance rate was nearly 90%, and most of the 40 students were enlisted laborers. Director Terada of the center, the main instructors, and assistant instructors who graduated from the Ewha Women’s Youth Training Center this spring are teaching the four subjects: Japanese language, training in traditional Japanese customs, household work, and professional work. Although the Ewha Women’s Training Center has just opened and does not have the prescribed training books, the students who attend the classes are doing their best as new first-year students of the National School. The training period is an average of two hours a day for one year. Photo: Class at Jaedong Women’s Training Center
(my transcription into modern Japanese orthography)
Reddit Link: By April 1944, there were 13 internment camps in Seoul for Japanizing Korean girls into wives for Japanese soldiers, with most of the girls enlisted for military labor, and instructional time cut from all day to just the afternoons (photo: Japanese language class at a camp in Jongno-gu, Seoul) : korea (reddit.com)