In the summer of 1968, Yamazaki Tomoko drew upon her family’s meagre savings to travel to the Amakusa Islands in western Kyushu. Her travel was crucial to her exposé about the island women ‘who had been sent far away’ and ‘forced to sell their bodies in distant lands’. Yamazaki hoped that during her three-week stay on the Amakusa Islands she would encounter such women, ‘crawling through the dirt’, living in miserable poverty, and would hear their life-stories, which would reveal the true experience of lower-class Japanese women during Japan’s transition from an agrarian society to the major industrial and military power in Asia.1