“If It Hadn’t Been for Japan’s War”
- Born in Angang-eup, North Gyeongsang Province
- (Age 16)
- Lured with false promise of work
Forced into sexual slavery in Kigo, Taiwan, by Japanese military
- c. 1946
- (Age 20)
- Returned to Busan
- (Age 22)
- Lived with a Mr. Hwang, a married man, in Angang; sustained livelihood via silk business
- c. 1960
- (Age 34)
- Adopted a stepson
- c. 1968
- (Age 42)
- Partner Mr. Hwang passed away
- c. 1970
- (Age 44)
- Sustained livelihood as a housemaid
- c. 1975
- (Age 49)
- Lived away from home working in restaurants
- (Age 73)
- Settled in Daegu
- (Age 74)
- Registered as a former comfort woman
- (Age 78)
- Living in a permanent rental apartment in Daegu
Angang→ Taiwan (Kigo)→ Busan
“Do you know how much turmoil the Japanese put us through? They’re insufferable. And they won’t even admit any wrong-doing. It was their war that did this.
How can those bastards sleep at night knowing what they did to thousands of women just like me. If it hadn’t been for Japan’s war, we never would have gone.
Why won’t they repent? They’re absolutely rotten.
They took all of our harvests after we toiled away on our land. Those Japanese were detestable.
They commandeered all the metal to make munitions. That was no way to live. Those were crazy times. I thought I wouldn’t be able to go on like that.
We’d bury some rice in the kitchen, and they would investigate, dig it up, and take everything.
We were alive, but that wasn’t living.”
Bespectacled Mr. Kim
Even when I got there I was clueless. I thought it was a factory with sewing machines.
“My mother, father, and six other siblings – that was my family. I had one older sister and five younger brothers.
The Japanese forced people to take Japanese surnames at the time. Names like Kaneko or Kaneyama. Some were named Kaneko and others were named Kaneyama.We were farmers. We worked the land, and my father worked at a Japanese man's rice mill.
We lived in Angang.I weaved baskets. The quota delivery [of goods to the government] was really harsh. If we didn’t meet the basket quota, [government officials] would come and beat us.
My sister married early. There were rumors at the time that the Japanese military would take girls in droves. [My parents] married off my sister at the age of sixteen. They told me that they would marry me off, too. [My parents] said that it was too dangerous – that I should be married off [before being taken]. Then some people came and got me. I never imagined I would be taken [to a comfort station]. Even when I got there I was clueless. I thought it was a factory with sewing machines.
I was weaving baskets when someone said he wanted to talk to me. Back then, lots of Japanese people in Korea spoke our language. Many of them spoke Korean. ‘There’s a good job opportunity for you. Let’s go,’ they said. I distinctly remember seeing a man wearing glasses.
There was a Korean stool pigeon (a person acting as an agent for the Japanese) there. He was from Gangwon Province, last name Kim. Everyone knew him as Bespectacled Mr. Kim. Everyone in Angang knew that man.
He had an office for this type of business. A little office space with chairs and a desk. You know, a place of business. So I went inside and I talked with him. I think I was there for a bit over an hour. Maybe two hours.
He sat me down and walked in and out of the office for a while. He eventually said, ‘If you go with Heitai-san (Japanese soldier), you can learn how to operate a sewing machine. You can earn much more than what you currently make weaving baskets.’ I asked him if I would be able to send money back home. He replied, ‘Of course we’ll send money back home for you. You can send part of each month’s salary to your parents.’ I thought to myself, ‘Maybe this isn’t such a bad idea.’ So he told me to go home and that he would contact me.
So I went back home. Bespectacled Mr. Kim came to see me after some time and said, ‘You have to go to Heitai-san’s factory and work with sewing machines.’ Since I was considering going, my mother figured that I would eventually. After two nights at home, I decided to go.
It wasn’t even a matter of whether I wanted to go. [Mr. Kim] made it feel like I had to go since [the factory] was short on people. His sentiment was that I, as a woman, had to do my part to help the war effort. How could I refuse? It sounded like a command. At the time, a Japanese person could beat a Korean to death and no one could say a word. Those were bad times. Back then, Japanese people claimed all rights and Koreans were powerless.’
This is the largest vessel that travels between Japan and Korea.
‘When I was young, I begged my parents to send me to school. I enrolled at the age of twelve and attended for three years before leaving home.
It was springtime. Our grain supply was depleted – most of it went to the government for compulsory quota delivery. My mother gave me a few steamed rice cakes to take with me. ‘Eat these when you get hungry on your journey,’ she said. She mixed in some steamed black beans and sugar with the rice cakes. I ate a small amount and kept the rest in a plastic bag. After a day or two, the rice cakes had spoiled. I don’t remember if it was day or night, but I do remember that sour taste. I don’t remember much else, but I do remember that.
Bespectacled Mr. Kim came by himself to the village. When I got to Angang, I remember seeing some Japanese men.
I don’t even remember if I rode a train or a truck. Sometimes I think it was a train, and other times I think it was a truck. I’m not sure.
Whatever it was, I saw my friend Ms. Leein the same [truck/train car]. I asked, ‘What are you doing here?’ and she replied, ‘I was going home after doing laundry, and a Japanese policeman took me in. He threw the laundry on the ground and took me.’
She was told that she was needed at a factory and was taken by a Japanese policeman.
It was a one-day trip. We went to Busan without sleep. I don’t recall if it was one or two nights, but we stayed in Busan for a while.
We stayed at an inn or a boarding house. There were six of us there. There were six Korean girls.
Two girls were already [at the meeting location]. One of the girls was named Yoyoko, and another was named Hanako. The rest of us were given the names Hanaka, Hanatsuru, Hanazono, Hanae, Hanayoshi, and I was Hanakiku. All the names were variations of Hana.
We boarded a ship in Busan. The girls thought they were going to die on that ship.The girls were so seasick that they couldn’t move. Of course, they couldn’t eat, because they couldn’t hold anything down. But I wasn’t seasick at all. The ship was enormous. I think that helped. I would eat and take in the sights walking around on the deck. Someone said to me, ‘This is the largest vessel that travels between Japan and Korea. There’s none bigger.’ The ship was named Asama Maru. I remember her name.
It was absolutely huge. There was tons of cargo, too. There were lots of soldiers with red stars on their uniforms. The ship was full of men who had been drafted into the military.
I can’t remember whether I rode the ship for a few hours or a few days. I wasn’t counting the days.
There was a guide on the ship – a Korean.
He guided us from Busan to our destination and went back in a round-trip.
We had no idea where we were going.”
If we resisted, they would beat us senseless.
“We eventually disembarked in Taiwan.
The guide gave each girl ₩20 or ₩30 for fare. From there we got onto a small boat driven by a Taiwanese man. We ended up in a place called Takao [Kaohsiung] in Taiwan. What we called Daeman was known as Taiwan.
That town was called Takao. Then we rode a taenma from there to Kigo [Qihou].
We ended up in a village called Kigo. The house was named Kagetsu. I’ll never forget that. There was a big sign that read ‘Kagetsu’ on the main entrance. We had no idea what was in store for us when we first arrived. No one answered any of our questions – not that we spoke the language. If we didn’t listen, they would try to kick us out. There were no boats. Even if we got out, where would we go? They probably would have killed us if we tried to leave. We didn’t know what to do. We just cried our eyes out.
They told us how many [military] divisions there were, but we didn’t pay much attention. We didn’t really pay attention to what we thought didn’t pertain to us. It didn’t matter where the soldiers came from as long as we did what we were supposed to do.
There was another place similar to Kagetsu.
There were two places in Kigo. And more in Takao. There were several locations in Takao.
There was tatami (Japanese floor mats) in the rooms. They were made of straw.
There were two rooms on the second floor.
Ms. Lee was [stationed] in one room, and I think Hanae was in the other room. It was like that. The rest of us were downstairs.
Other girls were already in some of the rooms on the first floor. Two of the rooms were empty. So there were six rooms on the first floor and two rooms on the second floor for a total of eight rooms.
There was a long L-shaped hallway with rooms on either side. The soldiers stayed in rooms down the hall. There was a spot in the courtyard for doing laundry.They gave each of us a room. There were four or five tatami mats in total. There was hardly any space left in the rooms after laying down a blanket. They were tiny. They wanted as many rooms as possible.
The walls were wooden back then. You could hear everything going on in the next room.
The [brothel] was run by a couple – an old woman from Jeolla Province and an old man from Gyeongsang Province.Old Woman was referred to as Harumo and her surname was Jang. She had a younger brother there, too. They worked together.
Old Man told us to refer to him as otōsan. Otōsan means ‘father’ in Japanese. We only referred to him as ‘father,’ so we had no idea what his surname was.
Old Woman’s younger brother was the chōba (manager).
The chōba was fairly old. He was probably around fifty years old at the time.
The chōba managed pretty much everything. He organized the business and took vouchers (military payment certificates) from the soldiers. People referred to him as Harumoto chōba-san.
We were lucky if they didn’t beat us, let alone be paid wages. We had to do what we were told. We were powerless. We were lucky to be fed and not beaten. It was awful.
Any slight mistake and we’d be beaten. They would kick us like dogs.
They were happy as long as we stayed healthy and treated the customers well. If we were ill, they’d let us know how much they didn’t appreciate that.
If we spent too little time with the men, we were beaten. If we received too few customers, we were beaten.
No one was above a beating.
I would ask, ‘Why did you bring me here by deceiving me?’ and the chōba would pretend like he had no clue what I was saying. He would ask, ‘If you don’t support the war effort, how can the soldiers fight in battle?’ What could I say to that? He would threaten the girl with questions like ‘Do you want to go even farther from home, like Singapore?’ If I ever resisted, they would beat me senseless. I had no choice but to receive all those soldiers.”
The blood would pour from my uterus.
“When I first arrived in Takao, I examined [my uterus]. I started receiving soldiers two days after the examination.
I was barely sixteen years of age [when I lost my virginity]. I don’t know exactly what happened, but there was blood. The blood poured from my uterus after my first time. After my [first sexual experience], there was a strange feeling of hollowness in my lower body. I could still walk fine, but I felt some pain in my groin.
We ate breakfast at nine o’clock.
The soldiers would already be at the door by 10 am.
Work started after cleanup and the dishes were done. There was no set time to stop working. We kept working late into the night.
The soldiers were let out on leave in three-hour rotations. Then they would come [to the brothel].
About twenty soldiers would visit each day. If they received multiple vouchers, they would come back in the evenings.
Some soldiers stayed until the sun came up. There were lots of soldiers who did that. They would save up the vouchers and use them all in one night during leave.
As soon as one man left, another one would come straight in. Some would wait outside the door and yell if he felt he was waiting too long. I saw some bizarre men there.
Sundays were the worst. [The military] let more soldiers take leave on Sundays.
It’s never-ending on those days. I probably received more than thirty men on Sundays. One right after another.
Other soldiers would get angry if they had to wait for more than twenty minutes. They would scream outside the door.
Maybe fifteen minutes.
I had to squeeze in meals whenever there was a small break. I’d eat a bit of rice and pretty much go right back to work. If I didn’t, the chōba wouldn’t hesitate to beat me. If I was slow to move, he would hit me on my head or slap my face.
I even had to do laundry while I ate. [The chōba] would beat me for doing laundry, saying that I should be receiving customers.
It was absolutely dreadful.
We couldn’t even go anywhere. We were locked in. The only time we left the premises was to visit the doctor. Other than that, the girls couldn’t go outside.
There was hardly any time for myself during the day. Soldiers would be there all day long.
Some would come in drunk and brandish their swords in front of the girls.
Since low-ranking privates felt that they could die at any time in battle, they would drink and do whatever they pleased.
It still pains me to talk about those days.
The girls took turns cooking meals. No one prepared a meal for us. Do you know when we prepared side dishes? Whenever there was a minute to spare.
I would have been grateful if they at least gave us enough rice to cook. It was mostly sweet potatoes with a tiny bit of rice sprinkled on top.
They gave us soap when it was available – soap for bathing and soap for laundry. We used a washroom to bathe ourselves. Do you think they gave us good soap? Of course not.
I think we got new clothes after six months … . Yeah, about six months. We could at least buy clothes if we were paid. We needed decent clothes to face the soldiers, but we couldn’t buy anything.
Taiwan was a very hot country, so we mostly wore short-sleeved dresses. We were given that type of clothing.
We couldn’t receive customers wearing elaborate kimonos. The dresses were easy to pull up above the legs so that we could work faster.
Once in a while, some soldiers paid us tips. We’d save up what little tips we received and bought face creams or decent soap to wash ourselves. We’d use those ever so sparingly. That was pretty much it for money.
But we hardly ever received tips. Almost never. Where would soldiers get money from? Girls who received high-ranking officers would receive tips from time to time. Some girls who were frequented by officers at least received small tips out of pity or for whatever reason.”
They prevented pregnancies.
“I had to see a doctor for two weeks because of vaginal discharge (leukorrhea).
There were strange secretions.
Washing our privates in cold water exacerbated the condition. Anyone with leukorrhea had to see a doctor for a few days. I didn’t have any other illnesses.
There was a wash station for the girls to clean up after receiving a customer. A place to wash our privates – a wash tub with reddish medicine.
A sign would be posted on the door if a girl was suffering from [leukorrhea] or vaginitis. After that, the girl would visit the doctor for two, three, or more weeks. She would visit the doctor daily.
If the condition wasn’t cured quickly enough, the chōba would beat the girl for being unable to work.
We didn’t really contract [sexually transmitted diseases]. The soldiers all had to wear condoms. If they didn’t, we’d kick them out. If they didn’t like wearing condoms, we’d just kick them out.
We’d say [to the chōba], ‘This man is trying to get us pregnant.’ Then [the soldiers] would have no excuses when they got kicked out. I think that was prohibited by law.
The brothel provided the girls with condoms to use. We’d give them to the soldiers when they visited.
Since the girls slept with many men, condoms were essential for preventing the spread of diseases.
[Sex] didn’t hurt as much when the men wore condoms. Without them, it could be very painful. We used slippery creams (lubricants), too. We all received [lubricants]. We had to use them since we’d receive customers right after washing up.
If we didn’t use lubricants right after washing up, [the friction from] the condoms would cause unbearable pain.
[Comfort women] haven’t experienced intimacy with a man born out of love. It’s always been one customer after another interested only in sex.
We were tested for sexually transmitted diseases one time each week in Takao by a military doctor.
The doctor would give us injections of Number 606 (arsphenamine, also known as Salvarsan) once in a while. They were numbered one through six. The one we received was Number 606. Number 606 was really strong. The doctor gave us Number 3 after an examination even if we weren’t sick.
Once a week. No more than that. Sometimes the doctors injected us once every three weeks. The medicine was so strong that it caused bad side effects.
They would inject the medicine directly into the veins. It had a strong odor. It was supposed to treat diseases. The doctors also gave us white pills to be taken once per day. They prevented pregnancies. It shrank the uterus … .
I didn’t really have any side effects.
The hospital facilities weren’t very good. Compared to modern standards, it was like a run-down shack. Why would they spend money [on the hospital facilities]? The girls were the only people to use the hospital. They would call our names, we’d be examined, and that was it. No one even asked how many military doctors worked there. What’s the point?”
Thoughts of Suicide
You have to be possessed by a spirit to commit suicide by drowning. It’s not easy to drown.
“My friend was too immature....I helped her with her cleaning duties. She was too young.
She would cry when things got a little bit difficult. I asked, ‘How did you end up here?’ and she replied, ‘I came to earn money. Why else would I be here?’ She thought that she would be working at a factory making military uniforms. She was tricked into [becoming a comfort woman] like the rest of us.
[The Japanese] lied to everyone. If they spoke the truth, who would have gone with them?
I believed them, too. I wanted to kill myself. I stared into a river. But you have to be possessed by a spirit to commit suicide by drowning. It’s not easy to drown.
My parents were all I could think about. I wanted to see them one more time before I died. I just couldn’t do it.
I considered committing suicide, but eventually I calmed myself down … . I only had one life – if I died, that was it. I just held on to the idea of going back home and seeing my parents once more just to carry on with my life. What else did I have? I had no hope. I didn’t think I would ever get out or get married. That was an impossibility. We were used up and as good as dead … . Even if I returned home, at best I would work as a housemaid to survive and quietly die. Leaving [the brothel] or getting married? I never even dreamed of such things while I was stuck in that place. All the girls felt like this. It wasn’t just me – it was all of us.
We hadn’t heard of Korea’s liberation, but the Japanese soldiers seemed distressed.
“[The soldiers] were hardly coming to the [brothel]. We hadn’t heard of Korea’s liberation, but the Japanese soldiers seemed distressed.
The girls would speak quietly amongst ourselves, and one day some Taiwanese people came to the brothel and told us that the Japanese had lost the war.
They told us that an atomic bomb made them surrender. That’s how we learned about the liberation on August 15. The Japanese soldiers stopped coming to the brothel after that. At first the girls were just confused and shaken about the whole situation. We thought that we would be left behind and never be able to leave Taiwan. I remember thinking in my immature mind that at least if Japan had won, we would be able to go back home.
We were in Taiwan for about another year after the liberation. There were no ships, and we had no money to return home.
We tried to earn money … . The chōba sent us out to sell eggs.
That’s all we could do. There was nothing to eat, and we had no money. We were told to go out and sell this or that … . With the little that we earned, we were able to buy some rice and sweet potatoes to eat.
I wasn’t very good at it. So I got beatings for that.
Our family stayed together all that time, and we eventually found a ship that would take us back to Korea. We ended up in Busan after some time.
I remember it was absolute chaos how many people were trying to leave Taiwan back then. And if you didn’t have any money when you arrived at the Port of Busan, you were stranded again. You had to make sure you stood in line to receive some money for fare.
They gave each of us a paper bill.
A youth association They gave us the transit fare. This money helped us.
I was so happy to be back in Busan. I was excited to see my parents and younger siblings again.
I didn’t care about anything else. I just wanted to see my family. When I returned home, my mother hugged me tight and we just cried and cried … .
I wondered if I was destined to suffer.
“I met a married man about a year after I returned home.
I met him in Angang.
I was twenty-odd years old at the time – under thirty.
It seemed like all men were married back then. All young, unmarried men fought and died in the war.
I’m not even sure how I met him. I think someone may have introduced us.
His surname was Hwang. Members of the Hwang lineage were nobility way back when, meaning they lived comfortably even after the war.
But we couldn’t be officially married – he had a wife at home.
He was about ten years older than me. So we lived together for about twenty years and ran a silk business. But life was still difficult. The hardships never stopped.
These days, everyone is born wealthy. I can’t even express how difficult it was.
I continued to struggle. It was intolerable. I wondered if I was destined to suffer no matter what I did.
[My partner’s] infidelity resulted in another son that he brought home. He wasn’t even 100 days old. My partner told me that he would give his son away, but I said that I would raise him.
I wasn’t officially in the family register … . Even if I raised him, he would be registered as his legal wife’s son.
I think I was thirty-four years old at the time … . Or was it thirty-three? Since I couldn’t bear children, I raised him as my own. He’s my son. Not once have I ever considered otherwise.
People thought that I was his birth mother. [My adopted son] has two children – a daughter and a son.
After my partner passed away, I worked a lot as a housemaid. I worked at a restaurant for a few years, as well. Do you know how hard it is to work at a restaurant? I had to wash endless amounts of dishes. I developed housewives' eczema after years of washing dishes in cold water with harsh chemical soap. I don’t have the words for it. I also worked in a restaurant in Gampo, but overall, housekeeping was the worst.
Washing people’s undergarments, cleaning every surface in a house … . At least the work day ended when I worked at a restaurant. When I was a housemaid, I would have to stay up late at night until the homeowners came home from work.
I worked as a housemaid for about three years. I worked in several different places after I turned fifty years of age. What else could I do?
I worked at one restaurant for seven or eight years. And another for about a year. I kept switching here and there.
I haven’t worked since I moved to Daegu, but I worked like a dog for many years. I’ve only been in Daegu for three years or so.
If I die like this, then so be it. I don’t have time to think about anything. Only people who are comfortable with their lives have time to think. I’d work all day until I was dead tired and just sleep the rest of the time. I didn’t have the time to think … . Days and years passed by while I lived like that. All I had time to consider was where I would find work so that I could get paid, eat, and pay bills for the month.
I got old while I was busy making ends meet.
One day I was sixty, then sixty-five, and then seventy … . Someone suggested that I marry some rich widower, but I didn’t want to do that. What would I do there?
I don’t want to do that because of my son. I think I’ll just keep living like this. I don’t expect anything more.”
Why do more people need to know?
“At first I didn’t register as a former comfort woman because I was working as a housemaid [in my employer’s home]. My sister-in-law suggested that I register. What was the point of digging up long-forgotten memories? I was living in other people’s homes at the time. Maybe I would have registered if [the government] had offered tens of millions of won (tens of thousands of dollars). But it wasn’t worth the few measly won they were offering. ‘Don’t report it – it’s embarrassing,’ I said. I chose to just forget about it. Then my cousin asked me, ‘Did you report your overseas [comfort woman] experiences?’ I told her that I wasn’t interested, but she kept insisting that I tell my story. And now, here we are.
I remembered everything in detail. I remembered the ship name Asama Maru … . After I described the ship in detail, I was quickly registered. I’ll never forget those memories. I don’t even know how I still remember, but those memories just won't go away.
But how could I speak about those memories? I could hurt the people around me by speaking out. If people knew, they knew, and if they didn’t, they didn’t. They didn’t ask, and I didn’t tell.
My partner didn’t know. Could I tell him? No, I couldn’t let him know. My cousins knew that I had been somewhere overseas, but they didn’t think much of it.
Two of my younger brothers knew, but their children didn’t know. I was afraid that if my family read this book, they would think differently of me.
If people found out after I died, then I wouldn’t care … . But why do more people need to know? Most people just want the stories to fade away into history. There’s peace of mind in not knowing what happened.”
I would get so angry when I thought about the past.
My knee got scraped when the chōba kicked me. It got badly infected because the wound wasn’t properly dressed. The pain was agonizing.
See, look at these. At least it’s not as prominent as it used to be now that a few decades have passed. The scar used to be really big. But it keeps getting smaller. They didn’t treat me like a human being – they really beat me like a dog. ‘If you don’t listen, I’m going to throw you in the ocean for you to drown,’ [the chōba] would say. I told myself that I’d do as they wanted just to keep my life. But none of the girls ever believed that we’d return to Korea someday. We were always afraid that we’d be dragged off to some other location amidst the chaos of the war.
I would get so angry when I thought about the past. But I’ve gotten much better about that. Look at all my heart medicine. I take that daily. Many [comfort women] survivors take heart medicine. My heart starts pounding uncontrollably sometimes – I have to take the medicine. I’ve become hypersensitive and my temper is very bad. I take the medicine to help me stay grounded.
My spine was dislocated after a particularly bad beating from the chōba. It seemed fine when I was younger, but it’s become much worse now that I’m older. I start to lean from the discomfort when I walk. These injuries seem to intensify as I age.”
I could live a slightly better life if I receive some reparations before I die.
“What more is there to ask for? I’ve been blessed to still be alive – without any serious illnesses and able to look after myself. I could live a slightly better life if I receive some reparations before I die. What more is there?
That’s really all I hope for. If I received reparations, even if it was [a small amount], I would help my [adopted] son with whatever he needed. I think [all comfort women survivors] would probably want the same thing – just to live a little bit more comfortably before passing.
I’ve had a different outlook since I’ve started attending a Roman Catholic church.
Lately, I’ve been praying for a sincere apology from the Japanese. I pray to God for world peace, and then I pray for God to lead Japan’s [Prime Minister] Koizumi to ask for forgiveness from the people of Korea. Hahaha … . That’s amusing.”
- [note 011]
- Angang-eup, Gyeongju City, North Gyeongsang Province.
- [note 012]
- Ms. Lee was a childhood friend of Hwa-ja Kim.
- [note 013]
- Hwa-ja Kim is referring to the seasickness experienced on the ship, especially that of her friend Ms. Lee.
- [note 014]
- a small barge for carrying cargo,
- [note 015]
- The women stayed on one side of the hallway while the soldiers’ quarters were further down the hall. A small courtyard was located in the center of the structure.
- [note 016]
- Hwa-ja Kim referred to the operators of Kagetsu as Old Woman and Old Man.
- [note 017]
- Hwa-ja Kim had a habit of laughing boisterously when speaking about past experiences.
- [note 018]
- Refers to the group of women who were stranded in Kagetsu.
- [note 019]
- Hwa-ja Kim recalled that a youth association provided refugees with transit fare when they arrived at the Port of Busan from various locations.
- [note 020]
- Hwa-ja Kim is expressing her opinion that modern life is relatively uncomplicated compared to her past experiences.
- [note 021]
- Gampo-eup, Gyeongju City, North Gyeongsang Province
- [note 022]
- Hwa-ja Kim still has discolored wounds from the beatings she received from Japanese soldiers. A scar is located between her knee and ankle, approximately 2 cm in length.