The comments about prostitution that Doc Hata made to his friends when stationed in Singapore reveal a hypocritical aspect of his personality. Doc Hata told Enchi and Fujimori that he was “not fond of women who are prostitutes.” His careful choice of words implies that Doc Hata’s objection to prostitution related to the way the profession tainted the honor of the women who belonged to it. Although the profession is technically distinct from the woman, the woman who chooses to perform the job nonetheless corrupts herself. Thus, Doc Hata doesn’t dislike prostitution per se, but he does dislike “women who are prostitutes.” Doc Hata’s wording intentionally misled Enchi and Fujimori into believing that he didn’t consort with prostitutes, even though he confesses to the reader that he had visited a woman named Madam Itsuda on multiple occasions. Doc Hata recognized the contradiction between his social reputation and his sexual desire. Therefore, in an attempt to preserve his reputation and avoid charges of hypocrisy, he lied about his sexual desires and history.
The encounters Doc Hata had with two prostitutes on his night out with Enchi and Fujimori foreshadow many of the experiences he will have with women throughout the rest of his life. Most obviously, these encounters foreshadow the story he will tell about K, a Korean comfort woman he met while stationed in Burma. Just as the young Korean prostitute begged Doc Hata to help her get away, K (also Korean) will repeatedly implore Doc Hata to help her commit suicide. And just as Doc Hata stopped the girl and returned her to her client’s custody, so too will he refuse to help K, which will lead to her tragic death. In this regard, the prostitute who jumped to her death also strongly foreshadows Doc Hata’s experience with K. Yet this dead woman also ominously foretells the fates of a number of other women whom Doc Hata will see die during his lifetime, including Mary Burns, Anne Hickey, and even Sunny’s aborted child, which Sunny imagines as a girl.