In the early fall, just after Japan's surrender, I was a third-year student at a girls' middle school in Kishiwada. It was the most difficult of times.É My mother and I went to Niigata to buy some rice.É that night we stayed in a cheap village lodging house. Everyone slept in one large room under a huge mosquito net. I was beginning to fall asleep, exhausted, when five or six men started drinking. they were all recently discharged soldiers who were how professional black marketeers. Each bragged about his explits in the War.
It was unbearable to listen to them. they laughed coarsely about the many Chinese women they had raped, and one told about seeing how far into a woman's body his arm would go, pushing his arm all the way in up to the armpit.
I shot up off the mat like a windup doll and tried to rush out of the room, tearing at the mosquito netting. In a panic, my mother grabbed me, warning me to stay quiet because who knows what might happen. I kept quiet. And still the men went on and on.
"Where was that?"
"Nanjing, we had the most fun in Nanjing. We could to anything we wanted and steal anything we wanted."
they said that when the soldiers got tired and hard to command during marches, their superior officiers would urge them to persevere a bit more, promising them that they could do anything they wanted in the next town.
I remembered joining in the parade to celebrate the fall of Nanjing, waving a handmade flag. Now I counldn't bear it.É
Those soldiers who did such terrible things in Nanjing and in other places are now probably traveling and enjoying themselves, playing croquest in seniors groups. I beg of you, please write the truth about the War.
From Frank Gibney (ed.) Senso: the Japanese Remember the Pacific War--Letters to the Editor of Asahi Shimbun, tr. Beth Cary (New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1995), pp. 75-76.