Diary of Leon Ma. Guerrero

5th May 1945

About 800 families, who were burnt out in the last raid on Tokyo, have set up housekeeping in their air-raid shelters, reports the Times. A typical group of 45 families, after subsisting on the emergency ration of rice and dry biscuits, has worked out a “relay system of rationing” under which they take turns going to the distribution centers unharmed by fire. They take their baths in an open stone pool in the neighborhood; there is plenty of fuel in the debris. But their biggest problem of course is housing. The shelters are usually shallow ditches, floored with mats. In some districts water seeps through, two feet below the surface. Drainage will be a universal problem when the rains come. In preparation for this, most of the households have put up rude roofs over the ditches, using the rusty iron sheets scattered throughout the raided areas. Over or under the sheets earth is packed closely. One physician is quite happy over his new home. “It has one great advantage,” he says. “When the air-raid signal is blown, you don’t have to get out of bed.”