Life, death, decisions, during the Japanese Occupation

Filipino officials and Japanese General Homma Masaharu at the former residence of the U.S. High Commissioner, January, 1942

In October, 2013, the country will mark the 70th anniversary of the so-called Second Republic established under Japanese auspices.

In anticipation of that event, the project aims to complete the publication of the Iwahig Prison Diary of Antonio de las Alas, a prominent prewar political and business figure, and member of the Laurel government. His diary, written while he was detained by Allied forces awaiting trial for collaboration, gives a thorough account of the dilemmas and choices made by officials who served during the Japanese Occupation, including their motivations and justifications for remaining in the government.

The diary of de las Alas goes backward and forward in time: starting on April 29, 1945 he details the tedium and petty bickering of prison life, he also gives an insight into politics and society during the Liberation Era, while extensively recounting his experiences during the Japanese Occupation.

Salvador H. Laurel, son of occupation president Jose P. Laurel, was tasked by his father to keep a diary of their going into exile at the hands of the Japanese (see entries from March 21, 1945 to August 17, 1945).

His account bears comparison with the conversations recorded by Francis Burton Harrison, prewar adviser to President Quezon, who again served as an adviser during World War II, when the Philippine government went into exile in Washington D.C. His entries covering the government-in-exile begin on May 30, 1942, and come to an end on May 31, 1944.

In the Philippine Diary project, other diarists put forward different facets of life in the Philippines during the Japanese Occupation.

Charles Gordon Mock, an American originally imprisoned together with other Allied civilians in the University of Santo Tomas, details his experiences as a prisoner-of-war transferred to Los Baños on May 14, 1943.

The experiences of soldiers and guerrillas are captured in the diary entries of Ramon Alcaraz –his entries chronicle the transformation of a prisoner-of-war into a soldier serving in the Japanese-sponsored Philippine Constabulary: and how he used his Constabulary postings for guerrilla activities (the progression of this development can be gleaned from a sampling of entries: June 30, 1942; August 3, 1942; August 30, 1942; February 20, 1943).

The diary of Felipe Buencamino III ends with his first few weeks as a prisoner-of-war in the concentration camps established by the Japanese; but he resumes his diary on September 21 1944, at the tail end of the Japanese Occupation (see October 2, 1944 for an example of the growing anticipation of the end of the Occupation): in fact, his diary ends just at the moment of Liberation.

His father, Victor Buencamino, chronicles the frustrations, fears, and tedium of being a mid-level official still serving in the government, not so highly-placed as to be ignorant of public opinion, but also, trapped between public opinion and his own problems as someone in government. His diary serves as a counterpoint to the diaries of soldiers and officers in the field, and to the other diaries describing life during the Occupation.

Two other diaries remain to be uploaded extensively, namely the Sugamo Prison diary of Jorge B. Vargas, onetime Chairman of the Philippine Executive Commission, and Laurel’s wartime ambassador to Japan, and the diary of Fr. Juan Labrador, O.P, a Spanish Dominican who kept a diary during the Japanese Occupation. But perhaps these will have to wait for future anniversaries.

You can browse the entries of the diarists mentioned above by clicking these links to view their entries in reverse chronological order:

Antonio de las Alas

Ramon A. Alcaraz

Felipe Buencamino III

Victor Buencamino

Francis Burton Harrison

Juan Labrador O.P.

Salvador H. Laurel

Charles Mock


July 22nd, 1946

Could not sleep right away after retiring for the night last night——had been laundering a pair of socks which I plan to use tomorrow when we leave as it matches my Palm Beach suit. It has two little holes, however, but will ask Rosie to mend them today in a hurry. The night was rather cool, so much so that towards morning had to cover myself with a woolen blanket. Got up around 5:30 for my usual operation, went back to bed again, but in a few minutes decided to get up after doing my bending-up exercise on the cot the usual 25 times and started right away to sweep and mop the room in readiness for the heavy packing facing me during the day. Finished these chores sufficiently early to finally bring down my bags from on top of the toilet-—They are both very dusty and have just let them lay on the floor for a little while until after breakfast and just before bath which Would be most suitable time to clean them.

Gave Aquino “Time” of July 8th to read yesterday am. Returned Paper to me in the afternoon. Have not started to read yet myself——think will do it on the plane homeward bound to kill time.

Last bath this morning in Sugamo. Started removing contents of trunk (#32) right after and was on this task when was called for barber. Also last haircut in Sugamo——gave barber the usual 2 pkgs and one to the other. Told him was returning to Philippines in the morning-—gave me his card. Did pretty thorough job including cleaning of nose and ears. Barber bowed deeply as I got out and shake hands with him.

Went out to morning exercise in Khaki suit expectinf Capt. Gross to call as he promised last Saturday but was called out by front office people instead. They had my letter of yesterday re my things in the office. They had identified and found most ‘of those listed except the boy scout knife and the little pencil knife that goes with Faustino’s necessaire set. Nail clipper was also missing but they found a nail file which I had forgotten to mention. They also ‘said there were three big bottles that were not in my list—told _them I purposely left them out——whisky, and yumeisu——did not care for them anymore someone could use them if desired. Tincture of Iodine bottle was also gone. Told them never mind, was satisfied to recover those they had found. Forgot to mention razor, but Pete, who was present, said he would send along the one I have been using here all this time. Things seems to be most satisfactory, for even the two Art catalogues that had been autographed they were returning presumably.

While out on morning exercise Pete came to tell us to get ready to leave by six o’clock tomorrow morning! By Jove, that means we may get home for my 27th wedding anniversary, if everything goes according to schedule—We are due in Manila by evening, and if we can be immediately released we may have a wedding anniversary dinner yet in Kawilihan tomorrow night. Hurray! What excitement and feverish preparations they must be having there now!

While writing this (11:40 am) Pete came in to say we should have everything packed by this evening. Our baggage and stuff will all be waiting for us in the office in the morning and we should first separate what we will bring along on the plane, the rest will be taken care of by them for later shipment——they will be moved out of here anyway. He glanced at the clothes on my cot and spotted the three bed sheets, said he had been looking for that stuff all over but could not find any. Offered to give him one—it’s the large size stuff 90 x 108 ——told him to take it as a souvenir from me. Accepted it reluctantly said he would send it back home to his wife. Told him I would have to leave the stuff here anyhow in the trunk, as I will not be able to carry them all on the plane. Also asked him whether I could take with the (sic) me the GI towel as a souvenir, said it would be alright I guess. I (illegible) anyhow when we leave here we will still be technically in the custody of the Army.

After lunch Col. Hardy came in while I was packing my trunk—_After nosing around several times, asked with that dirty look in_his eyes and nasty leer in his face, “What are You taking with you in the way of souvenir or message from the people here?” I said, “Nothing, except an independence message which they all signed and gave us on July 4th.” Trying to remember further, “Oh” I said, “I have a copy with me of Streeter’s sermon on a Sunday when there was no Chaplain, gave me a copy.” Let me see it, he requested. II opened up my portfolio and after sorting some of its contents I remebered it wasn’t there—had put it in my trunk—— but he saw Kindermann’s name at bottom of a typewritten page, He asked about that “Oh, that” I said, “Kindermann wants to write a history of the Philippines and he showed his outline of it to me. That’s a copy.” What papers or documents are, you taking with you? “Nothing but the letters‘ I rec’d here through your office, and I have retained copies of all letters I have sent out officially and some privately.” “=You rec’d quite a bunch of letters the other day.” “Yes,” I said, they were brought by Romulo. Then he inquired how soon I would be thru with my packing, I said “In about an hour.” I shall ‘try to put everything I leave behind here which I want shipped home in that trunk. Whatever is not there may be left here.” “Alright,” he said “I will send someone in an hour” and departed, I felt like telling him in his face I would file charges for misconduct in office against him, but hold my tongue, remembering it might be more effective and more expeditious to do it after I am free from his jurisdiction. Left It at that, but am determined to do it yet. Before I could finish packing they called me out again, this time to see Capt. Gross when I got there Hardy was talking with Gross, not know what about, but I have an idea in connection with our departure tomorrow and the things ‘we are taking along. The Capt. invited me to come in while Hardy was still inside

the room, so the colonel (illegible) went away mumbling something to the Capt. which the latter did not even bother listening to. The Capt. told me as soon as Hardy was gone —— “You hold this under your hat, but whatever you are bringing tomorrow will not be inspected much—but you had better hold it down to not more than 65 to 70 lbs. We are leaving by private plane at six in the morning. I shall Pick you up from here at about 5:45 We will leave from Atsugi around 7 to 7:30, will go direct to Manila and will be at Nielson field about 5:30 or six in the afternoon. “Without refuelling Capt?” I asked. “Without refuelling,” he affirmed Gen. MacArthur has already sent a private message about our departure, and I am sure Pres. Roxas will notify your family and they will be there to greet you when we arrive. There will be no publicity about the trip, not from here although there will be a release by the Army after you have been delivered to Pres. Roxas. That’s why I want to know certain things from you! Then he noted down my full name the positions I held during the Japanese occupation which I ‘gave as Mayor——Jan 5-23, ’42, Chairman, Jan. 23 ’42—Oct. 14, ’43 and Ambassador, Oct. 26, ’43——Aug.7, ’44. He asked when I name to Japan, date of presentation of my credentials to Emperor. When I gave it as Feb. 29th, was 1944 a leap year? He was surprised—— told it being it was and I purposely picked up that date so that there would be no anniversary of it. He smiled. As final question he asked whether I had ever held an elective post told him no, purely administrative and executive! Then We spoke on collaboration cases, He likened matter to case he says he has been working on for sometime now, mostly on his own time. Said he will go back to Manila to prosecute that case himself and will stay there for about 3 mos. This time he is only staying around 10 days with Col. Carpenter who he said was also coming with us tomorrow. I invited them both to dinner at Kawilihan if and when convenient. Said he will be glad to go but will wait until we got to Manila to decide. Said case he referred to was that of those responsible for killing of Jose Abad Santos. When I told him I had seen a report Kawakami had committed suicide, he said yes, I arrested Kawakami myself, turned him over to the Japanese police and told them to have this man come to my office at ten o’clock the next morning. That evening they came to tell me so sorry, Kawakami killed himself. But that would make no difference in the case, I am after bigger game. And Santos’ case has a direct bearing on your own. He was asked by the Japanese to cooperate and when he refused or stalled for time he was executed. They would have done the same with you. If you had not surrendered to their service, you rendered only lip service at any rate, you would not be alive today, iust like Abad Santos. Perhaps if, I had been in your place under the same circumstances I would have done the same things you did. Asked me afterwards to have my trunk ready for shipment if not tomorrow at some subsequent time.

Went back to room to finish packing and then out for afternoon exercise. Then I asked Aquino if he had any space in his bag for my bath robe which I had forgotten to put in the trunk and the darn thing is already too full for anything. When we came back he came over to get the bathrobe and also the wire for tying up his suit case.

While writing this Steinmetz came in to give me 5 pieces of Hikais cigarettes. From now on he said we will get only 5 Jap cigarettes a day. Told him, thank goodness we don’t have to take them—we are already going home!

5:45 pm. Will not write any more from now on—no more time. It’s Home! Home! Home!


July 21st, 1946

Could not sleep well during the night, although had retired late almost eleven o’clock. Probably the events of the previous had made so much havoc on our nervous systems we were all upset, because at breakfast everybody reported having passed a bad night. Compadre Aquino even had an attack of slight tummy-ache -— thinks it’s due to the acid in the fruit juice they gave us at breakfast——Everybody, however, was in apparently good spirits —Jr. had even had time to shave his moustache & beard off he had been growing until released. BaMaw remarked to Laurel “So you are going to meet your wife, eh?” “Keep calm doctor, keep calm, like when you are facing death, keep calm.” BaMaw keep calm for awhile just for a little while. Then his eyes twinkled and with a mischievous smile he cracked at Laurel. “You must love your wife very much, no? You compare meeting her like death.” Osias and I could not help reacting to the pointedness & appropriateness of the remark and though appreciating the joke could not help noticing the discomfiture of Laurel and his being thus caught flat-footed without being able to make a gracious retort. He just sort of stared foolishly at BaMaw, who was hugely enjoying his triumph in wits.

Was getting’ ready to bring down my bags on top of toilet ceiling for dusting when the Sgt. inserted ten pkgs. into my hole window. They were “Time” mag of July 8th with Roxas picture on the cover — did not have time to give it the once over before exercise call came; the other another bundle of newspapers from Amelia containing Manila Chronicle of July 4th & its 56 pp. Independence Inauguration Supplement. Started to read Manila papers first & gave Aquino “Time” to gain time. With Amelia’s pkg. came a letter from her dated July 8th — This is pretty quick for ordinary air mail. Will begin packing in earnest sometime after lunch today.

Forgot it was movie-day today—were out for exercise at 1:30 then to the show which lasted until 4:30. Could therefore not pack, but finished letter to C.O. of Sugamo Hq. requesting return of my things they had taken away from my room and giving him any forwarding address: Kawilihan.

After dinner begun distributing some of my things. Chain was started to Tony asking whether I had any extra sports shirts—so gave him two of my best looking of four I have left——one had just come from laundry the other was used for ten days already—Wanted to give him another regular white shirt, but he suggested I better give it to Shimizu and I did. Later gave Shimizu two more undershirts——spalding——those mended by Rose and had large patches on. Afterwards not knowing just what to give, decided on my khaki shorts for Tom. Both Tom and Shimizu have been of great help to us, relieving us of a lot of odds and ends, Shimizu even massaging me in the room, and Tom providing us—Aquino and I—with fruit juice all the time—Together with Jr. they have relieved the Filipino group of all KP duty—Tom was very happy indeed with the shorts—well he might——it’s probably one of the best in Japan now, positively the best in Sugamo being West Point Khaki and properly tailored by a military tailor—- (Chinese) in Manila. He put it on immediately and was jumping up and down the hall. I promised Pekrun a pack of playing cards but when I went to get it from Laurel he had already stored it away, so asked me to wait till next day. To Loy I gave my complete file of “Time” magazine and other mags. He seemed very happy. It requires so little to make people so happy at the opportune time. Then started to play what we called our despedida game of poker. While playing Schulze came to offer to make a sketch of my room. So I kept stopping off and on from poker with Steinmetz holding my hand and making more money at it than I do as he is a much more experienced player—in order to keep Schulze company and resolve some of his inquiries as to positions, pencils, erasers etc. Gave him two Faber pencils brought from Manila in addition gave him a small block of Zipp rubber eraser which I had had for some time and which I thought I was not so very good as an eraser anyway, but Schulze was extremely pleased with it, said it was first real rubber eraser he had seen for months or years and American at that. Now he can really draw with pencil only does not paint except watercolor sometimes, is an engineer draftsman—and showed me some of the nudes he had sketched while in Sugamo— promised to make me one if he can finish both, i.e. the sketch of my room and the nude by tomorrow night. He took the. dimension of my room and said will work on final sketch next day.

Finished poker by 8:45. In final accounting Osias was loser by Y13 which we cancelled, Jr. Y50 after making all kinds of credits. Aquino and I were the winners——Aquino took Jr. one-hundred yen and gave him 50 in exchange. After the game Duerckheim came over and had short chat with me before resting.

Gave Spahn a catalogue for autographing with addresses—the Germans preferred to autograph with their Germany addresses on a separate paper, afraid of the picture of Tojo and myself which appears reproduced in the catalogue. Gave them in return through Pekrun the names and Philippine address of all of us Filipinos.


July 20th, 1946

Woke up around 4 in the morning, but after moving was able to pick up some more sleep until the guard knocked shortly after six. Still sultry but not so warm, yet uncomfortably sticky specially after sweeping & mopping when begins to ooze out with perspiration all over —— Matches are getting scarce had to take an old one I had saved from Yokohama to breakfast, but had to give it to Laurel who has no matches of any kind lefft & is constantly smoking. I can do without it.

Shaving schedule was broken this morning. Kept me uneasy & undecided whether to go to toilette or not for fear of being called out in middle of operations. Thought the new lieutenant has started another reform in the bathing & shaving roster, but found out upon being finally called that a new guard had simply started with the cell nearest the bathroom without regard to the printed roster — explained it was his first time on morning duty, no change in the schedule. Not so bad not to have first chance at shaving in the morning, but with bath it is a distinct advantage to be on top of schedule as the water is then fresh and clean and unused yet.

Shortly after coming back from shave & while preparing to fix my trunk as I had planned for this morning, Pete came in with a big bunch of letters — was instantly glad When I saw him with the bundle & was more agreeably surprised when he said practically all of these letters are for you! I guess! True enough he kept sorting them down from his bundle to my table—letter after letter, 10 envelopes in all! This is the first time I got so much at one time, & they all came from Manila & was more astounded when in opening the first one which I picked up as coming from Inday it was dated July 10th! Only ten days ago today, the fastest mail to arrive. I do not know how I got the feeling upon reading Inday’s that someone had brought it to Tokyo that it must have been Romulo, because I found among the file a letter from Romulo himself, dated Thursday (July 18th) from “‘The Imperial Hotel'” Tokyo  in which the most significant statement is the closing remark “Looking forward to seeing you in Manila soon, I am as ever, Yours sincerely, Rommy.” Said also he had wanted to see me & the other friends here but he was advised “it were better he did not,” & therefore wrote the note. As a matter of fact in Baby’s letter he says Gen. Romulo had visited the family in Kawilihan and had promised to see me here in Tokyo. Learned for first time also from Baby’s letter Romulo had not visited Kawilihan at all from after liberation until then —afraid? or unfriendly? Maybe both. However his present interest in us is compensation enough —after all perhaps he has realized never having stopped being a Filipino, & patriotic one with a few friends even among the guerrillas. In addition to letters Inday sent a prayer-book with a dedication —Guess will have to learn to pray alright when finally liberated from the “liberator” which judging from Romulo’s note will be “soon” & from Linda’s letter to compadre should be between the 15th and 30th of this month. While walking together after reading Billy’s & Linda’s playfulness in her letter remarked “Eso es tu . . ? then suddenly held himself back as if realizing he was giving himself away and continued, “Esa es Linda.” Before reading the letters I had remarked Bobbie had surprisingly written the most newsy letter & Eddie had written a philosophical one —after reading both & was beginning to read Eddie’s “Pueseso no es filosofia, hombre, es “practical” said Aquino defending Eddie, whose letter also impressed to see Isa can write such a nice letter, & Baby’s is the most mature together with those of Eddie & Dading, although Osias still like Bobbie best. Wonder what have happened to previous letters of Baby & Nene —they both say they have written an 18 page one May 10th giving detailed data on our financial affairs—taxes, books of accounts, property recovery etc.— and Nene said he had written twice before—  none of these have as yet arrived, over two months later. As if by some mysterious law of compensation everybody has written this time —Inday, Baby, Isa, Dading, Bobbie, Eddie, Nene, Teresita, MaryLou, and Joe Varela, Nenita & (illegible). (Toto& Mameng were in Negros) except Nena who has been the most consistent letter writer heretofore because of illness — hope she is well by now, & that is that they got my May 31st letter to Inday — one discouraging news from Bobbie, that the Cadillac has been sold. I guess Inday must have either needed money to keep things going or knowing her strong inclinations towards modesty and humility she must have felt the Cadillac was too ostentatious or perhaps some high official needed a really good car & must have prevailed on her to part with the flashing Cadillac. Still I wish she had not sold it — but I must be patient & content with what is left to us after the trouble devastation that other people— Filipinos— have suffered and endured. If she is painting and rearranging the house as Bobbie reports she must have had to raise money somehow & presume she has had to sell a few of our things. I should soon know, & must now begin to pack my own things here preparatory to any sudden notice of departure, as anticipated by Romulo.

Spent the noon hour after lunch arranging my paper, pasting together these notes, sorting photographs. Was called out about two for library — just returned the book I had taken out:— no new magazines and still plenty in my room unread. While on this job, Steinmetz came about 2:30 & told me to get ready to see a visitor ten minutes to three — must be ready so that there won’t be any delay as soon as the call comes. Not knowing who the visitor might be —thought Perhaps it was either Leoni or Gavino or perhaps (faintly) possibly someone from SCAP — put on my best summer suit — the Palm Beach outer with necktie, breast handkerchief, tie holder, watch & all, including even a pack Of Lucky Strike cigarettes. Sure enough, shortly after three, was called out while talking to Tony, the other guard. Tony was almost as excited as I was as to identity of visitor — said he hoped for the best that it might be good news — said to please keep your fingers crossed. Was the first to be called— then.the Laurels, Aquino & Osias. On the way could not refrain from asking the guard who was bringing me to the office who was the caller — “The Colonel, I guess” the guard answered — he was all covered with sweat, you could almost wring his shirt as in laundering. I thought for a time the Colonel might be Hardy & wondered why, had he at last received notice to let us out? I had mixed feelings of surprise and wonderment which must have been translated to my face. When I entered the interrogation room where there were two officers, I immediately recognized a former friendly visitor, Capt. Gross who introduced me to the Colonel who was none other than Alva I. Carpenter, the head of SCAP’s legal Dept. both in Tokyo & in Manila & who had been reportedly decorated by Osmeña for his work in connection with prosecution of alleged collaborationists! But the Colonel quieted my astonishment soon enough by calmly announcing at the very outset of our conversation that he had not come in connection with our case. He had been assigned to take us to Manila! and would like to find out what he could do to help out in getting our things fixed for the trip. Told him I had left quite a pile of private stuff at the Embassy. when I was taken in by the CIC who later on got my keys to my vault and sent me through Capt. Gross an inventory of my personal effects. This inventory did not mention quite a few important items such as 150,000 cash in old Japanese yen, some private papers and something‘ which is of no Particular value to anybody but which I would like as a souvenir, the medal or decoration & its accompanying citation which the Jap Emperor gave me. He used to distribute quite a few of these to many ’people during the enemy occupation, I said. Also mentioned three sets of Sterling silver tableware not included in the inventory & a whole lot of beverages, food supplies & medicines (mostly) Jap which I suppose the occupants of the house, I presume may have consumed, specially the Johnny Walker, Suntory, gin & other drinks I had left in the vault. Forgot to mention the paintings, the saucers, the bicycles & other odds & ends, I have a list of them anyhow, so it would not be difficult to trace them if given a chance. Carpenter said it seems these things had already been transferred by CIC to the 8th Army but latter has not warehoused them properly yet, so that by Monday they may not be ready to show them. Told them it would take very little time for me to identify my boxes and other things & begged I be given opportunity to do so. Carpenter seemed doubtful whether this was possible but said these things would later be shipped to Manila at any rate, after the Alien Property Custodian would screen the stuff. Should have requested to be allowed to see Embassy bldg. as it is today so as to determine what of my personal effects are still being used there. Will do so when Capt. Gross comes Monday morning to check up on the the things we have here Prison. Told them I had plenty when I asked how much baggage we would be allowed to take along & Carpenter answered 55 lbs. Then I said I would have to pack my extra belongings in my trunk locked for shipment later. They thought that would be the best way out, and any small things that we might have to leave behind, he could always pick up on his next trip, as he goes back & forth between Tokyo & Manila having offices in both places. Carpenter said it wouldn’t do to lock the trunk because of inspection upon shipping & it was agreed. I would make an inventory of contents.  It was likewise agreed I would make make an inventory of the contents. It was likewise agreed I would ask Monday for all my things from Sugamo office so as to pack them properly in preparation for the trip. Asked when we were expected to leave, the Colonel said Tuesday, Tuesday? I inquired. When do we arrive in Manila? Same evening, was the reply. How extraordinary, I remarked “Do you know, Colonel, that Tuesday, happens to be my 27th wedding anniversary?” “is that so?” said the Colonel. “If we get a private plane we may arrive there in the evening of the same day. If not we might leave here Tuesday evening & get to Manila at dawn Wednesday.” Then we talked about other matters —— he asked where I live in Manila — Told him out towards Wack Wack in Mandaluyong. Said he had been there several times — told him also of my having kept a few things in a trunk for Gen. Sutherland —— Asked me where I was when Japs came — Told him I had been left purposely by Pres. Quezon & Gen. MacAr to take care of government in Manila together with Claude Bush for H.C.’s office & Gen. Dick Marshall for USAFFE, but that later had to hurry out of Manila around Dec. 30 as the Japs were already pressing in from both North & South of the city. Told him how I destroyed most of the money left in the Treasury & sent to Corregidor a lot more including the reserves & deposits in private banks for which the Japs kept me almost a half day for questioning when they arrived, As he seemed anxious to have time left for the other four Filipinos. yet, I hastened to withdraw, thinking I would tell the rest of the good news, but when I got back to Blue Area the guards wouldn’t let me talk to Osias, Aquino or Laurel — so talked to the Germans first who were out on exercise. Everybody gathered around me and apparently pleased with our good fortune. Told Stahmer had a few toilette articles I would like to leave behind if somebody could use them — he was specially pleased about the Aqua Velva shaving lotion. I told him I could give him & some Mennen’s talcum powder which might help the prickly heat all over his body. Everybody congratulated me at exercise & the rest of us afterwards, after dinner.

All of us were excited during the rest of the evening. Jr. was worried because he had been interrogated earlier in the afternoon about certain guerrilla reports he made to the Japs which Gen. Capinpin had asked him to do, according to Jr., but Which the general said he did not know anything about. This put Jr. on the spot with the guerrilleros and he was so worried about it during our poker game he would not properly put his mind in his hands & was heaviest loser — Osias lost again — 13 this time. Aquino & I the winners. I drew exceptionally good hands at tonight’s game, drawing fathands of high full-house, at least three times, flush once or twice straight several times during the short period of a little over two hours. After the game, I pasted together all the letters I got today through Romulo & packed the pictures so as to facilitate arrangement of trunk in the following morning. Will pack as much as possible at a time so as not to be rushed at the last minute.


July 19th, 1946

Tolerably good night no mosquitoes, not so warm.

At bath was told by BaMaw that his case is due to come up again. The Sgt. had shown him a revised KP schedule in which his name was included with those of the Germans. Schweitzer on other hand has started his “fireworks” — did not come down for breakfast this morning & when we come back from messhall found all the Space in front of his cell was full of spittles the damn fool had been spitting in the hallway through his llittle door hole —— he completes nine months of imprisonment today & promised to go on strike against everything —— food, work, bath, exercise (?). Later Spahn told me still at bath that whole schedule worked out by us had been changed completely —— They eliminated all officials from the list —— Stahmer, Kolschbach, Hamel & Kahmer among the Germans Den & others from Chime, no change in the Filipino list, the schedule of days having been revised too, added BaMaw & Shimizu. It looks like we are headed for some trouble. Anyway the Filipino group is out of it.

Asked for soap & matches  at bath —— answered there was none. Soap they might get later on in the day, but matches not even the PX has these days. In a pinch will have to use soap & matches sent me from outside.

Before morning exercise finished letter to Pedro Lopez asking him to come & visit us so that we may find out from him what happened to his plan of utilizing us as witnesses at International Military Tribunal trials —— Also what he can do to help expedite our repatriation home. Shortly after lunch, Steinmetz, the guard came in & showed me a note he was carrying arround to the different cells reading as follows (he was patient enough to wait while I copied it).

“July 17 —— Blue —— Inform persons without blood relatives, and who requested visit from others principally on business, that the visits have been approved and passes can be obtained at CI Section, GHQ, Dai Ishi Bldg. (Sgd.) RMH.”. Immediately added a PS to Lopez letter suggesting where he can get pass & if not possible for him to come right away _to please drop note to Leoni & Gavino so that they may be informed of this approval —— as I can’t write to them this week, being Permitted only one letter a week.

Did pretty hard road work during afternoon exercise. Walked a kilo with Aquino, then same sitting up exercise with Osias & Jr., & afterwards run around the yard 18 times, about 1200 m. & walked around 20 times before time in. Was sweating profusely, but felt much lighter, & had rather good appetite at dinner. During the afternoon BaMaw was called to the office. He was very much agitated at dinner, & seemed anxious to say something, but as nobody inquired he kept quiet—didn’t talk during the entire meal.

Started poker shortly after six. To our table came Kopp to say they had brought up some ice water. Filled myself up more than was good, am afraid. Gave Aquino considered as benefit for Jr. as he was in for over one hundred yen already, We made it up to him by letting him win & by Aquino adding his own winning to Jr. making 45 yen altogether. At that Jr. is still indebted 31 to Osias & 39 to me. Lost 20 tonight Osias 27. One guard sat with us practically the whole time but did not play — He still owes us so.


July 18th, 1946

The night has been rather pleasant——there was a slight breeze blowing through the windows, and there being no more mosquitoes, slept rather well, though woke up intermittently during the middle of the night. Was awakened by the guard at little after six. Remembered instantly that today is Toto’s birthday which I had hoped I could spend in Kawilihan, but It does not appear to be in the cards yet for us to be repatriated right away.

Spent the early morning leisurely cleaning, sweeping and mopping—the room is now as spic and span as it’s possible to make it; and after breakfast and shave, cut at the picture of the Filipino flag that was in front page of Evening Herald of July 4th, pasted it on white paper and replaced with it the calendar print that was at the top of all the pictures in front of my desk, so that now the topmost picture on the wall space between the two outside windows is the Filipino flag with the legend “This Flag Now Flies Alone.” I had always regretted not having a small Filipino flag with me, of which I had plenty in the Embassy, and now, the matter is at least partially if not so satisfactorily solved, although in a way the legend is more apropos than a flag without it. Am glad that this occurred to me precisely on Toto’s and Eddie-Boy’s birthday——I shall consider it a fitting celebration in solitary commemoration as I said in one of my letters home.

Yesterday’s “Nippon Times” which I got shortly after finishing the rearrangement of pictures containing a short article on Romulo’s arrival in Tokyo Tuesday—He is supposed to have come for a conference with Gen. MacArthur and is scheduled to return to Manila today, Thursday. Wonder whether Roxas has sent him here, among other things, to take up our status under the new situation in the Philippines, even our repatriation perhaps. He could of course conceivably have come solely for consultation on Japanese occupation matters and policies in his capacity as Filipino representative in the Far Eastern Commission, but I hope he is also the bearer of the Govt’s decision as to our return to the Philippines. Whatever may be the final independent status of the Philippines for any Filipino nationals to be still held by the American (now a foreign) Army in Japan. I am sure Romulo is aware of this situation and whether he is still friendly to me or already hostile should not alter his appreciation of his duties and responsibilities as the Philippine Ambassador and Plenipotentiary both to the United Nations and the Far Eastern Commission. If it were only possible for us to see him it would help to clear matters up for us.

At breakfast we heard we have a new commanding oficer in this area. Lt. Bernard has been relieved by a lieut. Snow. At shaving time I inquired from one of the guards-—He Said Bernard has been given the command of all the MP’s in the AAA group Watching Sugamo Hqrs. and the new CO of the Blue Prison is a Lieut. White or Powers, he did not remember which. It would again take some little time for us to get acquainted with this new man. We hope he will continue Bernard’s benevolent policy towards the guests here.

Today’s “Nippon Times” which I rec’d this morning together with yesterday’s carries an AP Manila dateline reporting that ~ertain Filipinos have laid a claim to the part of North Borneo formerly under the jurisdiction of the Sultan of Sulu. Someone in London a Foreign office spokesman, on being asked about the matter replied they had not heard of it yet and must therefore suspend any comment until they do, but facetiously added as an afterthought. “I say, they only have had their independence since July 4—pretty quick work, isn’t It?” Well, quick work or not, the Filipinos will not stand for any fooling or pilfering from any damned Englishman or anybody else for that matter, I guess.

They finished putting the screens on windows in my room the last one was placed on little window inside the toilet. Didn’t do as good a job as on the big ones——the screen does not fit so well, and the carpenter forgot to put small sticks on the sides which would cover up the little openings on either side of the window. Anyhow this will now enable me to open the glass window of the toilet all the time and permit more air circulation in this muggy atmosphere. They also fixed up the flush further, as it did not close so well before.

_Nothing unusual in the afternoon. Skipped my calisthenics with Osias and Jr.——too hot, and moreover have decided to do it only three or four times a week, not everyday during the hot muggy summer. Poker in the evening after dinner- Jr. lost 50, Osias won 42, a guard lost 27, Aquino and I Won the difference.


July 17th, 1946

Night was warm & suffocating. Suffered a lot on a/c of heat during the whole night—fortunately the mosquitoes had disappeared—but must have over exercised yesterday afternoon, as I feel not only too tired, sort of worn out, but had actually sore eyes & a heavy head. The heat was still in my entire body & was perspiring all the time, so much that for first time woke up this morning with my pyjamas wet on the shoulder and armpits. Did sleep so well during the night until early this morning, and was fast asleep when Tony the guard woke me up a little after six. Proceeded slowly to do my morning routine, because the perspiration was oozing out of me “que es un gusto.”

While at bath the faucet water stopped. Aquino specially suffered the consequences because he always bathes himself with cold water and the only water available at the tub was too warm for him. There was no water in his cell either when he came back and so kept on perspiring more profusely after the bath than before. Did not mind the warm water myself-— even immersed myself in the tub and when I returned to my room found that my faucet was still working, so had a towel bath with cold water in addition before starting to powder myself in preparation for dressing.

Was taking it slowly and was only in my drawers when the lieutenant dropped in. Said he had seen the KP schedule we worked out for him—Said it was good, wanted to know everybody was satisfied with the arrangement. Told him as far as Filipino group was concerned we believed the Germans also and of course the Chinese. Asked specially about the Schweitzer’s notation. Explained to him the problem we had in placing Schweitzer in the schedule and because of his refusal to do KP duty our group had to shoulder one more duty unit that was strictly fair—so we felt we had to let the prison authorities know about it. The lieut. asked what I would do with Sch. if I were in his place——answered him I suppose I could find several ways of making him obey reasonable orders like withdrawing some of his personal privileges locking him up In his cell during movie and social hours and the like. Said well, we will try to find out what’s best to do in his case.

Tony came in afterwards and said he heard I had had some unfortunate incident. When asked what, asked in turn haven’t they taken away one of your chairs? Then he noticed I still had two—told me some German had suggested to one of the guards looking for a chair for messhall to take one of mine instead of those they had stored for themselves in one of the unused rooms. The guard took one of their chairs anyhow and told to mind their own business-—Leaves them right for being always so envious and jealous of other people.

Swelteringly hot. Told Aquino at am. exercise about my asking the lieut. for permission for him to sleep these hot nights in my room——-we to bring his cot here after dinner and take it out again next morning, or if this not possible, to leave his door open all night as he has been suffering from heat trouble. The lieut. said it might be possible for him to transfer Aquino to my room permanently, but did not think a night arrangement was possible—neither would opening of door be practicable as most everybody else would want to have something done for him. Aquino and specially Laurel thought transfering Aquino to my room would be inconvenient for both of us ——so I just kept quiet. Will let Aquino decide what he wants to do——We again wondered what was causing delay in disposition of our cases, and we felt perhaps Roxas is moving cautiously. We mentioned possibility of having Roxas and MacArthur testify at our trial if there should be one—Laurel specially wants Roxas—his testimony would be vital on war declaration count. Says he distinctly remembers Roxas telling him when Laurel said he was prepared to refuse to declare war having done so already in Tokyo even if the Japanese killed him—”You have no right to be a martyr at the expense of our lives.” Roxas’ advise was the one that weighed most in Laurel’s final decision.

Movies today was one animal funny—assassination and “Murder in the Music Hall” a Republic picture. There is a lot of beautiful ice-skating while a murder plot is running mysteriously through the picture. They had brought down one of my chairs again, so I took one up to my room too after the show –was unable to identify my own chair which was marked. Perhaps somebody else had picked it up. It makes no difference –they are all alike.

Laundry this week came back late –Monday morning, not knowing how much longer we are staying here. Sent out today in addition to ordinary laundry –my white shorts flannel pants and blue silk pajamas.

At afternoon exercise Aquino referred to Roxas’ Party platform, as carried by Phil News Digest of May to the effect that the Liberal Wing will “mercilessly” prosecute all collaborators. This plank in the Roxas platform may cause Roxas to go very slow on amnesty matter, and may lead him not to act until he is certain all important objectors to a liberal policy towards collaborationists both from American quarters and his own party have been overcome. We decided, however, to try to contact either Pedro Lopez or Justice Jaranilla here in Tokyo and ask them to find out what’s what and through them perhaps send a message to Roxas we want to be sent home as soon as possible irrespective of any plans he might have as to favorable solution of our cases. Even Laurel was ready for this step and I was assigned to write to Lopez this week inviting him to come and visit us. Will do so for this coming Friday’s mail.

Today they gave us a notice in English and Japanese that beginning Aug. 1st, “package for persons interned at Sugamo Prison will not be accepted unless accompanied by a request for said articles from the individual interned here.” Hope this does not cover pkgs. containing newspapers which Leoni and perhaps other friends may send us from time to time, or those coming by mail from the Philippines. At any rate hope we will not be here by then.

Chinese group with BaMaw, Shimizu and Tom had some kind of oriental dancing and singing exhibition. BaMaw sang the Burmese royal song, Tom danced several Geisha classical dances, Shimizu did an imitation conversation between a Geisha and a guest, Jap, and one Chinaman sang several supposedly popular Chinese songs which all seemed very weird to me. Stahmer and I a few other Germans were the principal spectators.

At poker later, Osias was the heaviest loser-—Y10 and Jr. Y12 more. Aquino and I were the winners.

i


June 24th, 1946

Fiesta of San Juan today—a lot of people must be getting doused up today crossing San Juan bridge, and perhaps even Mandaluyong.

At breakfast Osias reported he had talked guards into not changing the rules about bathing and shaving. We had never asked for present schedule he said, but does not see any reason for changing it either.

Laurel after dinner yesterday tried to give me two cartons of cigarettes, saying he had plenty—told him I did not need any more myself, but took one carton of Philip Morris so he took the other carton to Osias, Camels. I prefer Morris, because of it’s milder and sweeter taste.

Just finished another haircut—barber came early they did pretty good piece of work—gave two and one as usual.

Hardly any news from or about the Philippines these days. “Nippon Times” today carries two items but both of Americans going to Phil. Congressional Representatives at Independence Inauguration and McNutt’s Senate confirmation as first American Ambassador to the Philippines, He takes the Opposite number to Murata in the days of the invasion. Well, Manila is already used to having ambassador, so that wouldn’t be very much of a novelty any more. McNutt would probably be.making suggestions to Roxas too, not the least important being U.S. attitude towards allegedly former collaborators. Another interesting piece of Filipino, not Philippines news,
is in Sport column of Burley Harris about Costello winning a boxing bout and Joe Eagle giving an exhibition tilt with another old timer. Both at Kurakwen, Joe must be making plenty of dough these days with his Dai Ichi Taiku Club fights. Wish I could find out really how the Filipino boys in Japan are getting along. Have not heard again for some time from Gavino—perhaps my last letter to him has not yet been delivered and that was in early May yet.

It is getting awfully hot. Temperature last Friday was reported as highest June temperature in Tokyo during last 72 years—34.1 degree cent—93.7 Fahrenheit. ‘It gets hotter than this in Manila but not so sticky as here. Even now as I write my elbows get stick in to the top of table-—One perspires and the humidity turns perspiration with some sort of glue.

Was asked again this morning whether I want cigarettes. Answered yes I gave Steinmetz Y20—-promised to let me have Y2 change later Y9 a carton—-cigarettes came just after afternoon exercise-—2 cartons of chesterfields. Must look for somebody who had Philip to spare for exchange—Guard also called little while afterwards to give the two yen change. He hollered through the door hole “Mr. Vargas” while I was writing this.

_During afternoon exercise compadre Aquino said if he were in Phil. he would outliberal the liberal Party of Roxas by jumping over the fence to the radical side way over to the left to organize some kind of socialist democratic Party. We will see what happens when we actually get home——He may outstrip the communists yet at that. He is always so impulsive.

Grass detail again at 6 pm. It was pleasant with a cool breeze lowing from the southeast—We have cleaned practically the whole place surrounding the Blue Area now. Hereafter gras pulling will be much simpler, less exacting, not that anybody works to fatigue—Osias did not come out and when Steinmetz wondered why told him Osias must have something terrible In his head which he must want to put down on paper in a hurry. True enough when we came back I peeped through his small mesh door and he was stripped down to the waist furiously writing. Went to bed after reading till about ten pm. Didn’t seem to be any more mosquitoes around.


June 23rd, 1946

Got up earlier than usual today being Sunday so I could get out from trunk my Sunday clothes before beginning to sweep and mop the floor—Also to dust and wipe shoes ahead. At church this morning Father Scott said where he comes from they do not preach any sermon when it begins to get very hot in summer, as nobody wants to preach in the sweltering temperature, so beginning this Sunday he would bring pamphlet for each that we can read at our leisure instead of his preaching so that we may not have to stay too long in “this hot room.” He didn’t realize our smaller rooms specially the single cells are much warmer. First pamphlet distributed today is entitled “Christ and His Church. These Two are One” by Daniel A. Lord, S.J., Institute of Social Order 3742 West Pine Blvd., St. Louis 8, Mo. After catholic mass we remained for usual protestant service so called Osias instead of giving the prayer asked the congregation to read the Prayer of Repentance in the Army Service Manual. The scripture responsive reading was on Fear of the Lord, and the gospel selected was again on repentance—All these apparently slyly for the benefit of the un-repentant Nazis in the crowd. I think anyway that Osias had something like that in mind. BaMaw was the Speaker. His subject—“The Western is standing on its head.” He described the western christian man as egocentric creating his own God in his own image his ultimate being his personal God, his personal self. Man himself and his personal happiness man’s pleasure or happiness. Buddha he said 2500 years ago, just reversed that and instead preached the ultimate as Being cosmic process or cosmic power the law being or becoming of thing or of being and suffering being the sublimation of living, the pursuit of death through suffering that others may live. Said he cannot reconcile the Christian concept of a God who being all powerful and can correct lots of injustice and suffering go unrelieved or un punished. Said Freud and others cracked the idea of a soul—it is the fact of suffering as part of being that is the essence of Buddhism. Told him after the service that his speech which was well delivered in correct and elegant Oxford English was good, but nobody has yet cracked my soul, so everything is still alright.

Before start of catholic mass Father Scott asked me what news we had. Told him none. He then said he had read in yesterday’s paper—-presumably Stars and Stripes—That Ickes, the former secretary of the Interior had lambasted Roxas, saying Roxas in the uniform of brigadier-general had signed documents that were treasonable against the U.S.—Said also Roxas should now vigorously prosecute all collaborationists that had been indicted. Somewhat contradictory as inconsistent— if Roxas were a collaborationist how could he prosecute the other collaborationists? It is fortunate for Roxas, for the Philippines and for us that Ickes is out of Govt. of US. and has no longer any official connection with Philippine affairs.

After mass gave Father Scott an envelope containing Y30 together with Kyo Bun Kwan ask with request he please send in it to continue my subscription to “Time” magazine after ten more weeks after its expiration sometime this coming July. If I am not here any more, what’s thirty yen for the price?

At lunch I kidded both Osias and BaMaw that between the two of them they had today conspired to make it uncomfortable for the Germans—Osias with his prayers and hymns on Repentance and BaMaw on his cracking of the soul by citing mostly German authors and philosophers to prove it. They both hugely enjoyed the exposure and said they thought they had both done it very skillfully without anybody noticing it. Osias said it was like being caught by your wife! Guilty conscience? Have decided to give BaMaw a cigar for his part in today’s fun. Such a life.

Ikeshimo’s statement before the International War Crlmes Tribunal that everything that was broadcast from Radio Tokio during the war as propaganda ordered by the Jap. military should be of value to me in defense of speeches and broadcast as ambassador in case of my own trial I must keep the clipping on it from Nippon Times of June 21st, ’46 just in case. My counsel might find it useful in support of explanation of circumstances under which we were made to speak and broadcast While in Tokyo during the Jap. occupation of the Philippines.

Movies today. Started with newsreel showing ceremonies of putting on the hat on Cardinals Kemp and Spielman, 2 American cardinals by Pope in Rome recently—Main picture, however, was repetition of Vacation from Marriage which we had already seen some time before. However as situs is England and accent is very English decided to stay for it too to try to understand what they are saying. Aquino and Oslas preferred to remain in their respective rooms, and Osias took advantage of chance to talk to Sgt. and guards about Nazis, their clannishness, then trying to hog all magazines and books to themselves first and unfairness of changing rules about bathing and shaving. It seems he succeeded as guards promised there would be no change.

Read “Time” of June 10th before going to bed at 7 pm.