3rd May 1945

“Is it true that Hitler has been killed?” asked our maid this morning. I told her that it was only a rumor but that it was definite Mussolini had been shot. She did not seem to care about Mussolini but she mourned for the Fuehrer.

“What do you care?” I asked her. “He was not a Japanese and besides, you do not know the many bad things he did.”

But nothing could shake her admiration for the bold ruthless man whose picture she had so often seen in the newspapers. “He was a great man,” she insisted. “He loved his country and he died fighting for it.” She groped in her mind for the words that would make me understand. Then she said decisively: “He should have been a Japanese.”


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 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


28th August 1945

Overhead the planes were roaring past, flight after flight, so low that the identification letters and numbers on the stately bombers could be read with the naked eye, so low that the swift black fighters almost grazed the trees in the park. Outside the city, on Atsugi airfield, the air trains were dumping their first Americans on Japan. But here in the heart of Tokyo, in the sunlit dining-room of the Imperial Hotel, one could only hear the planes. The guests chatted softly of little things. The steward in his black coat checked his ration tickets. Waitresses in wartime slack-suits walked by swiftly, balancing the graceful jugs of Japanese rice-wine on their pink hands.

I was having lunch with the editor of the Times and we were at the fish course when the door at the end of the room was opened and four Americans in green cover-alls, streaked black with sweat and the dust of the road, entered slowly. It was suddenly quiet. A fork clattered on a plate. These were the first Americans in Tokyo. What would they do?

One of them turned and stared at me. Hesitantly at first, and then with rapid decision, he advanced toward our table, hand outstretched. I uncertainly. Then: “Dave!” By some freak coincidence it was an old friend from Manila, David T. Bugoslav, formerly editor of the Tribune, now correspondent for the Chicago Sun.

As everyone stared he explained rapidly that he and three other American correspondents had slipped through the cordon around Atsugi; they wanted to be the first into Tokyo. Could they have lunch?

The steward, his hands trembling a little, bowed gravely. Did the gentlemen have ration tickets? No? He shook his head reprovingly and took them to a table. He would have to ask the manager.

Abruptly Dave laughed. “Tell them,” he said, “Who won the war.” The steward bowed again. “The gentlemen will be served.”


15th May 1945

About 400 B-29’s raided Nagoya yesterday, “for the first time dropping incendiaries on a large scale in the daytime”, while 300 carrier-borne planes were raking Kyushu, following up a larger raid the day before by 900 planes. In Okinawa, reports the Asahi, “a confused battle is raging, with indications that the fighting line has been shifted nearer to Shuri and Naha. Evidently the enemy has come out to launch a general offensive both on land and sea.” In view of this, orders the Asahi, “is the enemy inordinately intending to win the war at one stroke?”

And the paper complains: “We have the favor of heaven, the harmony of men, and the advantage of locale. What we lack, it is regrettable to say, is materials.” Heaven favors the longest assembly-line.

Premier Suzuki knows it. At a conference of prefectural governors yesterday he reminded his hearers that the empire was now fighting along, “that it could not fight without an increase in production, and that there could be no increase “without the people’s trust”.

It is probably the chief disadvantage of a bureaucratic government that it must be taught this basic technique of the politician. Certainly it is startling for one who has lived under other forms of government to hear such elementary instructions as the premier felt compelled to give the governors:

“It is necessary that you should live and work in concert with the people…. With modesty and with the attitude of reflecting on your conduct daily, you are called to recognize straightforwardly the prevailing situation, give consideration to the spirit of the people at work, listen to their enthusiastic will, and respond thereto. The result will be that you will be kinder in your leadership….

“Show a good example to the people and take proper and timely measures as necessity arises, without being influenced by the ups and downs of the war situation. In the course of the performance of your duties you will find obstacles in time-honored customs and complicated regulations, but it is hoped that you will judge the situation on the basis of your responsibility…. and act with dispatch and courage.”

The Premier did not forget to give the governors a certain reassurance. As I often say,” he reminded them, “world war history shows that it is not always the big country that wins and the small country that is defeated. The country that fight it out under a moral order gets the ultimate victory.”

Which is no truer than it is to say that right makes might.


14th May 1945

The Japanese mother-in-law of a Filipino in Tokyo is trying to let her house and sell her furniture — too late. The peak of the prices has passed; everyone is trying to get out of Tokyo now and to get rid of household possessions. Only kitchen utensils and bedclothes continue to rise in value, when they can be found at all. But she keeps waiting, delaying, postponing the date of her family’s evacuation from the capital. She believes firmly that if only she waits, delays, and postpones long enough someone will pay her a fabulous price for her old piano.

She should be told that food, particularly sugar, is the only commodity that bring fortunes in the black market these days. Vargas told me today that he had been approached recently by one of our interpreters with a strange proposition. There were some 100 sacks of black-market sugar to be had somewhere and a group of rich Japanese were eager to buy the lot. But due to government restrictions they could not withdraw the required amount from their banks. The proposition was that Vargas should advance the sum (more than half a million) to be repaid within a few days, presumably after sugar had been disposed of in small lots. What he was supposed to get out of it, Vargas did not bother to find out.

At any rate, he remarked, the Japanese tycoons were going to almost any lengths to get their frozen assets out of the banks. Some, he had heard, applied for permission to withdraw heavy sums on the excuse that the money would be spent on constructing or expanding plants needed for the war effort. Once permission was granted however, the money was hoarded. “There’s a lot of fooling around,” Vargas concluded. “But they are only fooling themselves.”


13th May 1945

Signs of the times: the fourth and fifth sections of the bureau of political affairs of the foreign office are moving out of Tokyo to the provinces. They deal with European and American affairs.

My informant, a Japanese diplomat, said also there was no question of surrender for Japan. “It would be foolish to give up now,” he said. “We have little left to bargain with.” Was he hoping for a clash between the Anglo-Americans and the Soviets? No, he was not so stupid as that. What was the way out then? He shrugged his shoulders. His face was haggard. They would just have to keep on fighting till there was nothing left in Japan. He was too honest to speak about Japan’s allies in Asia; Japan, he knew, was not fighting at the head of Asia; she was facing Asia, as well as the rest of the world.

Listening to him I remembered the cadets at the Japanese military academy from various countries in Greater East Asia. These boys might be taken for Japanese; they were popular Japanese uniforms and receive the salutes of all Japanese soldiers lower in rank. They get the same rations; lodging; supplies, and equipment as Japanese cadets. As a matter of fact the academy authorities have bent over backwards in some cases to keep them happy. In response to a half-joking complaint of the Indian cadets, who asked that everyone stand at attention when the name of Subhas Chandra Bose was mentioned just as they were required to do when the emperor was named, instructors and students now stiffened up at the names of all the Daitoa heads of state. For the rest of it, they were not too unhappy; they were young enough to like the discipline and special privileges of the army. They were being rushed through military training; they had run through a year’s course in a few months; the academy, they had been told, was above all “the school where men where taught how to die.” Thus tank-busting reduced itself, they were taught, to hurling one’s self upon the armored vehicle, explosive in hand. It was surer that way, and cheaper.

But already they were too old to believe in Japan and Daitoa. They had seen to many things in their native countries. They exhibited the curious recurrent phenomenon of all Japanese attempts at indoctrinating the youth of Asia: at the academy all the other Asians would gang up against the Japanese. This, I thought, was all that remained of Japan’s intoxicating dream of leading the “one billion Asian” to the conquest of the world. How many were they in all? Not more than a hundred boys, running irreverently on the edge of contempt, suspicion, and insubordination, while he who would have been master bowed ingratiatingly at the names of his creatures. All those phantom armies of fanatics, irresistible, innumerable, had dwindled down to this poor raw handful of cynical youngsters who must be coddled lest they sulk in their barracks. Now in this desperate pass Japan was reaping the harvest of arrogance, distrust, tyranny and wanton cruelty. It was no longer mere foreboding. Samson had pulled the temple down over his head and the deadly avalanche had broken all over Asia.

Returning to Miyanoshita in the evening I saw the Burmese military attache for the first time in many weeks. He was feverish with excitement. The secret plans he had confined in me so often had matured. The Burmese national army had gone over to the British. He was in an anguish of impatience and regret. He had been one of the founders of that army. He had trained with it in secret hideouts off the coast of China even before the war. He had marched with it into Burma at the heels of the British. He had shared its disillusionment, its rage, its plane for revenge on the Japanese. Now, at the crucial moment, he was sitting in an hotel room at the foot of Fuji. He was my best friend in Japan. He had shared many secrets and I had always thought I knew all there was to know about him. But now, as he laughed his curious laugh and strode and stamped about the room, he seemed to me for the first time to be a symbol for all of Asia. He had suffered much at the hands of the white man, whom he had hated. Thrown into prison at 19, his career in medicine ruined at the very start, his private life thenceforth harried and hurt by police, he had spent 10 years agitating for the independence of his people. He had believed in Japan as the liberator of Asia and he had been betrayed. Liberation had become a mockery. The liberator, a clumsy and hateful tyrant. And now, if he still hated Britain, he hated Japan even more. Asia had found a new master and a new enemy.


12th May 1945

The spy scare continues to mount. Japan is alone against the world and all foreigners are suspect. Chatting with other Filipinos in the lobby of the Dai-Ichi hotel I was approached by a well-dressed Japanese. He came up with a smile and for a moment I thought I had met him somewhere. But he himself said afterward that he had made mistake; he apologized and then calmly joined our group and asked questions. Who were we? What nationality? What were we waiting for? Where did we live?

Later in the day Anita arrived from Miyanoshita. She had come down together with an Italian acquaintance. He was blonde, red-faced, obviously a foreigner and she looked like a Japanese to the policeman at the streetcar stop near the embassy. It was some time before he was convinced that he had not bagged a brace of spies.

Afterward, explaining and aplogizing for the incident, one or our Japanese interpreter told me two stories of real espionage. An admiral in full uniform had been stopped by the military police while driving in a secret factory district. The admiral was furious but the suspicions of the kempei had been aroused by the fact that his car was not a navy car. They proved to be justified. The man turned out to be an impostor and a spy. In another factory district a man in the uniform of an army lieutenant had asked to board at a farmhouse, explaining that he was assigned for duty in one of the plants nearby. He won the confidence of the old couple on the farm with the story that he was an orphan. Eventually he was even adopted and married to the daughter of the family. He asked many casual questions and they were answered. One day the factory was wiped out by a raid. The daughter, who was working there, was killed. The man never came back.

From another source I heard why the American raids are so accurate. The military police had long puzzled over the fact that the B-29’s were consistently hitting the right targets in a certain factory. They were not fooled, it seemed, by the most ingenious camouflage and the most convincing dummies. They were at a loss until one of the townspeople remarked to a friend that it was funny that his neighbor, the wife of the factory’s technical director, should always be at her sewing-machine, pedaling furiously whenever there was an air-raid. The police were intrigued. One day, at the height of a raid, they surrounded the house. Inside they caught the director transmitting information through a secret radio set while his wife worked at the sewing machine to muffle the noise. The man and his entire family were shot. He was a skilled technician who had come back to Japan on an exchange boat.

Whether these stories are true or not, they form the staple of conversation in diplomatic circles, together with the rations and black-market connections. The wife of one Italian diplomat said she has a stiff leg recently and called masseur. A man showed up and started off by asking questions. Where had she sprained her leg? Why? With whom? Finally he thanked her and left, promising to send a real masseur. At least, she consoles herself now, the police agent did not actually start massaging her leg.

A Portuguese was recently called in by the military police. What had she been talking about on a certain day when she had walked to Roppongi in a black dress and a green hat? She could not remember. It was two years ago.

The Fujiya hotel has a swimming pool and a group of Axis diplomats were sunning themselves around in one morning. In a short while a Japanese strolled up. Calmly he took off his shoes and coat and made himself comfortable in a lounge chair. He was obviously listening to the conversation and the diplomats turned to the innocuous topic of Chinese food. Most of them had been in China and now they reminisced hungrily of Peking duck, sweet and sour sauce, pickled eggs, and thick asparagus soup with chicken. The police agent was obviously puzzled. What was there to report in this series of culinary memoirs? Finally he could stand it no longer. He raised himself, turned, and asked: “Excuse, please. You talk about Chinese cooking, no?

“Yes,” answered one Italian cautiously. “Anything wrong?”

“No, nothing wrong. You like Chinese cooking?”

“Well, yes, we like Chinese cooking and,” he added discreetly, “also Japanese cooking.”

“What kind Chinese cooking?” the policeman suddenly demanded with the air of a hunter who has cornered his prey.

“What kind? You mean, north or south Chinese?”

“No, no. Please answer. What kind Chinese cooking you like? Nanking or Chunking?”

But the Japanese are the worst victims of their own spy-scare. A Japanese in Miyanoshita, who is married to a German lady he met during his studies in Berlin, does not dare walk in the streets of the village with his wife anymore. The same German woman, met the son and daughter of a Japanese marquis on the train from Tokyo the other day. They were old friends and they chatted amiably. As soon as they got off, however, the two Japanese were taken in to kempei headquarters. Why, they were asked, had they been talking to the foreign woman? What had they talked about?

But the boy was too quick-witted for them. “Is there anything to prohibit us from talking to a Japanese subject?” he asked.

“No,” the police agreed. “But this woman….”

This woman is married to a Japanese and therefore she herself is a Japanese subject.”

They were released. But they, like very other Japanese in the vicinity, have now let it be known to their foreign friends that they will have to be excused if they no longer exchange words or even salutes.

The life of a Burmese diplomat, for one, understands perfectly. To amuse herself one day she painted the fingernails of her favorite maid a vivid red. In the afternoon she decided to take a short trip and sent the maid to the railway to buy a ticket.

In a few minutes she was back, weeping copiously and pleading for some polish remover. The station-master had refused to sell a ticket to a Japanese girl with painted fingernails “like the hairy devils”.