Skip to content

June 4, 1944

We have 2 eggs apiece these days, while we have the cash and they can be bought. We are storing up internally.

June and I were sitting on a bench taking sun bath when along came Bunshiyocho Tomibe, as he likes to be called. He came up from the hospital with Saito san, passing us. I said. “Ohayō gozaimasu” (Good morning) to which he bowed and replied, “Ikaga desu ka?” (How are you?) I answered, “Genki desu, arigatō gozaimasu” (well, thank you). He said something which I did not catch and Saito pointed to the sky. Finally I caught that it was sun-bath and said, “Hai” (yes). He bowed as he did at each gozaimasu, for politeness always delights the Japanese especially when it is their own variety, which they understand. Then they beam. He turned to June and I told him “musume” (daughter). He looked at her, then back at me, then her again and exploded with, ‘”Sa! Sō desu ka!” He asked, “Ikutsu desu ka?” I thought he was asking her age but I guess he wanted to know how many children I had. However, I broke down into English. Suddenly he raised his head. tense, asking in a clipped voice, “What are those children calling out over there?” We watched a line of them tramping along waving one arm up and down, shouting what sounded like “chop, chop, chop” to me. They were very young ones and I explained they were playing a game called “Follow the Leader” where the first one raised his arm and everyone else did the same; leader climbed a small hill, every one followed. He seemed to understand and calmed down at once. It was not until later that I realized he probably thought they were saying, “Jap, Jap, Jap.” We were on the verge of an international incident! It appears that the Sunday School teacher, in dramatizing Ruth and Naomi, had given the children small cardboard scythes with which they were going “chop, chop, chop.” Carlos, our Italian, says all Americans use nicknames, never full titles and he hates it—being a Wop or a Dago. Anyhow, I like the Bunshiyocho. He is a fine person and I never think of him as Japanese or myself as American when we speak to each other.

At the end of camp there is a mud-ball battle between small boys. Three months of vacation and the boys are tearing all over the place, yelling, taking prisoners and tying them up—as though being captured were not enough. What instincts we have for imprisoning one another—even at the age of five!

After lunch my name was on the Board. At the office I received P200 from the gold “blob,” and P480 from N. Baloli which is Marie—or is it Nida again? Twice they have saved us from despair. We have now about 800 on hand, enough for two months.