June 17, 1944

At 10 A.M. the new school building was dedicated, turned over to the Committee, students and teachers by the Commandant and his staff.

Mr. Tomibe in uniform made a brief speech translated by Miss McKim, presenting the new building in which he hoped we would find a little little happiness though it lacked perfection due to difficulty of supply and other obstacles. Carl accepted the building in the name of all who who will use it, thanked the Command (after thanking the Imperial Army), expressed appreciation of the difficulties and problems of getting the materials together in times like these, most of all appreciating the cooperation of British and Americans who had started the building with the Command’s consent, followed by the Japanese contractors and Filipino laborers who put up the sides and roof and finished the edifice. (His unwritten speech could have described American foundations strong and well laid, but with every other joist removed by the contractor as soon as the Army came in on it, the walls and roof becoming weaker as they reached upward, with possibility of its being blown away by the first typhoon, the edifice returning to the foundation laid by the Americans.) However, Mr. Tomibe did the best he could for us against great odds, opposition, and [poor] transport.

At the evening entertainment Mr. Suda asked for the front row of the audience to move back, clearing a wide space for his three acts of sword dances. Mr. Yamato read a description of the first two in English which we all found difficult due to his accent. One of the staff sang in a strong Oriental manner while the last two acts were performed. Dressed in short, old-style skirt and blouse effect, with a wide band around his hair and Mr. Tomibe’s precious sword in hand, Mr. Suda became transformed into a dramatic actor, stamping his feet, uttering strong strange cries, with gleaming eyes and tightened muscles and strained features. He leaped about, flashing and thrusting his sword in every direction including into the audience. This was too much for some of the small children. Susan wailed first, then clambered over benches headed for home-space and mother. Several others whimpered and followed, with more during the second act. The majority stayed looking dubious but with curiosity winning out. Miss McKim translated the third, about the warrior who was tired, seeing a big snake craw] before him, thrusting his sword in to kill—only to find it the shadow of a pine branch! Mir. Suda’s new role has added to his stature, invested him with theatrical glamor.