At 9:45 this a.m. today, exactly one year ago, we arrived in Tokyo Station—one year of pleasant and unpleasant experiences in the Land of the Rising Sun, one phase in my young life I shall never forget!
So many things have happened during this last year since our arrival in Tokyo. Upon our arrival, the campaign in Sicily was at its height; while having our summer vacations at Karuizawa last August, Italy surrendered; last June the second front stole the show and Normandy became the scene of operations; and finally, this morning’s papers published the news of the fall of Saipan, which means that the enemy has pierced the periphery of Japan’s vital defense.
We have barely one month to go, but things are developing so fast, only God knows what will happen next. Luckily this past year, in spite of our many unpleasant experiences, has not been so bad after all. To think that we have been spared the many sufferings of those fight ing at the fronts and those undergoing the harrowing experiences of daily bombings is indeed a matter for thanksgiving. Now our hope and prayer is to make the best of this last month and to go home safely, by plane if possible.
I intended to hear mass this morning but could not make it due to conflict with our dormitory schedule.
Tsudajuku Senmon Gakkō (Tsuda Technical School for Girls). Accompanied by General Satō, we visited this famous girls’ college situated one hour’s ride from Tokyo Station. The school, a beautiful and imposing structure, is in an ideal site in the country, far from the hustle and bustle of the city. We visited the classrooms and workshops where we saw the colegialas diligently working on plane parts, doing their bit in the prosecution of the war.
The course offered in this college takes 3 or 4 years for girls who have finished the Jōgakkō (high school), and, in fact, it has the standard of a university. This is one of the best colleges for the teaching of English in Japan, and we saw classes conducted solely in English by Japanese teachers who spoke very fluent and well-pronounced English.
On the college campus is the tomb of Miss Tsuda, founder of the college, a graduate of an American university. Though we were impressed by how high-class the college is, we were surprised to learn that the tuition fee is comparatively low: Y140 a year for the science course and Y100 a year for the English course. The interns who live in the college dormitories pay Y18 a month.
We left the college truly impressed by Japan’s educational system. Our walk from the school to the tram station, among cedars and bamboo, in the cool shade of big sakura trees, was a nice experience on a sultry summer day.
Celebration. To celebrate the first anniversary of our arrival in Tokyo, we had beer and good food at the dormitory tonight. We invited Mr. Felape, a Burmese student, our classmate at the Constabulary Lecture Hall.
(Learned today of the mass resignation of Premier’s cabinet, close on the heels of the announcement of the fall of Saipan.)