Most of the Japanese who occupied the school across from our house have been sent to another island (Cebu), and the school is now completely taken over by the Japanese Motor Pool. There are around 40 trucks parked there. We do not know any of them, but the young officer in charge of the Engineering Corps. we knew quite well. That group had been in the area six months, and during that time we had met several officers and soldiers.
I must tell you of the Japanese soldier as I know him. He is very well disciplined, courteous in his manners and his morals high. If a soldier or an officer commits rape, he is soon executed by beheading. Not long ago an officer was executed, and a friend of mine accidentally witnessed it. A girl or woman can walk the street at any hour and will never hear a remark made. They have very little time for merrymaking, but on New Year’s, the Emperor’s birthday and other holidays, the soldiers are given beer and they celebrate among themselves, singing and dancing. If some become too noisy and out of control, the officer in charge will walk them around for a while, or perhaps give them a few slaps, which is a very common practice among the Japanese.
By living so near the garrison, we can observe these things. These soldiers are fighters and will die to the last man; they will not surrender as they believe they have a divine mission to perform in this world, and it is an honor to die for their emperor. However, deep in their hearts they wish to live.
One of the lieutenants who visited us asked me if I had any brothers. When I told him, he regretted that they were in the war. Another said that he was sorry that “Japan and America fight.”
I have had some strange incidents happen to me, but have never yet been insulted by any of them. Unfortunately, others have not been so fortunate as I.