Publication of 100 testimonies on Chiba air-raids and Pacific & Asia War
Chiba City Ward Branch Council of All Japan PensionerĀfs Union
Chiba Peace Committee of Peace Committee of Japan
This book was planned to publish on the back ground when Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the concept of ĀgBeautiful JapanĀh, when Japan constitution revision voting act was passed with majority in Diet and when Japan Air Self Defense general commander Mr. Toshio Tamogami described ĀgWas Japan an Invader country?Āh Mr. Abe also thought that Imperial Japan in pre-war days was beautiful.
Mr. Sadao Matsumoto, a secretary of editors, had published ĀgRecord of Air-raid in Chiba CityĀh 25 years ago. In its book, Chiba air-raids at 10 June and 7 July in 1945 were described in detail. But even in those days, in order to make the memory of war fresh, the grass-root movements that continues to tell air-raid and war to generation to generation are necessary. All Japan PensionerĀfs Union Chiba branch and Chiba Peace Committee published the book of A4 size 400 pages with cooperation.
1. Testimony collection activity
As for air-raid by bombing at 10 June in 1945, an editor visited Mr. Kanaya at Soga district, who was born after the war. But he remembered the craters, 10 meter diameter, made by bomb blast. The craters became pond in rice fields. He played in the pond. He drew the position bomb pond in map. He is a member of air-raid victimĀfs family in his district. Then the editor visited and collected testimonies at Fukushoji temple with a monument, Chiba womenĀfs school, Chiba resurrection Church, Chiba hospital, Chiba womenĀfs teachers college and Chiba national railway locomotive yard.
As for air-raid by bombing at 7 July in 1945, an editor visited Honcho primary school, In-nai primary school, Chiba shrine, Hotoin temple, Chiba municipal engineering school, and Soinji temple. There were no any name lists of air-raids victims of in Chiba municipal grave yard, and Chiba Toke municipal center.
2. Content of Chiba air-raid and other testimonies
At the beginning, although we started to research Chiba air-raid as 100 testimonies, we collected other testimonies that have experienced in other area, other than Chiba city. Totally we could grasp the war as victims by air-raids as well as people of invader nation. Now, testimonies are 53% as Chiba city air-raid, 22% and 5% as war experiences in domestic and over sea areas, 18% as members of military including army nurse. Men and women are fifty- fifty. Average age of testimonies is 13.6 years old at 15 August 1945. They happen to become 70 years old this year. 75% of testimonies were collected by interviewing for about one hour without tape recorder. The editor in charge makes testimonies from interview notes. Based on the note, the testimonies corrected and added the article. We repeated the action till we satisfied in detail. Before the interview, editor showed the testimony 3 conditions such as not to beatify the war and death during war, to scribe concrete truth, and not to need to be work as a literature.
3. Position of this book published by democratic people in Chiba prefecture
Quarter century has passed since ĀgRecord of Chiba city air-raidsĀh by Mr. Sadao Matsumoto (1985) and one third century has passed since ĀgRecord of war experiencesĀh by Kazuto Kojima (1972, 1973, and 1976). It seems difficult to continue to publish at those intervals in future. Mr. K. Kojima concluded with next phrase, ĀgMay experience records be published each area in Chiba prefectureĀh. So we could contribute historical duty to continue and develop peace movement.
Introduction of some testimonies
Soga 1 chome
At around 7:50, air-raid bombing by US air force to Hitachi milirary air plane factory missed to drop bombs on residential area East to the factory. Then bombs destroyed Soga 1chome district. Soga is 4km far from the center of Chiba city, the bombing target. 129 dead bodies of residential victims were carried to Sakuragi grave yard to be treated. We collected 4 testimonies there. The most miserably damaged family was 7 members killed insantly together. Then the house has been inherited by uncle family. One father found air-raid on his town after he left for work shop. He died on the way to home in order to work for defense against ai-raid as a member of guard group.
Chiba womenĀfs school and Chiba womenĀfs teachers college
Both schools were for womens. Both schools had ĀgSchool FactoryĀh in their school. Their students were forced to work for producing parts of military air plane. Students of Chiba womenĀfs teachers college worked for 24 hours with 3 shifts. When the air-raid took place, it was Sunday morning. Night shift students ended their duty and day shift students were coming. If it were peace Sunday, students could stay in their house safely. WomenĀfs victims of both schools were killed before they reached air-raid shelters. Japan government had made light of peopleĀfs life. The shelters were not made strong enough to protect students from 500 pound bomb. Some witnesses insisted that US air force targeted Hitachi air plane factory or locomotive yard of national rail way and that womenĀfs schools were not targets. We think the bombing to womenĀfs school factory missed to Chiba hospital in which many patients and staffs were killed. But US must catch information of ĀgSchool FactoryĀh in womenĀfs school by air photograph. Numbers of victims are 12 in womenĀfs teacher college and 2 in womenĀfs school on that day. On 7 July, Chiba womenĀfs school principal died by air-raid. People misunderstand students and principal died on the same day.
Tragedy of Honcho nation primary school
Honcho primary school had semi under-ground pass in front of the main gate as a new building style. The both entrances inside and outsid had iron doors. At midnight on 6 and 7 July of air-raid by incineration bombing attack, people and soldiers escaped there as they thought the under-ground pass might be a shelter. But long and tight air-raid and fire caused high temperature, dry and short of oxygen. People and soldiers died in the pass with their bodies scorched. It is said that iron door did not open because electric motor could not move when electricity did not provided or door as locked.
Chiba Shrine and Dainichidera Temple
In prewar days, Chiba Shrine located next to Dainichidera Temple in the center of Chiba city. On 7 July air-raid, neighbors rushed into shelter in Chiba Shrine which was dug out not only for the Shrine but for neighbors. The priest let the family to go to rice fields. But as the air-raid continued for long hours, air and earth soil became too hot to stay in shelter. The priest persuaded the people to go out to well site. The priest pumped up water and poured water to bodies and earth to cool temperature. They drank water for life. The Temple burned out but people could survive. The well site did not burn. As for Dainichidera Temple, as air-raid was imminent, the priest made family members go to rice fields. Unfortunately wife and 3 daughters were hit by incineration bombs. They died. Now, Dainichidera moved to Todorokicho. There is a tomb for family victims in the temple.
Appearance of Nation Primary School
Every Nation Primary School had Ten-no and his wifeĀfs Shrine. There was a two-shot picture of Ten-no and his wife as Gods. In front of it, all people had to satand straight,then bow and passed. When principal began to read Imperial Rescript on Education in several events a year in school, all including teachers had to keep their heads down. As militarism education was uniform and unreasonable, school children looked with curiosity people in shrie, who bowed deeply. It is interesting. Children evacuated from other to Chiba prefecture, were bulled by loca village children. There was no education that bulling was not good during invasion of war. The war was bulling by state. An evacuee school girl to Akita prefecture experienced mutual ĀgBintaĀh (slapping or beating otherĀfs face). Teachers ordered children to make girlĀfs 2 lines and boyĀfs 2 lines respectively. Teachers made children, including even girls, do ĀgBintaĀh. When ĀgBintaĀh was seen mild, teachers ordered to do again. Teachers expected children to have fight spirit through making enemy in friends. But children was so clever, they did not hit hard. In some schools, school children was forced to learn by heart 124 Ten-noĀfs names form myth to Showa era, or Imperial Rescript on Education, or Imperial Rescript to Military service men. When military troops stationed at school, children were forced to collect clay fish (zarigani) for foods of soldiers. In school yard, children were forced to bring up rabbits or goats to make use of fur skins. At Oihama primary school in Chiba, so many air plane parts were carried in classrooms in order to escape from air-raid to Hitachi factory. As the school children could not use class rooms, the school had to move to near temple or shrine temporally. When air-raid alert was announced, children had to go home. In addition, US air fighters traced and shot even children on their way home. So primary school children did not study in good condition.
People who resisted the War
In old military song, there was a phrase ĀgBeing sent by voices of cheerĀh. There were not soldiers and family to be willing to go or send a family to battle fields. The wife and mother could not allow crying before public, because crying was prohibited by military government. But primary school children observed the scene that mother cried behind the people. As the father, husband and brother were important work-forces, the bereaved family could not sustain life level well, and become poor. It was hard for women to work in man-superior and woman- inferior system society. If men died in the war, family would feel sad very much. One man escaped the military physical check through he played a role as a deaf. Military examiner doctor was deceived as a real deaf. We are proud of his resistant, because he did never kill and he never die. But he was so called as "a patriotic person" during the war. There were positive resistance whose activists were against invasion of war and EmperorĀfs system. Sometimes we hear such opinion that Japanese race or people are not democratic etc. But Japanese are not same uniformly. Why were the Japanese people co-operated the war? People had lived under Ten-noism through education. But a few members who studied world history and democracy, were against the Ten-no system and invasion of war. Opposite parties, organizations and persons were suppressed severely, arrested and tortured to death by the Maintenance of the Public Order Act. There is a testimony whose father was against the war. He was arrested and tortured. His wife supported him. In this book, we are proud of introducing to you such a family of resistance, true patriots. All Japanese did not co-operate the mlitarism and invasion of war.
Susumu Shrai (representative) 09093061583
Michiko Chiba (secretary) facsimile 0432312419
Chiba City Council of All Japan PensionerĀfs Union 0432215107
Chiba Peace Committee of Peace Committee of Japan 0432253037