Tuesday, August 4, 2015
ABC Wednesday: Letter D,
A lookalike Japanese hat.
Rōmusha (労務者) is a Japanese language word for "laborer", but has come to specifically denote forced laborers during the Japanese occupation
My Dad was a 17 year old teenager when he was forced to work for the Japanese during the war. He was a civilian worker accompanying the Japanese to the villages to demand rice from them. While the work was not physical, in hind sight, he realised what a dangerous job it was. He could have been killed if the local villagers revolted and he was caught in the cross fire.
A year before the end of the war, Mum and Dad were forced to marry. Women were forcefully taken as comfort women, and men as Japanese conscript soldiers. In desperation, such demand led to many hurried marriages of convenience. Mum was only 15. They wed in March. In August, the bombs were dropped. Too late for Mum and Dad. They never had a proper wedding and she didn't have a wedding photo.
A uranium gun-type atomic bomb (Little Boy) was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, followed by a plutonium implosion-type bomb (Fat Man) on the city of Nagasaki on August 9. Little Boy exploded 2,000 feet above Hiroshima in a blast equal to 12-15,000 tons of TNT, destroying five square miles of the city (wiki)
Though the Japanese surrendered on 15th August, the War Crimes Trial of Japanese officers was held only in December 1945, in Labuan. None of my people went to testify against the Japanese.