1. What was it like being bombed?
I never was bombed and nothing fell near me, but there was the sound of hundreds of U.S. airplanes together with ground-based sirens and searchlights. At night we went to bed in our clothes so we could get up and run at any time. At the bedside, we kept a kind of padded hood that covered our head and shoulders as protection. We also carried a canteen and some emergency food (roasted soybeans and dry crackers). Everyone had to wear on every item of clothing a nametag that included our bloodtype. During a single night, we usually had to get out of bed many times.
Technorati Tags: WWII
March 10, 1945 was the biggest airraid on Tokyo. Many incendiary bombs were dropped, fires started, and almost as many people died as the number who died in Hiroshima — over 300,000. At this time, though, I was not in Tokyo. With all my classmates I was in a place called Nagano, several hours northwest of Tokyo, working at a parachute factory.
But I was in Tokyo when the second biggest airraid hit Tokyo. Our house and community was spared, but my grandparents’ house was burned. My father and I went by bicycle to search for my grandparents and their daughter. We found them all wrapped in quilts, seated on the floor of a school building. They moved in with us, but since we had no extra rice, my mother simply added extra water when preparing rice. We were all hungry. I was fifteen years old at the time. (If I had been bombed during the war, neither your father nor you would be here today. Can you imagine that?)
2. Is it true that only your house was left standing in the area?
No, the whole neighborhood was miraculously saved. But one or two blocks away, I remember standing on one side of a street and watching houses burn on the other side.
3. Did you lose any family members?
4. What happened to the people around you?
Some left for the countryside, but of those who remained, we helped each other a lot.
5. Where did you live during World War II?
My family home was in a section of Tokyo called Kanda, so I lived there except for the short time I worked at the parachute factory.