Friday, July 31, 2015

Pillows Soaked With Tears: The Story of the Nadeshinko Girls, Who Bid The Kamakaze Pilots Goodbye

Harrowing tale.

Don't get me wrong, I have no sympathy for Imperial Japan, or the Kamakaze pilots.

I feel for these girls, now old women, who were tasked with such an unforgivable accomplice role that haunts them to their very last days. 

Read the whole article. 

This is a particularly poignant and heartbreaking passage: 

"While their duties required little of the physically, the emotional strain it put them under caused tremendous suffering, with many refusing to talk about their experiences for the rest of their lives."

"The few who have chosen to tell of what happened at Chiran speak of the brave face of the pilots as they took off, juxtaposed with the fear they felt privately."

"While the young men smiled as they departed, the Nadeshinko would often go to remove their bedding only to find their pillows soaked with tears."

I just about lost it when I read that line.  

"The goodbye ceremonies themselves were equally painful. The girls were forced to put on smiling faces, as the men they had got to know over the previous weeks and days flew off to certain death."

"Remembering that still makes me tremble,' said Chino Kuwashiro, now a tiny 86-year-old with a stooped back."

'We waved and waved until we couldn't see them anymore. Why did we have to endure such sorrow?'