In addition to looking after the wounded, corps members had to carry food and water, deal with human waste, and bury the dead. To access supplies, they dodged bullets as they left their hiding place, carefully hauling back food and water, and toiling night and day in the noisome cave. Okinawans have learned from experience that this unending chain of crimes against women and girls is inseparable from the institution of the military.

  • According to Marine Corps court-martial summaries, sex crimes targeting children are endemic among the Marines in Okinawa.
  • Janice Suetomi and her children pay respects to her ancestor at the dhaka in Okinawa.
  • When foreign men travel there are positives and negatives as far as dating and trying to hook up go.
  • The report makes no mention that Okinawa police were notified of the American employee’s harassment of the maid, and the NCIS closed the case without finding the suspect.
  • That’s when all the guys would come and flirt with me,” says Suetomi with a big smile.

AS I STROLL DOWN KOKUSAI STREET IN DOWNTOWN Naha, Okinawa, there’s no escaping the fact that I am on an island dominated by the United States military. When Suetomi was able to work, she got a job on the Tengan Army Base in the motor pool section. There, her work required her to get a driver’s license. There were 97 men and three women who were training to get their license.

When Okinawa police tried to interview the sergeant again, he invoked his right to counsel, and then the Marine Corps Provost Marshal’s Office advised the police that the suspect would not answer any more of their questions. At this point, according to the NCIS report, Okinawa police decided to drop the case, and the suspect’s command also decided not to take any further action. One of the NCIS reports obtained via FOIA exemplifies how the U.S. military can shut down Japanese police investigations. It is a pattern familiar to Suzuyo Takazato, co-chair of the feminist group Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence and chair of the Rape Emergency Intervention Counseling Center Okinawa. At the time of publication, United States Forces Japan had not provided comment on the apparent omission of these cases from the SAPRO reports. “If only they could have survived a few more days,” she said.

When they exploded the space filled with white smoke and people began choking to death. A soldier yelled to urinate into a rag and cover their mouths with it, which Ruri believes saved her life as she crawled on more about it on the ground listening to classmates cry and scream, calling out for their mothers, their friends, for water. When the Allies began hitting Okinawa on Mar. 23 with air raids and naval gunfire 222 student nurses and 18 teachers from the school were mobilized.

They were cut loose to take their chances on a battlefield. American troops landed on Okinawa Apr. 1 and soon casualties began clogging the lightless tunnels. The nurses were worked to the bone taking care of patients’ unending needs and assisting the doctors as they patched up or hacked off battlefield injuries often without the aid of anesthesia.

thoughts on “Himeyuri Corps: Female High School Student Nurses during the Battle of Okinawa  ”

The tunnels were unsanitary and the fly-filled stagnant humid air was heavy with the odors of the dead and dying along with their many bodily fluids. No matter how many maggots were removed, wounds always had more and bandages couldn’t be changed often enough. They had assumed the field hospital would be a hospital building with sterile wards and protected under the flag of the Red Cross.

Their families also paid monetary reparation to the family of the victim, a common practice in Japan.


President Bill Clinton and Japanese Premier Ryutaro Hashimoto. The people of Okinawa also placed a full-page advertisement in The New York Times decrying the rape and other aspects of the U.S. bases in Okinawa. In 1996, the United States and Japan signed a bilateral agreement to reduce the amount of land on Okinawa covered by U.S. bases by 21 percent—the U.S. military had previously occupied 19 percent of the island. Recent crimes involving U.S. servicemen in places other than Okinawa also testify to the threat posed to women by the military. In September, a U.S. soldier stationed in Korea confessed to killing a Korean prostitute. In Japan’s Nagasaki Prefecture this summer, a Navy petty officer from the amphibious assault ship USS Belleau Wood reportedly molested a Japanese girl.

Japan was losing the war of attrition which kept Haebaru and other military hospitals packed and on May 25, the 55th day of battle, the order was given to evacuate Haebaru. As the war progressed not in Japan’s favor and Allied forces came steadily closer to Okinawa, students began spending less time in class and more time in the field conducting manual labor and construction work for the military. Finally in November 1944 the Himeyuri students aged were pulled for nurse training by the army to augment the Okinawa Army Hospital. By the time the campus was destroyed in a January air raid classes had ceased entirely so students could focus on preparing for the coming battle.

czech bride

The shameful history of military rape in Okinawa

By mid-June the Americans were on the brink of fully encircling the final Japanese positions. A student runs from strafing aircraft on the Meshiaba no Michi. She is NOT a depiction of Sakugawa Yoneko, none of these images depict real Himeyuri students but were created for illustrative purposes. Hinamatsuri, also called Doll’s Day or Girls‘ Day, is a time when Japanese families display a set of dolls of the emperor and empress in traditional kimono attire. Celebrated on Mar. 3, the holiday is a celebration of Japan’s daughters and to pray for their happiness. On this day, families will celebrate with special sweets and rolled sushi. You may also notice giant displays of dolls for sale and celebratory foods on sale at your local department stores, all for Hinamatsuri.