A little talking about Toyama, Nagaoka, war, and so on.

I was sitting with my mother, watching some TV, talking about how when she was a child, she used to collect wood for money, which was somewhat scandalous because her family ran the local temple. But that's how she was. A kendo match was on. She started talking about the old days, the war days (ww2) and how some men had to hide some of the uniforms because they were afraid that the US GIs would find them, and (I guess) take it as a sign that they were enemies, and arrest them. So, they destroyed a bunch of uniforms, burned them up, but kept a few.

I'm not sure why "they" were, but, it was the men in the town around Takaoka.

The American GIs were really feared, and after the war, during the occupation, they were feared, but, that was mostly a side effect of government propagada during the war. There were no GIs that came out to the rural area.

The first time she ever saw one was when two GIs were headed to Himi but ran their jeep into a ditch. The villagers went to pull them out, and my mother went as well to see the frightening GIs.

She wondered what they were doing there. I suggested maybe they were working. I mean, if it was daytime and a work day, that would make sense.

She didn't think there could be anything in Himi. But, who knows. During the war, two soldiers came from Himi, and they brought paperwork and other information to store at the house.

Oh, yes, the paperwork. People burned all that stuff up too. They burned anything that might implicate them as enemies of the US, for fear of some kind of reprisal. (During another conversation, she related that enemies sometimes had their land seized, and given to other people.) So, after the surrender, officials took the paperwork away, and hid cultural artifacts elsewhere in the house.

But, at some point during the war, two soliders were boarded at the house (which was a temple). She reminisced that these men had "kurosato" - black sugar - which was the only kind of sugar they could get. Civilians lacked access to sugar (as well as other foods, which were reserved for soldiers).

So, we speculated that there was probably some kind of military installation at Himi. Yes, there was a lighthouse there, she said. So, there was probably some kind of look-out, and soliders stationed there. Which would be pretty logical if that were the case, because all the ships from Russia and China passed by Himi on their way to Takaoka.

Takaoka was a city that was targeted for firebombing, but wasn't bombed. It's a port city.

Then, she related an odd fact. Someone told her that Nagaoka was fire bombed, but that it was supposed to be Takaoka that was bombed. Nagaoka was bombed by mistake. There was nothing there.

I started to wonder if that was the case, and if so, is there some kind of coverup? I could have sworn that I read that Takaoka was bombed, in internet searches.

In fact, I was wrong - it was Toyama city that was bombed. Toyama is near Nagaoka, and was bombed the morning after Nagaoka was bombed. Both cities were burned to the ground with napalm.

(At another time, she related that near the end of the war, the skies were red, and she thought the world was going to end. People were running to live in the forests in the hills [where she collected wood]. At the time, she didn't really know that the cities were being bombed.)

So, we had speculated of a coverup. It was an interesting theory, but there was no coverup. The bombing of Nagaoka, according to the linked website, was not totally forewarned. The US dropped leaflets announcing that the city was targeted, but, also dropped leaflets that omitted the city just before the bombing. So it was unclear. (At least some warning was issued, so it wasn't an accident. The military knew where the city was.)

Anyway, the bombings happened, people died in the fire, buildings burned, and a couple weeks later, the big atomic bombs were dropped and Japan surrendered. The war ended, and the occupation began, and things got easier after some years.

AttachmentSize
bombs.jpg4.77 KB