Twenty-eight-year-old Taka is suddenly thrust into surrogate motherhood as she and her younger sister, Yumi, and a young slave Miss Tami, are left orphaned. Taka must lead the women through poverty, hunger, and fear as the chaos of war destroys everything they have ever known. As Taka chronicles an extraordinary life story that spans over four decades, she narrates how she and her sister survive nearly being sold as sex slaves and move in with an affluent family who teaches them how to love unconditionally, only to lose that same family through the atrocities of war.
The unforgettable experiences of three Japanese girls during before, during, and after World War II provides a compelling, historical glimpse into how one war transformed the lives of so many forever.
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The Day the Sun Shed Bloody Tears
By MIYA DAVIDS
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2010 Miya Davids
All right reserved.
I hear sound of the planes in a distance, "An air raid?" I shouted run for the shelter. But my body would not budge; and I stood as if a statue, falling bombs exploding all around me as the ground shook as if violent an earth-quacks. Standing in amidst of walls of roaring fire, helplessly I watched the burning estate, "Somebody I am on fire ... Help!" I screamed, but my voice was locked in nightmare, holding me in captive, and my body was stone statue ...
I awoke being totally exhausted, as I lay motionless, and I have mustered tad amount of remaining strength to pull myself up, walking out on the verandah. Breading in a cool jasmine scented crisp air, attempt to shake off the shroud of haunting nightmare.
Perfume of jasmine sedates my mind, as I cast eyes on velvet black sky splashed with stars, shooting bright twinkling lights, reminds me of holding the baby Miss Tami on my lap, watching stars just like tonight with my Mistress Shizuka many years ago.
Suddenly out of clear, "What if ... my life would end tomorrow, or the next minute in the blink of an eye?" An assault of rude awakening shattered my serene moment; as if a bolt of lightning struck thrust a blade of an inevitable life's fate.
Until this moment, I have regarded my life for a granted, just as same as the never-ending ticking sounds of clock. But hastened by an urgent reality of life, I have immediately begun to chronicle my extraordinary life story, spanned over four decades.
At the height of WWII Japan was defeated at an every turn, and the reserved means to counter attack powerful United States military was exhausted unable to combat the assaults. One such day, surprise an air raid has left our remote farming village in burnt ruin, thus the world as I knew has changed from that moment on. I was twenty-eight years old then.
My younger sister Yumi and I have survived the fire, but left without a master, and Miss Tami, an only survivor of the family, was orphaned at the young age of thirteen.
Without a choice three of us found ourselves in a pit of refugees' hell, just as so many others. Luckily I was young and had strength to care for my sister and Miss Tami, I picked wild vegetation to provide them with the food. And then I remembered about going to the seashore, as a small child parent sent me to gather clams for the family meal, when tides were low, and Yumi and I had to climb down the steep hill to the spot on shore where clams were.
I still remember we brought back a bucket full of clams for mother, and she cooked them over the fire.
In an era I was born, newborn female infant was killed at birth for a reason of family was too poor to feed another mouth, it was openly accepted though discreetly practiced deed, however, male infant was spared of death for two reasons. The boy child has a pretty face; he will be sold as a child prostitute and when he is able to pick up the shovel, his parents put him to work in a field.
I have two older brothers, but they considered female was inferior gender; and they have neither cared about me nor acknowledged as their sister, but I had to obey and serve whatever their needs were.
Moreover, my father has ignored me; he never spoke to me even we were working side by side in the small family field. Growing up, I often wondered the reason of my being spared of death, but I sensed my father would sell me to prostitution at a first chance, to get his hand on the large sum of money.
I was six years old when my sister Yumi was born, and she was as delicate as a beautiful flower, too frail to pick up a heavy shovel to work in field, so I did her share of work to shield her from Father's wrath, and I suspected my father would sell her to prostitution, no matter of her an age; his only thought was on a windfall of money.
I have been spared of death to be sold as a prostitute? A thought haunted throughout my growing years. My mother knew what was in my future, but she could not voice her protest against her husband, and she lived with a sad heart.
"My precious Taka, you are only five years old; I wish I could give you a doll to play with instead of having you work as a farmhand. My poor child." Mother said, I watched wiping tears with her coarse knobby hand, and she hugged me when we were alone, an imprint of memories I carried in my heart all my life.
We were dirt poor, and parents had no money to repair the house, even though the farmhouse was in disrepair, but in spite of ran down farmhouse, I thank our good fortune for provided us with shelter, not have to live as if field rodents.
We lived in a sparsely populated farming village, approximately seventy-two miles west of the big city of Fukuoka, which encompassed large foreign and domestic businesses, oil refineries, coalmines, steel mills; as well as an international seaport, and many small businesses.
When I was fifteen and Yumi was nine years old, all my years of haunting suspicions were proven true. A stranger came to the house riding on a rickshaw, and two big bodyguards guarding him; apparently he was a very rich man to afford expensive silk garments and looked well fed. But a sight of him horrified me, and my intuition told me who he was and why he came, because I have heard so much about this man from the farm girls at the village's water wall.
I felt chill, realizing the man had to be the owner of prostitution house in the big city, and he came to buy Yumi and me. In fear I ran out from house taking my sister Yumi, who was more frightened by my unusual behavior than not knowing what was happening. Holding Yumi's small hand tight I walked fast to hurry, before my father finds us gone, Yumi had nearly running to keep up the paces with me, as we headed for the Araki estate.
I was praying and counting on the senior Araki to help us, I heard he has always rendered an aide to poor people, when I go to fetch a bucket of water, and the girls talked about him as if he was their savior. Although the Araki estate was only one kilometer away 2.7 miles, but I felt Yumi and I was running to an end of the world.
I believed karma has led us right to the wealthy Araki family, and luckily, instead of turning us away, the senior Araki took pity on us when I told him about we were being sold us prostitutes, to the owner of prostitution house. Senior Araki listened to my tale of woe, rescued us from lifetime of sex slavery and gave us the opportunity to work as servants, from that moment forward Yumi and my life has changed.
Then the war began and the entire population had plunge into a cauldron of hell, churning with the bitter taste of hunger and poverty with no way out.
Three of us survived fire, but my being an oldest I was the surrogate mother to care for the orphaned Miss Tami and my sister Yumi, desperately to survive everyday a day at a time. I hung on to my sliver of human dignity, held onto my belief of our future is alive and well. This is my testimony of how I led three of us through WWII chaos.
Chapter TwoAxis of Avarice
At the far western edge of the Pacific Ocean, the series of islands called Japan lie in a bow shape, separated from the Asian continent by the Sea of Japan, in line from the USSR south to the East China Sea. In 1937, Japan won the war over the USSR and after enduring decades of war. Finally the peace prevailed over Japanese people, and confirming their belief of Japan was the most powerful country, more importantly no longer the citizens were war weary, and they have jubilantly rejoiced the victory, believing the sun arises and sets over the Japan, proudly held their white cloth flag with a red circle in the center which to symbolized the Rising Sun.
For a first time in many years all was well, and, people have welcomed tomorrow with a glad tiding enjoyed their daily life, never a vision of threat of another war would occur in their near future, the thoughts never entered their mind.
Japan is small string of mountainous islands, only an eleven percent of real estate available for housing, roads, factories and institutional buildings etc ... More to the point of an importance, the farming fields were at a premium; unable to produce and provide the essential commodities most of them were imported, and adding to the problem, Japanese population was growing at an alarming pace.
I was a naïve young girl when the WWII started, and the General Hideki Tojo was the prime minister of Japan, however, he was oblivious to an ominous dark shroud already rising in the horizon, initiated an invasion of Korea through China to gain needed real estate; his attempt to eradicate the out-of-control population problem, thus many Japanese has immigrated to Korea and China.
The Imperial Japanese Army has penetrated deep into China's interior, confiscated goods Japan could not produce, and all those dire need commodities were sent to the homeland.
Emboldened by his successes, General Tojo sent the Imperial Army to infiltrate into the South Pacific islands and commandeered raw materials Japan was unable to produce, such as rubber, crude oil, sugar, and many other goods. However, as a token of gratitude, General Tojo has accolade the islanders as subsidiaries of honorable Japan and having that excuse, freely encroached upon the territory to confiscate the abundances of products to be sent to Japan.
"He is our great leader." Citizens have praised the General, his effort in supplying abundances of commodity good to be available, for the public, which were none existent. To show their gratitude for the General Tojo, the grateful citizens hung his portrait just as big next to the Emperors in the entire household. General Tojo's ego and the axis of avarice grew; and having no obstacles in his path, continued to invade even more of the Pacific islands, using natives to work as a labor, allowing them to keep a small portion of harvested good not enough to sustain their family, which alarmed the United States.
Japanese representatives were summoned to America for a joint negotiation, in an attempt to end Japan's brazen encroachment on the Pacific islands. However, General Tojo believed he was a second coming of the legendary warlord, Tokugawa, defied the ongoing peace negotiations and secretly plotting to attack the Pearl Harbor.
The Hawaiian Islands were strategically positioned in the middle of the Pacific Ocean; and possessing Hawaiian Islands under his dominion were Tojo's dream, and he knew to gain an ultimate power to rule the world, thus attacking the United States and the western and eastern hemisphere would be a fail-proof, and he could successfully gain insurmountable riches and the power. General Tojo could not resist the irresistible possibilities; and the thoughts enticed him at every waking moment.
On Sunday, December the seventh, 1941, the Imperial command navy pilots have stealthily deployed to attack Pearl Harbor; destroying U.S. Navy battleships were on peacetime duty, inflicted insurmountable casualties and damages, consequently provoking a mighty anger of the gentle giant, the United States.
"Great Success! Mission accomplished." The headline was splashed boldly across the front page of newspapers, relaying the detailed accounts of how the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was successfully accomplished, and the entire country of Japan celebrated as though they have won the war; however, a crucial factor has been omitted from published accounts.
The squadron of Imperial pilots had to bypass the U.S. oil storage facilities intact, the consequence of lacking fuel for the return flight. This fact has been codified thus: Consequence of the low fuel, squadron has bypassed the valuable U.S. maintenance facilities and oil storage area, left its entire U.S. oil reserve, negating further assault on the Hawaiian Island. The dereliction allowed the U.S. Navy to recover and launch an immediate full-force military operation to counterattack Japan. Moreover, out of harm's way, there were Lexington, Enterprise, and Hornet task forces at sea, ferrying aircraft to Wake and Midway Islands.
On December the eighth, 1941 a day after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, America has declared war against Japan by the United States Congress's unanimous approval; however, hyped up Japanese people believed they will win the war, sent their son, husband, and father off to the war gave an extravagant send off party, as if to the celebration of holiday.
Two months after Pearl Harbor was attacked, the American general Doolittle has strategically deployed the mother ship USS Hornet, carrying the specially modified B-25 bomber, to a point of coordinate in the Pacific Ocean. From this point, attacking the Japanese homeland was possible, and the first target was the Tokyo, Japan's capital.
From that moment on, the tide has turned against Japan, but the Japanese people closed their eyes, even the enemy's attack was at their front door, and they celebrated an erroneous preconceived victory, proclaiming they were the unbeatable superior race on earth. The banners boasting propaganda stating,
Never fear. We are the mighty power, were posted everywhere to pacify the Japanese people.
Ironically, however, in a admits of shrouding ominous war clouds, the emperor did not have a clue as to the changing world outside of his palace, your highness was concealed from any disturbing news. The palace where emperor resides was in the center of Tokyo, surrounded by a wide and deep moat, accessible only by a single double-arched bridge, so the Emperor remained incognizant to the current crisis, still conversed in an ancient language that has exists only in the history books. Unaware of the war cloud shrouding over Japan, the Emperor has decided to tour his country, for the first time in the history of the monarchy he left the sanctuary of his palace with only few of his guards.
The citizens rejoiced, when news of the Emperor's visit was made public, proclaiming, "Our living Shinto god, the Emperor is coming."
People came walking from every surrounding town and village, lining an each side of the street from before dawn, forming a wall of people holding flags in their hands, not wanting to miss the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of seeing their living god in person. I had walk distances carrying Miss Tami on a piggyback to see the event.
The hours passed as more people kept arriving, packing each side of the street as the heat of the day became intolerable. Suddenly, a thunderous shout of "Banzai" broke out, signaling the approaching Emperor's motorcade, and in a mere moment his motorcade sped past in front of them, leaving them with only glimpse of the living Sinto god. Although it was only flash of a moment, people were able to capture an extraordinary vivid image of the Emperor in their minds.
The Emperor was a direct descendant of the legendary Sun Goddess. Amaterasu, who created Japan, he wore a traditional uniform of coal black suit and a billed black cap with a white feather. Strands of gold braid draped across his chest, gold tassels hung from his epaulets, and the gold buttons on his suit shone under the midday sun, casting a brilliant contrast against his black suit, waved his glistening white-gloved hand to line of his subjects. Ironically, the Emperor did not have a clue as to the relevancy between himself and the suffering poverty of his people.
The war progressed, but the news released was contrary to the truth, people have celebrated the victors' grandeur, adding yet more of erroneous belief of already inflated an ego. The children were brainwashed to believe they were the descendants of the Shinto God, thus the Emperor was their Father, the living God.
The huge VICTORY banners were displayed everywhere to pacify the public, boasting, "Never fear, enemies wouldn't dare attempt to harm the god's children." War songs were sung to heighten the already crazed war hype, while all other songs were banned. English words were eliminated from school textbooks, numbers were written in Japanese characters. Math symbols and science formulas were also replaced with Japanese characters, which created confusion among the students.
Excerpted from The Day the Sun Shed Bloody Tears by MIYA DAVIDS Copyright © 2010 by Miya Davids. Excerpted by permission.
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Table of Contents
ContentsChapter 1: Memory....................1
Chapter 2: Axis of Avarice....................6
Chapter 3: Araki Legacy....................13
Chapter 4: Chaos....................32
Chapter 5: Refugees....................45
Chapter 6: Black Market....................61
Chapter 7: Fallen Country....................68
Chapter 8: Life Anew....................89
Chapter 9: Celebration....................104
Chapter 10: First Love....................120
Chapter 11: Forbidden Matrimony....................140
Chapter 12: World Afar....................164
Chapter 13: Taka....................177
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