2021/01/09「Memories of Hashima (from birth to the end of the WW2)」- Chio Iwamoto

「Memories of Hashima (from birth to the end of the WW2)」- Chio Iwamoto

  I was born on July 7, 1928 (Showa 3) in Hashima.

  His father is a Korean, and his parents' home is a historic temple called Toudosa in Yangsan, near Busan, but the temple did not succeed and he came to Hashima by relying on his relatives who worked at the Hashima coal mine.

  I don't know when my father came to Japan, but I think he was born when he married a Japanese woman from Kagoshima, had two older brothers, and then moved to Hashima to work as a miner. 

  Shortly after giving birth to me, my mother died of poor postpartum confinement, and my father welcomed a new mother from Korea, and after me she had one younger brother and three younger sisters.


  Of the seven brothers, two brothers and three of them learned long after that their mothers were different.

  When I came to my mind, I was already a new mother, and I lived like a real mother.

  My mother was kind and my seven brothers were on good terms.

  I remember that my cousin (my father's brother's son, my nephew for my father) was living a wealthy life as a dormitory manager for Korean workers at that time.

  At the cousin's house, grandparents (father's parents), cousin's wife, and children lived.

  My grandfather had a long beard.

  Her grandmother was a slender and gentle person, and she lived until she was 93 years old.


  There was also her uncle (father's younger brother) family. I was the first girl among my relatives, so my grandparents and uncles loved me.

  Our family lived on the second floor of a 10-story building. (Daily salary company housing)


  The bathhouse is on the first basement floor of the same apartment, and I went in with my family, but the bathtub was warm and salty, so it was just a beach.


  I used fresh water only for the rising water.


  Sea water is good for physical and skin diseases, and I think that may be the reason why I am still fine.


  Among Koreans other than our family and relatives, we had a friend named Tama-chan.


  Tama-chan was also the daughter of a Korean dormitory director, one or two years younger than me.

  Hashima is an island of Mitsubishi, and her daily shopping was done at a shop called "Purchasing" operated by the company.


  Purchasing was like what we call a market today, with everything from groceries to clothing.

  When you go to purchase, you first buy a ticket and then hand over the ticket to exchange it for a product.

  When his father asks him to go buy some liquor, he brings an empty bottle of beer and asks him to put in two or three liquors.


  At around 19 sen, the remaining 1 sen was a bargain, and I was looking forward to buying candy and other items.


  He also runs a kindergarten by Mitsubishi, and I remember wearing a white apron with Mitsubishi embroidery on his breastplate.


  Mr. Yamaguchi and Mr. Nakamura of Hashima Elementary School were teachers from Kwassui Girls' School, and everyone admired them in their crested kimono and hakama.


Men go to war, so I think there were many young female teachers who had just graduated from girls' school.


Dr. Kawasoe was the daughter of the director of Hashima Hospital. Mr. Okamoto was a sewing teacher and always wore a kimono.


There were also male teachers such as Egoshi-sensei and Kawagoe-sensei.

The excursion went to Nagasaki city by boat. When I got off the ship, a Chinese mantou was sold at the wharf.


I ate a lunch box on the approach to the temple. There were many styes (beggars) on the approach.


I walked along the countryside, but the scenery was unusual.


Hashima has no rice fields, so I learned for the first time that rice is in front of me and that it will be rice.


Besides, I remember her cousin having a house in Nagasaki city and often going out with her family.

In 1937 (Showa 12), the Sino-Japanese War began when he was 9 years old (3rd grade).


That year, when Nanjing collapsed, there was a flag procession and everyone was waving the Hinomaru and it was lively.


As the war intensified, Hashima was lively with increased coal production.


I'm still a kid, without any doubt about what the military, the country, or the adults say


Everything was a military girl who believed that it was for her country.



Her father died when she was thirteen.


Her father had cirrhosis and was undergoing medical treatment at home. On that day, there was a spring tour of sumo wrestling on Hashima, and Futabayama, who was very popular during the winning streak, came, so I carried her younger sister on my back and went to see sumo wrestling.



And when I returned home, my father had died.


His father never died and suddenly had trouble living.


His father had a long illness and his mother worked in the bunkhouse to feed us.


In 1941 (Showa 16), after graduating from Hashima High School, I enrolled in Katsumizu Girls' School in Nagasaki City, but there were few classes during the war.



Since it was a mission school founded by an American missionary, I think that the military was even more focused on it, but it wasn't just for classes, but everyone went to the factory with the Volunteer Corps.


At that time, I was longing for a military nurse for the sake of my country, so I stayed at Hashima Girls' School and worked as an apprentice nurse at Hashima Hospital in the morning and nursing in the afternoon. I studied to become a woman.



The job of the apprentice nurse was to first check the medical records in the order of examination and read out the patient's name.



Other than that, the bandages were washed and rewound, and there was also a night shift.


Even after taking the exam and officially becoming a nurse, I continued to work at Hashima Hospital.


There were frequent underground accidents, with amputations of the legs and arms.


When I went to the bathroom in the operating room of the surgery, I had one leg and arm in the bucket, and I was scared to go get it.



The amputated legs and arms were collected and taken to the grill.


Many Chinese POWs were working hard, were thin due to poor environment and nutrition, and had many skin diseases.


I don't have any medicine, so I applied red tincture or iodine tincture, and for slightly swollen areas, I applied vaseline to gauze and applied it.


The two older brothers were in Tokyo (the older brother was a Waseda student, and the smarter lower brother was a University of Tokyo student recommended by Hashima) and returned to Hashima.


After graduating from school, the older brother worked at the Hashima coal mine and was doing electrical work, and the younger brother was also studying because the air raids became fierce during the war. Perhaps he didn't, he returned to the island and, like his older brother, was doing electrical work in the mine.



Then, both of them joined the local youth group and were doing activities like defense or self-defense group called "enemy plane attack".


Perhaps the food situation was bad in Tokyo, both of them came back thin.


Even during the war, Hashima was free from food shortages and never felt hungry.

I remember the time when the atomic bomb was dropped on August 9, 1945.


I was at Hashima Hospital.



Before noon, when I was talking to a colleague, "It's about noon," an air raid warning was issued and an enemy aircraft attack was broadcast, making the town of Nagasaki brighter. I also saw a mushroom cloud.


The city of Nagasaki was burning brightly all night even at night, but at that time I thought it was burning with incendiary bombs.


After that, a patient who was burned, sore, and had his skin slumped and hung down was transported to a hospital in Hashima from Nagasaki.



I think I came to a hospital in Hashima or Takashima because the hospital in Nagasaki disappeared due to the atomic bomb and there were so many patients that I had nowhere to go.



There is no medicine for treatment, just apply red tincture or iodine tincture, apply vaseline to gauze, cover it, and bandage it. And everyone died.



The next day, a patient who seemed to be not bad at all was paralyzed and died as if he was totally crazy.


At that time, I didn't even know the "nuclear bomb." Just saying that it was burned by an incendiary that hit the bomb.


When I visited the parents' house of a classmate in Hashima who went to a prefectural high school girl in Nagasaki who was smart and was a class president with her close friend, I heard from her mother that her classmate had died.



I didn't know about the atomic bomb at that time. She heard she died in an air raid.


After the war, all the Koreans withdrew that year or the following year.


I lost the war, and even though the war was over, I didn't remember much about that time, and I didn't have much feelings.


Hashima is my hometown and I grew up until I was 17 years old, but all the adults say they're going home, they're going home, they laugh, and their parents are withdrawing, so I have to keep up with them because they're children.



I think I laughed with everyone and went home.



I don't know where Korea is or where Busan is, and I remember being ridiculed when I asked my brother, "Is there a moon in Korea?"


All of our families have returned to Korea.


Life on Hashima, daily events.


I miss my daily life with my family and what I learned by playing with my friends.


Living on Hashima, which has become a World Heritage Site, was a rich life brought about by the coal mine, even though it was under wartime.


I didn't realize that I had a rich life at that time, I didn't know anything about the world, I didn't feel any trouble, and I accepted it as a matter of course.


Looking back on my 90-year life, I realize that living on Hashima was an irreplaceable and precious day.



Chiyo Iwamoto



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