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‘Shelters for the Self’
The Captured Diary of 2nd Class Petty Officer Koyama Kiwiwojo

Recently, popular WWII literature and film has stressed that both National Socialist German combatants and Imperial Japanese combatants were entirely evil on a socio-biological level, removing all empathy from films, to the point of justifying extreme sadism and execution of prisoners in Saving Private Ryan and the remake of You Inglorious Bastards. Empathy for the enemy combatant was often shown in immediate postwar movies up until the early seventies movie Kelly's Heroes, which did not, in general, depict the enemies of the U.S. G I as utterly evil to the point of total alienation, but rather as real men in a real bad situation. For that reason, I am posting the diary of Koyama Kiwiwojo, which was just found by my roommate among old papers he had been of a mind to throw away. This Diary may have been captured on Saipan by my roommate’s uncle, whose family had it translated years later into English, as he did not survive the war by many years. Beginning this Memorial Day, I shall attempt to transcribe an entry per day.

21 May 44:

At 0800 hours enemy planes made a thorough strafing run along the coastal strip. I expected there would be a bombing, but it did not materialize. Today, as has been the case heretofore, we did not hear of damage we suffered.

In the evening we went to Parai, to get 1,000 rounds of shells which were scheduled to arrive, but they did not come. So came back to barracks at 2200 hours.

Rumors have it that an enemy task force consisting of 4 battleships and 5 carriers. I have no way of knowing how true they are. But feel uneasy because of the fact that there is not an airplane in our A/D. [Air/Defense]

When Your Job Sucks

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