Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Flawed Legacy - 7a

I am going to interrupt my chronological "journey" for a day as I review a couple of incidents that happened while I was stationed at Itazuke.

The first occurred when four of us who were new to Kyushu decided to take a long weekend and travel around the island and view life as a Japanese native.  We started by walking down the rows of street side "stalls" out of which they peddled their wares and more often, their fruits and vegetables.  We had a blast teasing one another, urging the others to buy a sample - which never happened.

Then we came upon a beautiful hotel in Kokura and walked in to see how much it would cost for a night and discovered for "G.I.'s" it was more than reasonable.  We paired off and spend most of the day walking through the beautiful gardens and we also discovered the bathing pool.  It was divided by a sheet hanging the ceiling and barely touching the water.  It was there to separate the men from the women.  My roommate and I decided to try it out and no sooner was he in the water and he began to "test" the curtain.  Immediately, there were screams and a guard came to warn us - "No touchee!"

It was my first time ever in a pool and I was really enjoying myself when my buddy came up from behind me and whispered, "We are going to have lots of fun this evening."  With that I was out of the pool and looking for the others.  When I found them, they asked if I did not know about the other guy, that almost everyone knew he was a "queer".   Innocent me, I did not know.  Back in our room, he was quick to undress and sat on the floor, buck naked, inviting me to join him.  When I told him that such things were an abomination in the Bible, he laughed and ordered more Saki from room service.   That incident ended any relationship we had ever enjoyed.

The next day, I separated from the others and was eating in a restaurant when a Japanese man came over and asked if he could join me.  What a fascinating guy, we would become fast friends, not only with him, but also his family.  I learned he had been a Colonel in the Japanese army and his last station was on Iwo Jima, had also served in Korea and China and with that, I asked him about the pictures I had seen of Japanese soldiers throwing babies into the air and stabbing them with their bayonets.  He acknowledged that such things had happened, but also told me of the drugs and alcohol his superiors had ordered for his troops, telling him it helped the men become even more brave.

There were many such incidents that we discussed and finally, I asked him about Iwo Jima.  It was, as he told me many times, "...real Hell attempting to endure the constant bombardment."  Then, came a real bomb shell.  Many of the men turned to homosexuality, believing they were going to die and nothing mattered to them anymore.  In fact, he claimed, his Adjutant and another high ranking officer, held him down and tried to rape him.  They forgot about his pistol and he shot the Adjutant, killing him, and the others fled.  When the American forces finally landed, my friend and hundreds of others surrendered believing they would get better treatment than they were receiving from their own.

And that was true, but my friend also had to stand trial in a Japanese court for the murder and they took his pension away from him.  It wasn't until the courts heard of the atrocities committed by their own, that he got his pension restored.   One day, he asked me to join him as he was going to be "tried" by a Samurai court and I was about to be amazed by the court's attitude toward homosexual acts in their ranks and I was able to obtain a transcript that later was confirmed by translators who had it written in English.  I have always wished that I could have kept that so that others might know more about the so-called "disease" of homosexuality,  As long as I was in the military and involved with personnel who could possibly be involved in such acts, the more I needed to provide the evidence presented in that Samurai court 

Shortly after I became a Staff Sergeant and could join the Non-Com club, I was approached by three other, higher ranked Sergeants with more service than myself, asking if I knew a certain Colonel in HQ, asked if I knew of any of his Section 8 fixations.  Turns out they were "queers" in the eyes of the military and subject to Section 8 discharges, loss of rank, privileges and immediate discharge, so they needed a "heads up" if the Colonel started asking about.  Since his office was a few doors from my own, they asked me - as a Sergeant,  to keep them advised.  Nothing ever happened.

To me it merely more evidence of the efforts will make just to exposes others who are "different" than them and it goes on today, except that it is much worse.

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