To young Ann Borja, the arrival of the Americans came in the nick of time. The 18-year old girl was among a group of young women at the Manengon encampment who were to be transported to Tai, some five miles away, for reasons unknown.
"A few days after American troops landed at Asan and Agat, a Japanese truck full of young Chamorro women reached Manengon and the women were allowed to disembark,"
"We noticed that all the girls were shaking, apparently with fear, and we asked them what had happened. But no one would talk. We wanted to find out because we were to take their places.
"Luckily for us, before we boarded the truck, a few of our women spotted an American soldier hiding behind a nearby bush. He was with eleven other GIs.
"The Americans told us they were on patrol and advised us not to follow them. But nobody bothered to listen. There must have been about 300 ragged people who dropped everything and followed the Americans,"
"I learned later the girls whom we were to replace were raped by Japanese officers at Tai. Most of them, I understand."
Ann had her first close call early during the occupation. She and her family were still living in San Antonio when a group of Japanese soldiers, after having been on a drinking spree, became boisterous and some attempted to force themselves into homes in the neighborhood, looking for girls.
Naoe Takano and her husband, Luis, were living in the area, and when she heard the commotion, Naoe rushed out of her home and scolded the soldiers. They left the neighborhood without incident.
Not so fortunate was Mariquita Perez Howard, young wife of a PENGUIN crewman, who, after laboring for months at the kaikontai headquarters in Tai, was last seen being escorted by a group of Japanese soldiers, presumably enroute to Manengon. She vanished.
Nor were Arthur Aderson, Toni Quitugua, teen-agers Bea Flores and John Cabrera and seven others able to escape the murderous grip of the Japanese.
Tony Palomo, An Island in Agony (1984), pp. 211-212.
The "Japanization" of Guam peaked during the summer of 1942. The island and all of the villages had been given Japanese names and schools were re-opened to teach Japanese language and traditions. All American books were burned. Young children were required to attend classes each morning, but instead of pledging allegations to the American flag, they now bowed to the emperor of Japan. If they were late for school, they were slapped or struck with sticks. People between the ages of thirteen and sixty had to attend evening classes twice a week. Gradually, as more people began living in semi-seclusion in rural areas and others found excuses for not attending, few adults were left in the education program.
(Chris Perez Howard, Mariquita--A Tragedy of Guam (2000), p. 96)
During this time, everyone suffered, but the ones most affected were those who daily suffered the injustice of forced labor under the scrutiny of the Japanese who treated them as dispensable animals.
When Mariquita had first gone to Tai in March, she was assigned to help prepare food to be cooked and trucked to the various campsites. Later, she was assigned to a labor gang to do agricultural fieldwork near Manengon, a farming area to the south. There she toiled in the hot sun from sunrise to sunset with very little rest and a meager ration of food. While there she often witnessed the mistreatment of her helpless co-laborers, herself an occasional victim. But now she had a new assignment, and it would be the final test of her strength.
Tai was the headquarters of the Kaikontai and when several high-ranking officers arrived there at the end of June, girls considered desirable were selected to work as their personal servants. Mariquita was one of those selected, and she was forced to return to Tai. It was her beauty that would ultimately lead to her death.
The main camp of the Kaikonta consisted of three makeshift dwellings for the officers. . . . (p. 112)
Besides cooking, laundering and the general cleaning of the officer' (sic) quarters, they were compelled to serve their masters, including bathing and massaging them. If they refused, they were beaten. Their servitude extended to the cutting of the officers' toenails and, under the threat of death, some were forced to submit to other desires.
From the first day she worked for the Japanese officers, Mariquita had fifficulty concealing her resentment but she controlled her feelings with silence and did the work expected of her. That day she suspected that there would come a time when one of the officers would try to force her to sleep with him and she decided that if the situation arose, she would ratehr die than disgrace her husband and lose her dignity.
The girls who were there were isolated from the other Guamanians who worked at the camp and were not allowed to converse with one another. And, if for any reason one of the officers was displeased, all the girls were punished. This rule was made evident the first morning when the girls werelined up for inspection. One of their requirements was to be neat and clean. That day one of the girls wore a soiled dress. All the girls were slapped, the offender harshly struck with a stick, and those who made any noise or cried were likewise hit. (p. 113)
As she had done everyday since the end of June, except for that one morning in Manengon, Mariquita lined up for inspection at daybreak on the morning of July 18, 1944, three days before the beginning of the liberation of her people, and six days before her twenty-fourth birthday. Making an unusual appearance, the head taicho was there for the inspection.
He accused some of the girls for being late. Mariquita was one of them. The girls were beaten with a stick of wood and slapped. Mariquita was beaten more severely than the rest. Being small, and weak from the events of the past weeks, she winced under the blows, and as a result, she was beaten harder. The taicho took out his sword in anger and struck her with the blunt edge. He scolded and cursed her. Her head began bleeding profusely. The others were then told to go back to work, and Mariquita was ordered to go to the taicho's quarters and wait there for him.
Mariquita remained in the taicho's quarters until late that evening when a Japanese official inquired whether the taicho had finished his investigation of her. His answer was affirmative and the official led her away toward the woods. Mariquita was never seen again. (p. 123)
P.S. #2（2018.09.13, 0:01）：日本国との平和条約（サンフランシスコ平和条約）