Saturday, April 6, 2013


He's Out of High School and On to More Learning

Koichi's next adventure was studies in Korea.  I think I remember he was going there to study Veterinary Science.  Korea, why?  Japan had occupied Korea in 1905 and declared it to be a protectorate.  In 1910 they annexed Korea through an Annexation Treaty.  Korea saw this action as "forced occupation."  Japan's administration of Korea continued for 35 years, until Japan's surrender on September 2, 1945 at the end of World War II.  (see:  Empire of Japan from Wikipedia).

He was riding the train, in Korea, to or from classes.  World War II was beginning and the police were riding all the trains.  Koichi was studying as he rode.  The police noticed he was writing his paper in English.  They immediately thought he was an American spy.  He was arrested on the spot and taken away.  I don't know all the details and conversations that might have ensued.

But he was taken to some kind of prison for torture.  He had many kinds of awful torture every day for eleven months and twenty-three days.  Nana's uncle was also arrested  and tortured as well.  Some forms of torture were:  to be tied on your back to a flat bench, a gag in your mouth and water dripping on the gag into your mouth until your stomach filled up and unless you could make yourself vomit it out, you drown; feet chained to the floor and wrist to the side of a wheel then the wheel is turned to stretch the hip and shoulder joints out of place; head squeezed in a vice until sometimes the skull cracks; made to kneel on a sharply corrugated floor with hundred pound weights placed on the legs; required to stair at a very bright light inside a room painted with a very glossy white paint; some or all of these happened without sleep or breaks from the routine.

I don't remember what happened to Nana's uncle.  Eventually Koichi was released from the prison and put into the army to train for flying a kamikaze bomber.  To do that he had to take some intensive test.  The results showed that he qualified to be an officer.  But they couldn't allow a Christian to be in the Japanese army as a Christian.  They either repeated the same test or gave him another one, and he passed that, too.  After passing the third test, he was made an officer in the Japanese army.

During all this time, General Doolittle of the U. S. Air force with his squadron had made their long flight to drop the first bombs on the mainland of Japan.  After the bombing, they flew on hoping to make it over Japanese occupied China and land in Free China.  But some of the planes ran out of fuel and went down at night in the occupied section.  They were soon picked up and each U.S. Airman was put into solitary confinement.  It was a huge story and several books have been written about this episode.

After a few years, the U.S. Airmen were paraded before a room full of mocking Japanese officers.  One U.S. Airman named Jacob de Shaser had been raised by Christian parents back home in the State of Oregon.  He got saved during his solitary confinement.  Somehow he was able to communicated his faith to the only Christian in the Japanese army.  That was Koichi and all though, I think they didn't speak during that meeting, Koichi was able to convey his own faith.

Years passed,  The war was over.  De Shaser came home to Oregon and attended college, then returned to Japan as a missionary.  During one of his furrows back to the states he spoke at a Sunday evening conference in Edmond, Oklahoma.  Koichi somehow learned that de Shaser would be there.  We arranged with some friends to drive us.  It was a great experience to witness the second meeting of those two great Christian men.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this. Are we, would we be this strong in our Christian Faith?