I have a Japanese diary obtained from Okinawa via my uncle who in the US Marines from a fallen Japanese soldier during the invasion of the island in 1944. Was it by my uncles hand or simply a war souvenir, I do not know. My uncle never talked of his time on Okinawa, only did I learn of the horrors of the invasion until after his passing. Okinawa was part of the three island campaign leading up to Iwo Jima, and the fighting was the fiercest of the war. Okinawa did something to "Nookie", and after learning of the ferocity of the invasion I can only imagine. He carried his nightmares to his grave.
This diary has been in the family and I obtained it after Carolyn's death in 1999.
In 2000, I sent pages to USC School of Foreign Languages and had a Japanese language instructor translate a few pages.
There are over three years of entries.
The information obtained from the instructor via translation was the soldier was a headmaster of a school in Japan and wrote of his longing for the war to be over, his knowledge of his impending fate, and his missing of family, friends and the school children. He wrote of his disdain for war.
The instructor wrote back and said it would take a while for the translation as it was written in a dialect that he was able to decipher but would take some time.
With Musashi in the area, and any contacts you may have within or without the area, I would like to try to translate this diary and go even further and try to send this diary back to any surviving relatives of this soldier.
It seems far fetched, but the possibilities of a good story, the insight into the soldiers thoughts, the PR that could develop from this could be a wonderful event far surpassing our county lines. From a humanitarian standpoint, I understand the Japanese culture holds these items sacred and to actually find a descendant of this gentleman and return the diary would be a wonderful event. If family could not be found, just the insight into three years of thoughts from a soldier would be fascinating.
The little bit that was translated he wrote of meeting with friends, the harvest of rice for the year, his family, his budgeting (he even does his budget in the diary!). I cannot find from the small amount of writing any fanatical writings but well written heart felt longings for a life torn away by the winds of War.
I hope you find an interest in such an item and project.
P.O. Box 6245, Great Falls, Montana 59406