Uwanuma Elementary School

~    Voice of "Mamma" Heard Even Now    ~

This section relates the story of Mr. Sugawara, who worked as a caretaker for three years until the end of the war in 1945 at the then Uwanuma National School, Uwanuma Branch.

At some point the order came from the Sanuma police to "put the American doll in the furnace and burn her." I was asked by the school principal to "deal with this somehow since they will come to investigate." Mr. Kato, a teacher in charge of the branch school, and I thought, "Just the idea of burning the doll is upsetting. Isn't there some way to hide her." We two hid her in the teachers' room. We waited for everyone to return home and for it to become dark. We managed to move a heavy cabinet that could not be expected to be moved by just a couple of people. Luckily there was a dark crevice between the cabinet and the wall where the doll could just fit. I took the glass cover off the wooden case, took the doll out, and tenderly hugged her. The doll, with her eyes closed, cried out "Mamma."

In the middle of night in the pitch-dark teachers' room, it seems that voice was not the doll, but a child pleading, "Don't burn me up! Please hide me!" I can still hear her voice. As expected, a Sanuma policeman came to investigate.

"Did you burn the doll?"

"Yes, I put her into the stove and burnt her just as we were told."

The policeman looked into the empty case, searched with a sharp eye in the teachers' room, and even opened the lids on the large kitchen pots and peeped into them.

How long it was before the policeman left! We were greatly relieved that we were not arrested. 

Introduction | Murata Daiyon Elementary School | Hirobuchi Kindergarten
Uwanuma Elementary School | Sanbongi Elementary School | Maiya Elementary School
Monou Elementary School | Postscript and Reference Books

This is an English translation of a Japanese web page.
Special thanks to Tomoko Shizukuishi and the Miyagi Co-op, Peace Action Committee for their permission to publish this web page and for their kind assistance in this English translation.

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