This is the first of a series of haibun (prose and hokku) about the Japanese invasion and occupation of the Republic of the Philippines during World War Two.
I live in the Republic of the Philippines, a country consisting of over 7,000 islands in Southeast Asia. During World War Two, this island nation was invaded and occupied by the Imperial Japanese Army, one of the most brutal and racist armies on the planet at the time, an ally of Hitler's Nazi war machine.
Their treatment of the Filipino people was beyond inhumane. They forced women into prostitution, bayoneted thousands of living babies, and left a hideous trail of murder, torture, rape, and pilferage in their wake.
What goes through a soldier's mind when he willfully picks up living babies and bayonets them with glee in their eyes, one after another? These men became monsters. War can do that to young men. Fueled by racial hatred, such atrocities were committed by soldiers who served under the Nazis, Stalin, Mao, The Congo, Somalia, the Cambodian Communist regime, the Taliban, American slavers, the U.S. government against Native Americans, Harry S. Truman (the Atomic Bomb), the Catholic Inquisition, and, to a lesser, but no less insignificant, degree, soldiers serving in every war including the Vietnam War, and the current Middle Eastern occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan by American Troops.
Perhaps this series can play a small part in getting people to wake up and do their part to stop once and for all such madness. It is you, the people, who make up the world we live in.
Only you have the ability to introduce peaceful co-existence, tolerance, respect, and love to your community. It starts with having a good self-image. You can only love others to the degree that you love yourself.
high noon . . .
high noon . . .
the short cry of a
thick grass . . .
the tiny bones of a
robert d. wilson