Of all the strange, gut wrenching jobs you could have during war, this is near the top of the list.
As Japan was getting desperate they ordered pilots kill themselves and drive their planes into ships. They were called the Kamikazes.
To help them, 100 girls in Chiran, Japan were ordered to take care of Kamikaze pilots by being part of a group called the Nadeshiko, named after the delicate pink flowers that symbolize femininity.
Although their duties included other small duties, survivors of the group recall having to stand outside for hours waiving handkerchiefs and branches of pink blossoms to teenagers about to kill themselves in suicide attacks.
These pilots would wave back and board planes loaded down with a bomb on one end and a gas tank on the other.
One survivor of the Nadeshiko named Chino Kuwashiro, now 86, said:
“Remembering that still makes me tremble. We waved and waved until we couldn’t see them anymore. Why did we have to endure such sorrow?”
The sorrow however didn’t carry over to the young men about to carry out the dastardly act. They seemed brainwashed that suicide was better than a possible defeat. 19 year old Kamikaze Fujio Wakamatsu said:
“I have a big smile, Mother, as I am about to carry out my last, and first, act of filial love. Don’t cry. Please think I did good.”
CHIRAN, Japan — As young army pilots took off on suicide-attack missions in the closing days of World War II, the schoolgirls in this southwestern Japanese town waved handkerchiefs and branches of pink blossoms.
“Remembering that still makes me tremble,” said Chino Kuwashiro, now a tiny 86-year-old with a stooped back. “We waved and waved until we couldn’t see them anymore. Why did we have to endure such sorrow?”
She and the other girls were called Nadeshiko, after the fragile pink flowers seen as a symbol of femininity in Japan. They were ordered to take care of the pilots at the army base in Chiran. Their jobs included cleaning, doing the laundry, sewing on buttons, and saying goodbye.
The 100 or so girls had their jobs for barely a month in the spring of 1945, but the farewell ceremony, in which some were ordered to take part, is etched painfully in their minds. Only about a dozen Nadeshiko women are alive today.
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