On 16 September 1941, I was called up again for the second time for military service and went to Tsudanuma barracks in a relaxed mood as I had had a good drink of sake at lunch with a friend. At the entrance gate the chief guard who was a corporal called out ‘Salute!’ and I was abashed and realized that I was a civilian no more. A soldier with a blue armband came running up to me, asked who I was, carried my suitcase and led me to the physical examination. There I saw Dr Konuma, who had been with me in the 1st Railway Regiment and was drafted this time. I asked him repeatedly ‘Please let me return home’, but he said ‘I am also going. You cannot be helped.’ So I passed the physical test and went to a room where there were about ten men. Captain Kusuda told me, ‘You are to be assigned to battalion headquarters.’ But as I told him that I would rather be excused from the headquarters, I was assigned to 7th Company. Guided by a soldier, I went out of the gate and came to the railway warehouse which was to be the barrack for the 9th Railway Regiment, a new regiment being formed. As I was amazed that there was nothing in the vast warehouse, the guide soldier left saying, ‘After a while soldiers on active service will come from the second regiment.’ This put me in a bad frame of mind. What a treatment for an experienced draftee like me! As I sat down in the warehouse I fell to sleep from the effect of the lunchtime drink.
KeywordsRailway Bridge Branch Line Rail Track Main Party Transport Ship
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