January 30, 1943

Posted: January 30, 2013 in Uncategorized
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In this camp we had bed bugs, fleas, lice and the biggest and hungriest mosquitoes I’ve ever seen. At Tinko, all the time the Japs were calling roll call, they would stomp their feet to keep the fleas off their legs and shoes. The bed bugs at on us most of the time when the lights were off. They were hard to find as there were so many cracks and slits in the mats that we slept on. They could hide, and we had nothing to combat them with. Head lice and body lice were a very common thing. I was fortunate enough to have a job in the shipyard, so that I could take my clothes off once a week and put them on one of the furnaces that I worked on. I boiled the clothes to kill the knits [sic] of the lice, and therefore, I was able to keep the lice to a minimum on my body and in my clothes.

There was the Benjo, which is Japanese for toilet. This Benjo was located on the north end of our compound, and it was a twelve “holer”, or should I say twelve splits in the floor. These splits were about eight inches wide and about sixteen inches long. It became quite an art to have a bowel movement in this Benjo and to dodge the splash back. Sometimes we find strange things amusing. I guess I got more laughs out of this than anything that I saw or witnessed while I was in prison camps. Sometimes the laugh was on me, however.

  1. Mustang.Koji says:

    “Benjyo” is written 便所 in Japanese. Loosely translated, it means “place of convenience”. I cannot imagine the constant irritation of the critters… mosquitoes, lice… A real nightmare.

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