Chapter 4:


If the Sun not Rising

Two days after we defeated the allies, we were still walking.

Two days had passed without rations.

The soldiers staggered.

If we face the enemy, our life is definitely over.

Recon regiment that succeeded in attacking the allied forces still had to walk to
the city of Bandung to unite with the 230th regiment.

“Sōchō, you look unwell, we should rest here first.”

They sat under a tree while the other soldiers continued their journey.

“I’m so hungry. Hey spotter, do you have any leftovers?”

“Sure, I still have one sweet potato.”

“Can I have half?”

“Please, just take them all.”

“Aren’t you hungry too?”

“No need, I’m not that hungry.”

He took out a sweet potato and gave it to Taise. He immediately took and ate
the sweet potato in a hurry.

“Sōchō, please don’t eat that raw, otherwise your stomach will hurt.”

The spotter held Taise’s hand.

“Why? Isn’t this a sweet potato?”

“Yes, it is, but this sweet potato comes from this land. Look! it is white and
much tougher, cook it first.”

“I see, but I can’t make a fire.”

“Then wait a moment, I will prepare for you.”

He went looking for materials to make a fire.

Am I going to die like this?

Have I done my best for my country?

The spotter came back with dry grass and some wood. He started twirling a wooden stick to light a fire.

“You’re smart, what’s your name?”

“Thank you, my name is Masashi, Masashi Tamotsu.”

“Before joining the war, what were you in your hometown?”

“I used to be a student, I studied plants, so when I have free time I go to study
the surrounding plants.”

“So you’re an intellectual. After we win and the war is over, will you go back to
studying plants?”

“Of course, then for that, until that day comes I must stay alive.”

He smiled? How come?

“Sōchō, how about you?”

“I- I don’t know, for sure I will go home and meet my family.”

“Then you must stay alive, Sōchō, Ah- the fire is ready.”

Just being able to meet my mother and sister, that’s enough.

After resting, they both continued their journey.

Many soldiers were sick, many had starved to death, some had lost their sanity.

10? 15? 20 kilometers? I had forgotten how far I had walked.

Just being able to meet my mother and sister, that’s enough.

After resting, they both continued their journey.

Many soldiers were sick, many had starved to death, some had lost their sanity.

10? 15? 20 kilometers? I had forgotten how far I had walked.

My last memory which I remember is that soldiers in front of me fell one by one.
I saw a lot of fireflies with white light.
Even though the scenery is beautiful but for some reason my eyes feel very heavy.
I want to see this scene a little longer.
But in the end, my eyes closed.

Then I heard a noise in a language I didn’t understand.

“Sōchō, how are you?”

When Taise woke up, he saw Tamotsu already standing beside him.

“What happened?”

“You fainted in middle of our trip then I managed to bring you to this village.”

“How about others?”

“Don’t worry, recon squad is also here. Those who are sick and tired are getting

“Thats great! Then we have to hurry. Wait a minute, who’s in charge now?”

“Ah, for that matter-.”

After he came out, he saw the locals providing care and giving food to recon squad.

“Sōchō, please lead us from now on.”

Soldiers who saw Taise immediately bowed.

“Isn’t there someone else who is higher in rank than me?”

“I’m sorry Sōchō but, General Nasu and commander Kin’ichi are still far behind or
may have already passed us then lieutenant tatsuki disappeared and lieutenant
Fukinoto died during the previous battle.”

“I see. Then we’ll stay here for a few days and send a squad to the city to report to
General Nasu.”


“Hey Masashi, is there a translator among us?”

“Sorry Sōchō, but no one.”

Taise strolled around, looking at the condition of his troops as well as observing
surroundings. Local resident bowed slightly and lower his right hand forward to
the passing soldiers.

Farmers planted crops in rice fields, children ran around playing, and women
helped to take care of injured soldiers.

This village reminds me of my hometown.

The road is between the vast expanse of rice fields, so nostalgic.

The surrounding hills, so nostalgic.

As well as chirping of birds and sound of insects, so nostalgic.

After 2 days had passed, the Taise regiment was visited by Hashida battalion.
Taise immediately reported everything that happened. What was unexpected
was that he just found out that the Dutch had unconditionally surrendered to
Empire of Japan 4 days ago and Nasu Detachment had reached the city.

First Lieutenant Hashida gave a mandate to Taise and officer Yoshizumi to
build a military base in this area. Day after day passed. First, they built
bridges with the residents, then installed telephone cables and radio towers.

Good times were when Japanese soldiers did not take up arms but ate with
local citizens and slept with them. But those times did not last forever.
Imperial Japanese Army needed supplies in various regions.

Taise is urged by Lieutenant Hashida to supply ammunition and food and
distribute them to various places. There was no other way so that finally
the order to recruit romusha (worker) was executed.

People were forced to build roads, build fortifications on the hills, build
bullet factories. The farmers are forced to grow only essential crops such
as rice and cassava. Tea gardens and coffee plantations are not allowed
because they are just for pleasure.

Virgins and women were forced to become jugun ianfu to satisfying lust
of the soldiers. Residents who refuse will be whipped or will be internment,
even worse, the death penalty.

Day after day, residents began to doubt the heroism of the Imperial Japanese
Army. However, on April 29, 1942, Japanese radio broadcast the 3A Movement,

Protector of Asia, Nippon.
Leader of Asia, Nippon.
Light of Asia, Nippon.

Doubts of people fading again, they believed that at this time Japan was protecting
Asia. The next day Lieutenant Hashida gave orders to Yoshizumi to escort the
civilians who were directly brought in from Japan. He had to escort their trip
from the city to this village.

Fireplace has been lit.
Heaven has become hell.
The sun is not the same anymore.


If the Sun not Rising