Natsuki is one of the children that we collaborated with in Japan. She had grandparents who experienced the war when they were young. Here's her interview with her grandparents:
Food and clothing was rationed during the war. People were ordered to dig and make air-raid shelters in the garden.
People suffered from shortage of food. They could not eat enough rice. They usually had KAYU, ZOSUI, and SUITON.
KAYU and ZOSUI --- rice porridge, rice and potato porridge, rice and pease porridge, etc
SUITON---- soup with dumplings
People wore an air-raid hood or helmet and carried an emergency kit bag when they went out. Women wore work pants all day to prepare for emergency.
I was a student at a girls' high school in Tsuyama during the war. I helped farmers after school when they were busy. Every shop in Tsuyama was closed. Food was rationed according to the number of a family. As rice was in short supply, we ate rice and vegetable porridge, and soup with dumplings everyday. Clothing was also rationed. My mother remade my clothes from hers and my fathers'. My husband's brother was killed in the war in the Philippines on May 23, 1945. American fighters B-29 made air-raids on the Japanese mainland one after another. Whenever warning siren sounded, we covered electric lights with black cloth so that light did not leak. When air-raid alarms sounded, we turned off every electric light. I graduated from high school in the spring of 1944. After graduation, every student was forced to munitions factories in Okayama to make radio direction detectors. In 1945, Okayama was bombed. I fled from fire bombs to a river. On August 15, 1945, the war ended at last. I think we must not start war again.
I was a student at a girls' high school in Nagaoka. I lived in a dormitory as my house was far from the school. The most hard thing during the war was shortage of food. For breakfast, I ate rice and pease porridge. I brought pease and rice as a lunch to school. The half of my lunch box was empty, and I was always hungry. Students did not study, but had to go to munitions factories to make precision instrument parts. Nagaoka was bombed. Air-raid warning siren often sounded. Whenever the siren sounded, we refuged into an air-raid shelter. On the night of August 1, 1945, Nagaoka was greatly bombed. I fled from firebombs with an air-raid hood and an emergency kit bag barefoot. I put a quilt on my head and ran into a river. I stayed a night in the river. Fortunately, it was summer and there was few water. When I looked up at the sky, it was very bright like daytime. It looked as if the sky were covered with big fireworks. After daybreak, I walked back to my hometown and knew the end of the war there. We had no youth with few food, few clothing, few freedom. No more wars!
I left my home in Niigata Prefecture, and entered the Navy Accounting School in Shinagawa, Tokyo when I was 15 years old. As Tokyo was greatly bombed in January 1945, all the students took a night train and evacuated to Tarumi, Hyogo Prefecture. Then the war ended, and I did not go to a battlefield. As I wan in Navy, I had enough food --- rice, miso soup, pickled vegetables.