Thursday, November 19, 2015


Chamorro women (perhaps from Saipan) washing laundry in the stockade
(MARC collection)

Much of Guam history after the war remains hidden.

Take, for example, the stockade built by the Americans for civilians suspected of being pro-Japanese.

The stockade was located in Agaña Heights, along where Naval Hospital is now.

Interned men and women were housed in different sections.

Those interned were local full-blooded Japanese civilians, most of whom had Chamorro wives; Chamorros from Saipan, and even the children of Japanese and Chamorro marriages. There may have been Guam full-blooded Chamorro civilians put in the stockade, too, but I have not heard yet of anyone specific.

The internee put in charge of the women's section of the stockade (called the matron) is still very much alive and blessed with good health. She granted me an interview.

Rosita was the daughter of a Japanese tailor and a Chamorro mother. She was an only-child.

On the sole basis of her being the daughter of a Japanese father, she was placed in the stockade after the American reoccupation. The Americans put her skills to work. She could speak English, Chamorro and Japanese and was dependable and cooperative. So they made her head of the women's section.

She registered anyone who was sent to the stockade. She supervised the women according to the instructions of the Americans, like Dr. Stone, who was the stockade physician. She herself made money as a seamstress for the American officers. Even the Saipan ladies helped her in this and made some money as well.

In all this, she bore no grudges but rather made the best of it. Rosita later on became a school teacher and a techa, leading people in Chamorro prayers.

Rosita spent less than a year in the stockade and was then released.

A good number of Japanese-Chamorros and their Japanese fathers had to be cleared by other Chamorros vouching for their innocence.

The full story of these Japanese-Chamorros has yet to be told.

Watch the interview :

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting and informative! Thanks for sharing!