In October 1943, Seoul high school girls make “comfort books” filled with pictures, poetry, songs, and cute dolls for Imperial Japanese soldiers fighting in the Pacific front


Gyeongseong Ilbo, October 29, 1943

Comfort books to the front line
New Opportunity for Seoul No. 2 High School Girls

“It is our duty as maidens behind the line of fire to comfort and encourage the loyal and brave soldiers who are serving day and night on the front lines to destroy the U.S. and Britain to the south and the north, cutting their flesh and breaking their bones. Of course, comfort letters and comfort bags are appropriate. But why not change our idea this time and try comfort books?”, thought the high school girls as they took a new opportunity in comforting the Imperial troops, and they made many comfort books filled with sincerity. These comfort books have already been tried among the girls high schools in Japan proper, and gained much acclaim on the front line. Initially, under the guidance of Instructor Suzuki, the girls divided into groups of ten and started making three comfort books and then 126 books. Turning over each page of the books in the style of an album, there were newspaper clippings reporting on the events behind the front lines, pictures of local scenery, poems and songs written from the heart by the maidens that would make the brave heroes smile, as well as handicrafts like cute little dolls, and many other things that the maidens had devised with much thought. On the 30th, the students, led by Instructor Suzuki, went door to door to visit the homes of the departed brave heroes and comforted their families, presenting the care packages to them saying, “These represent our heartfelt sincerity. Please send them to the front lines.”

(Transcription into modern Japanese orthography)

京城日報 昭和十八年十月二十九日



Gyeongseong Ilbo, May 1, 1943

Comfort Bags and Soldiers

The gratitude for the comfort bags sent with sincerity from behind the front lines struck the hearts of the brave men on the front lines, and they were moved to tears. There were soldiers who found their inner child holding children’s toys and were moved to tears, as well as those whose cheeks turned red at being encouraged by strangers. There were also crying soldiers who bowed countless times upon receiving precious ice sugar. The encouragement from receiving the comfort bags is a noble feeling that can only be experienced by those who are far away from home. (Photo: Soldiers rejoicing in anticipation of what they would receive, at the [redacted] front lines in the south = censored by the army)

(Transcription into modern Japanese orthography)

京城日報 昭和十八年五月一日