Grandmother's background as a nurse in Japan

Transcripts available in the following languages:

My grandmother was born in 1888. And she went to nurse's training school and graduated, I believe, in 1903. I have a photograph of her in her graduating class. And then immediately following that, she was drafted into the Japanese Imperial Navy as a Red Cross Nurse. And because of her nurse's training, and so on, it was logical that that would happen. But she was sent on assignment to the Japan-Russian War, which was sort of at its peak, and was sent to the famous Battle of Port Arthur which was the decisive battle of the Japan-Russian War. And she was on a Red Cross ship along with a lot of other Red Cross nurses. And they were servicing those men that were being injured in the Battle of the Baltic Sea.

And my grandmother wrote a story about that that has been published in several sources. But the story was about how they were expected to lose that battle against the Russian fleet, and she writes about how she was anticipating that suicide bills were going to -- pills were going to be passed out to all the nurses. And so they all cleaned their rooms in preparation to die, to save some honor in defeat. And then she talked about how she saw the bodies of soldiers washing in from the Baltic Sea and how they would count how many were Russians and how many were Japanese. And, but then as it turns out, the Japanese fleet defeated the Russian fleet and victory was theirs. And she described how they stood and screamed their banzais (cheers) and so on.

Date: March 18 & 20, 2003
Location: Washington, US
Interviewer: Alice Ito and Mayumi Tsutakawa
Contributed by: Denshō: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

nurse Russo-Japanese war

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