Female Student Corps

Female Student Corps was high school girls in Okinawa, who were drafted to the war during WWII. They were sent to the battlefield, after receiving some training from the surgeon how to treat wounded soldiers by spending minimum time to learn. Those high school girls were sent to the war without any legal reasons.

Naha, the capitol city of Okinawa was bombed heavily by the bombers of the U.S. troops and turned into ruins on October 10, 1944. They started bombing all of the Okinawa islands from March 1945. Total number of the Japanese soldiers dead and wounded in combat drastically increased, after the U.S. troops landed on mainland of Okinawa April 1, 1945. Female student corps, who were instant nurses worked hard with surgeons and hygienic soldiers of the Japanese troops by helping them doing the operation and giving first aid to the wounded soldiers.

How the Japanese troops treated those female student corps varied depending on the personality of the commander. Female student troops who were working under the commander, who knew how important every single life of the girls were, treated them as ladies. They were kept deep in the bomb shelter and were told not to come close to the entrance of it. Zuisen female student corps, which Michiko Miyagi was a member of, was treated as if they were a new conscript. They were sent out on the battlefield to get some vegetables, yam potatoes and water in the middle of heavy bombardment by the U.S., which was called the typhoon of steel and bombs.

There were total of nine women’s high schools in Okinawa Islands. Every school had different name for their female student troops. They were Zuisen female student corps, Himeyuri female student corps, Shiraume female student corps, Nagoran female student corps, Sekitoku female student corps, Deigo female student corps, Miyako Kohjo female student corps, Yaeyama Kohjo female student corps and Yaenoh female student corps. Only 361 of them survived out of the total of 555 high school girls drafted to the war. Only 28 girls, which were less than a half, survived from the total of 61 high school girls of Zuisen female student corps.

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