The teacher, with a choked voice, finished reading.
"The person who gave us this letter has already died in battle in the
southern sea. He is no longer here." Saying this, she cried in front of
the students. Then the teacher talked in detail for the first time about
From that day on, the children continued to make and give
flower bouquets until there were no more flowers in the fields. Several
kamikaze planes carrying the children's violets may have scattered them on the
Several of those kamikaze planes had trouble along the way
and crashed into the sea or an island without anyone knowing.
The war ended, and several years passed. On one small,
uninhabited island in the southern sea, for some time violet flowers have been
blooming all over the place. Perhaps seeds were also mixed in with the violet
flower bouquets given by the children.
Even now people along the coast call that unnamed
island "Violet Island."
Translated by Bill Gordon
The above story is an English translation of the following children's book:
Imanishi, Sukeyuki. 1991. Sumirejima (Violet Island). Illustrated by
Yoshiro Matsunaga. Tōkyō: Kaisei-sha.
The pictures on this web page come from pages 12, 16, and 25 of the original
book. The book's pictures have been cropped for use on this web page due to
their large size.
See Sumirejima (Violet
Island) for review of book.