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"Hog Calling"
"Hog Calling"

Depicts U.S. Navy landing craft cruising offshore Marianas, with Nisei calling for Japanese to surrender.

Built by Brian Buhl. 12" x 18"
Hog-calling was the name given to the attempt to convince Japanese soldiers and civilians to peacefully surrender to the Americans. The Americans hoped not only to ensure the security of their own troops, but also to prevent mass suicides.

"Nisei, calling through loudspeakers, were amongst those trying to prevent this disaster. According to a Marine Corps account:

Interpreters, using public address systems, pleaded with people in caves to come out. The device was not only attempted from land but from the sea as well. LCI gunboats moved close inshore and broadcast promises of good treatment, for which they were answered with fire from Japanese soldiers in the caves. Even some of Saipan's leading citizens, who had surrendered and received good treatment, talked to those in the caves, urging them to yield. But, for the effort expended, the results were not encouraging. The primary reason for this failure was that the people had been saturated with Japanese propaganda to the effect that the Americans intended to torture and kill them. This had been repeated so often that the people came to believe it.
At this time the very zenith of horror occurred. Hundreds of civilians, believing that the end had come, embarked on a ghastly exhibition of self-destruction. Casting their children ahead of them, or embracing them in death, parents flung themselves from the cliffs onto the jagged rocks below. Some waded into the surf to drown or employed other gruesome means to destroying themselves. How many civilians died in this orgy of mass hysteria is not known. A commander of a patrol craft said that progress of his boat around Marpi Point at this time was slow and tedious because of the hundreds of corpses floating in the water."
Honor by Fire: Japanese Americans at War in Europe and the Pacific
Brian Buhl
Courtesy of National Japanese American Historical Society