All alone in an uncaring world: that was the fate of many Japanese children who lost their parents during World War II. Desperate and hungry, they drifted to train stations in big cities and lived in underground passages, and were called and known as “station children”. They were forced to beg and, often, to steal. Some just waited for death. NHK found survivors who reveal the largely unknown plight of these war orphans. A woman recalled caring for her brother and sister in the dark hell beneath Tokyo’s Ueno Station. A man, spurned by relatives, described living on the streets, nearly blinded by illness and losing his best friend to suicide. These heartbreaking accounts offer an important message for modern Japan.
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