The True Story 32 Men Fighting Over a Single Woman 

Near the end of World War II (1944), a husband, Shoichi Higa, and his wife, Kazuko, were living on the island called Anatahan. They were copra farmers. Japanese lived there. There were islanders who worked the farms, but they all left.

Shoichi was worried about his sister in Saipan, so he traveled there, leaving his wife in charge of the farm. He tried to return but was blocked due to war mobilization. There was no word on whether his sister was alive and well.

One day, a bunch of Japanese ships were bombed by US planes, and 31 survivors, all men, reached the island. They ranged in age from late teens to late twenties. Gensaburo Yoshino, a man who worked on Shoichi’s farm, suggests he and Kazuko pretend to be married so these sailors will not try anything with her.

The rouse held, and they ruled over the island until, one day, Morio stabbed Yoshino to death and took Kazuko as his woman. The balance of power changed.

One day, two men stumble upon a downed US plane. Inside, they find a corpse and two pistols. This changed the balance of power for the third time. Kazuko ended up “married” to Riichiro Yanagibashi, who eventually — accidentally? — drowned.

There came a point when after 11 men had died competing for the only woman on the island when the remaining men decided they were done. Fuck that shit.

The US ships came by and told them the war was over and they could return to Japan. No one believed them and stayed on the island.
Kazuko heard that her life was in danger now that the men had stopped fighting for her. As a result, she fled into the jungle for a month, hoping to flag down a passing US ship. She returned to Japan.

The US ships returned with letters from families telling the men that the war was over and it was time to return home. They waved white flags, and American boats came to the rescue.

Kazuko returned to Japan as a hero. A stunning and brave woman stranded on an island with 31 men. She discovered her husband thought she was dead and remarried with children. She realized she needed to find a way to make money. She turned to the media, told her story, wrote a book, and acted in plays and films, but her acting was so bad that those roles dried up quickly.

The sailors who returned to Japan also wrote a book that cast Kazuko in a bad light, and her reputation took a major hit. The men’s account was taken as fact, and Kazuko moved into the countryside.

Then she vanished.

There are several differing accounts of want happened to her. Some say she opened a small café and remarried. Other accounts say she bumped into her husband by accident and they remarried.

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