The other Japanese story was told me by General Abernethy while I was his Chief of Staff, at Headquarters, H.S.C.A.B.
He played golf regularly at the Oahu Country Club, and always used the same Caddy, a Japanese boy about 18 years old, who was very intelligent, and who never failed to be on hand waiting on the days that General Abernethy played golf. General Abernethy became quite fond of the boy and enjoyed talking to him.
One afternoon, as the foursome was returning to the Club house to try to make par on the 19th hole, the boy told General Abernethy that he wished to speak to him, and when the two of them had fallen behind the others the boy told him that that was the last time he would be able to caddy for him, that he had just received his summons to go to Japan for several years of military service, and that he would have to leave in a few days.
General Abernethy expressed his regret and told the boy good by.
About two days later he went out to play again and was much surprised when he found the boy waiting, as usual, to caddy for him.
He asked him how it was that he had not left for Japan.
The boy replied: "It is the Japanese law that if a father has died his eldest son is exempt from military service. Last week my father killed himself so that I would not have to go."
I think these two stories are interesting in that they illustrate some of the perhaps conflicting characteristics of the Japanese mentality that we Americans sometimes find it hard to understand.