The idea for making a short story on the “Mayasan Maru” came to me from my interest in naval losses during the Pacific War.
The Pacific war is mostly remembered as victorious US marines fighting against the Japanese and big naval battles like Midway. However, little is known about allied submarines which wrought havoc against Japanese shipping throughout the Pacific War.
From 1942 till the end of the war, allied submarines, mostly American, sank over 2,000 Japanese merchant ships and naval auxiliary ships in which about 35,000 Japanese seamen lost their lives.
The Japanese army also commandeered many ships for troop transporting duties and after submarine torpedo attacks many of the soldiers on board had little chance of survival. Of an estimated 230,000 Japanese soldiers who had been sent overseas to help reinforce upcoming campaigns, more than 100,000 of them were killed on ships.
During the onslaught of the Pacific War, many Japanese civilians also got involved. Many were simply fleeing the war and others helped in the war effort. More or less 35,000 Japanese civilians had been reported to have died during the Pacific War, making it the largest lost of life none combattants at during war.
Unfortunately, many of the civilians were also among military passengers so the exact number of civilians who perished in the Pacific, was never fully identified.
These facts moved me to think of making a comic to tell the story of one Japanese ship called the “Mayasan Maru”.