Toru Hashimoto, Mayor of Osaka’s comment asserting the “Comfort women” system during wartime was ‘A necessary evil’ was appalling, and I feel deeply shameful of his sensless remarks as a Japanese. But most of all Japanese reject his anachronistic view, which was evidenced by the crushing defeat that the political party, “Japan Revolution” led by him suffered in the latest election of Tokyo municipal councilors.
We discussed his remarks and ensuing apology in Tokyo Foreign Correspondent Club in our English speaking circle recently by using a report of the status of “comfort women” in Myitkyna in Burma after its fall in August 1944 compiled by Psychological Warfare Team of United States Office of War Information in October 1944 as a part of reading materials.
Utterly independent from political or moralistic argument on this issue, I’m submitting questions on the meaning of two words I came across in the following statement referring to “Comfort bags –assorted present kit” in the report:
“The soldiers would often express how much they enjoyed receiving magazines, letters and newspapers from home. They also mentioned the receipt of “comfort bags” filled with canned goods, magazines, soap, handkerchiefs, toothbrush, miniature doll, lipstick, and wooden clothes. The lipstick and cloths were feminine and the girls couldn’t understand why the people at home were sending such articles. They speculated that the sender could only have had themselves or the “native girls” in mind.
- I wonder what wooden clothes is. Is there clothes made of wood or wooden materials? I thought it could be wooden clothe pegs or linen handkerchiefs, but I can’t tell.
- What does “the sender could only have had themselves,” mean? Who are "themselves"?
Ronald Harmon’s “Talking American Dictionary of Informal Words and Expressions" defines “have had it” as a colloq;
- be worn out, no longer function or useful, be disgusted or bored with
- be bored with, can no longer tolerate sb, stg.
- be doomed, be assured of ruin or defeat,
but I’m unable to link anyone of the above definitions to the text.
No other dictionaries at hand carry “have had it (or oneself)."