Slave Labor

Prison camp time proved to be slave-labor time. Off-time was rare and precious. It was called yasume, the same word as for standing at ease; but even on a yasume day the Japanese chose to make the prisoners improve their close-order drill, or do camp fatigue work. With whatever time was left, if any, they had to make time to wash their clothes, turn over their bedding for bugs, take care of their sick friends.