National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

National Register of Historic Places Program:
Malesso Japanese Rice Mill,
Merizo, Guam

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


[Graphic] Weekly Highlight Property

The Malesso Japanese Rice Mill was constructed on December 24, 1943 during the Japanese occupation of Guam in World War II, and was used to store rice and house Chamorro villagers forced into labor in the rice paddies. Situated west of the Geus River and close to the shoreline of Cocos Lagoon, the building consists of two rooms, each with a separate entrance, The Japanese invaded Guam on December 8, 1941, taking the lightly fortified island in two days. After the invasion American citizens and foreigners were shipped to internment camps in Japan. Japanese rule, which began with harsh treatment of the native population, improved somewhat when the Imperial Japanese Navy took control. However, as the fortunes of war turned against the Japanese, concentration camps were built on Guam to house the native Chamorro people and the occupation again grew harsh. The U.S. regained control of Guam on August 10, 1944, after heavy fighting and hardships endured by the Chamorro people of Guam at the hands of the Japanese. The Malesso Japanese Rice Mill is the only extant non-military building constructed during the Japanese occupation of Guam.

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