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The Massacre at Faha

On July 16th, 1944 thirty people from the village of Merizo, Guam were massacred at a place known as Faha by soldiers of the Japanese Imperial Army. Unlike the incident of the previous night at Tinta, there were no survivors.

However, the general circumstances regarding the Faha massacre were similar to those of the event at Tinta. Again, using the pretense of gathering a work crew, the Japanese herded a group of thirty men and marched them off to the site at Faha. Here the men had grenades thrown at them and were slashed to death.

The exact details of the incident are not clear, as the information must be speculative. In fact, the remaining residents of Merizo were not aware of the full extent of the massacre until several days had passed and the bodies were found.

As the intentions of the Japanese became clearer to the villagers, their unrest grew. This unrest culminated in the rebellion against the Japanese at Atate on July 20, 1944.

The site at Faha is significant for two reasons: 1) in the event that it occurred there, and 2) the historical relationship that the people had with the United States and its relevance within the context of World War II.

Obviously, the event itself is of significant importance not only to the people of Merizo, but to the people of Guam in general. The site holds value in its historical context and in its symbolic qualities as well. It serves to represent the suffering and hardships that the Guamanian people were forced to endure during the Japanese occupation of the island. The massacre at Faha also seems to stem directly from the Tinta massacre the night before. Accordingly, the rebellion at Atate on July 20 must then be regarded as a direct result of the massacres at Faha and Tinta.

Text courtesy of Guam Historic Preservation Office

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