Norma Field provides an account of the battle from Maeda Haru, a woman of nineteen at the time. I have changed the key sentences to red type:
There was no bombardment in the morning and everybody went out of the cave to get water. Then I found my younger brother and sister crying and calling me from a pile of sugar cane bagasse at Miisumo. They said they got hurt in front of Mearakagua [household name] and had come crawling on their hands and knees.
I brought them one by one to the came and laid them down. I asked them if anything'd happened to Mother, and they said Mother was dead. Maybe Seiyu was also dead, they said. I asked them why Mother was killed. What they told me was that a Japanese soldier came and asked Mother how many people were in there, but as my mother couldn't speak Japanese well, she answered, "Hui, hui?" Of course, what she meant was "Yes? What is it?" but the soldier instantly cut her head off. The head landed in my sister-in-law Yuki's lap. Everybody panicked. My younger sister got away, carrying our younger brother on her back. but when she got as far as Mearakagua, the soldiers caught up with her, took her inside the gate of a house, and stabbed her, so she let go of our little brother. She was stabbed three times in the abdomen and her intestines came out here and there. My brother'd been stabbed deep and cut wide in the stomach, and all his tangled intestines came out. He died soon. (Quoted in Norma Field, In the Realm of a Dying Emperor: Japan at Century's End [New York: Vintage Books, 1993], pp. 64-65.)
Elsewhere, Field makes these comments about the roles of language in Okinawan identity anxieties, speaking from the perspective of ca. 1990:
There is still pervasive anxiety about speaking "correct" Japanese. Language is the most elusive, because subtle, traitor. If all visible difference between peoples could be effaced, speech would still threaten to betray cultural difference, too easily thought to have a genetic, therefore racial, origin. The waves of programs to eradicate this difference in the Okinawan prewar continues into the postwar. In the late fifties and early sixties, teachers hung "dialect tags" [h˘gen fuda 方言札] from the necks of offending students, which could only be gotten rid of by finding other students slipping into the tabooed sounds. The hapless student who was still tagged at the end of the day had to go home wearing the badge of humiliation. (Realm of a Dying Emperor, p. 72)