Japan

Peace Memorial Museum in Okinawa

The Okinawa today flourishes…

993472_10152117215148578_255728869_n

The families live in freedom and protection. They eat together, play together, work and dream for brighter future.

1486747_10152119074348578_1940991128_n

The old Okinawa was salvaged. Their rich culture maintained.

1512360_10152117222038578_1991954784_n

Some structures were saved and regained. And the beauty of Okinawa’s preserved.

1488243_10152119074843578_982319509_n

226652_10152119074103578_763545455_n

It continues to grow …

1521649_10152119074863578_130019874_n

However…

This island has endured a dark, harrowing past, the Battle of Okinawa.

1524853_10152119075123578_741390301_n

In late March 1945, “Typhoon of Steel” or the Battle of Okinawa took place on this island. For 3 months,  this battle destructed the islands’ wealth and culture, and claimed the precious lives of 200,000 militaries and civilians.  Some were blown apart. Some were driven to commit suicide. Some died of starvation, disease, and others fell victim to Japanese troops.

996738_10152119074583578_737190577_n

1472846_10152119075143578_1531157776_n

The Battle of Okinawa Museum features 5 Exhibit Rooms. It includes the Battleground of Hell which displays the cave where civilians were slaughtered, or forced to commit mass suicide. Another room shows testimonials made by the witnesses of war. The last room exhibits the progress of Okinawa including the reconstruction of Okinawa, and also the influences from the American settlement on the island.

Outside is the Peace Prayer Park…

 1469847_10152119074088578_1545091798_n

1460204_10152119073918578_2127397296_n

This war experience is at the very core of what is popularly called the “Okinawan Heart,” a resilient yet strong attitude to life that Okinawan people developed.

1475918_10152119081703578_344989094_n

This establishment hopes to convey their message to the world displaying the whole range of the individual war experiences of the people in this prefecture.

1471951_10152119074438578_1323768298_n

The “Cornerstone of Peace” is a collection of large stone plates with the names of all soldiers and civilians who died during the Battle of Okinawa.

1488017_10152119073863578_612735581_n

The “Okinawan Heart” is a human response that respects personal dignity above all else, rejects any acts related to war, and truly cherishes culture, which is a supreme expression of humanity.

578666_10152117357973578_1077057399_n

All images are taken from the museum except for the first one. Some words are adopted on the Museum’s pamphlet. Sources: Official Website.

Post Subject to Change. 😀 I gotta look at my notes.

=======================================================

FEATURED BLOG

Language shouldn’t be a barrier for blogging. 😉 The trick is to go to Page tab and click on Translate with Live Search if you have it. Have you followed a non-English written blog? You might wanna try johanesjonaz’s blog A Sanctuary | Explore the beauty of Indonesia… Go to places where people don’t know your language. Here is the Featured Post, Wisata Kereta Lori – Kalibaru.

Advertisements

Categories: Japan

Tagged as:

37 replies »

  1. Beautifully compiled post, Rommel. My favourites are # 3 and 4. I follow many of the non-English blogs, but only in languages that I am familiar with (apart from English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and in my mother tongue Croatian) :). Being a translator, I find translation tools enemies that pretend to leave me jobless 😉

    • True. Given that Okinawa is separated by the mainland Japan, it is very unpopular. I’m glad to have come here more so to share my experiences. Thanks for reading.

  2. I am really touched by these images and the story, and also reminded of how little I know of this island. I learned “facts” when still in school, and knew the battle was the last and biggest of the Pacific WWII battles, but I basically knew the stories only from an American history perspective. I am really interested in learning more as a result of the sharing you’ve been doing. I find Okinawa to be so rich in culture and meaning. Thank you for the information on translating blogs. I do follow one German blog as the blogger has been so good to visit me frequently. She speaks English, but writes in German and I’m really not able to be very reciprocal. This may help. Thank you!

    • The war is awful, but it isn’t the way it is now if not for that battle. It is also awful but so human to think that many have sacrifice their lives for the salvation of a populace. Being here, being in a “Memorial”, really gives you that heightened sense and awareness.

  3. It’s moving to view the “Okinawan Heart” in photos. Those names on the stones show a supreme expression of humanity. Great photos, as always. The last one almost brought tears to my eyes… Thank you so much, Rommel!

    • I was waiting for the kid to leave. Then again, when I clicked my camera, it gives a better feel and perspective. Okinawan, without bias, is the niciest group of people I have encountered. As awful as it might sound, It’s just nice to know that the end result of what our war heroes sacrificed for paid off in the long run.

    • Japanese people, having gone through those wars, never ever want for it to happen again. They try to send that message to the world in the most geniune I’ve seen. This memorial is a testiment to that.

  4. Thank you for sharing. Japan’s main land was actually devastated by bombing during WWII. But, Okinawa tragedy was on a different level. Okinawa was returned back from USA to Japan in 1972. I was born the next year. I feel I am alive under Okinawa people’s sacrifice.

    • Yeah, imagine that long. The Okinawans were very resilient to those years as well. I can’t speak for what they feel as infrastructures were being built. It’s all good for the rehabilitation and regaining growth of Okinawa. But yeah, there are still those who want the military bases to go away. I completely have an open mind to that because us in the Philippines were, or actaully “are”, the same way.

      • yeah, it’s controversial about military base. i’m not sure what a nuisance.
        but, ousting is no good for okinawa economy. plus, especially we have senkaku/diaoyu islands dispute. i cannot find which is the best answer.

        • I like to think it’s about keeping their culture and not be mesh with American culture. Or, the idea of military equals, I guess, war really get to their way of thinking. I think it boils down to them patronizing their own country. And having military bases, with military people, roaming around just doesn’t go with that.
          It’s like having a visitor in your house. The visitor may be there to protect or to help you but it’s hard to accept that visitor in. Then again, in a practical sense, I wouldn’t be shooing a beneficial, helpful visitor.

    • It’s a very “monumental” place. For information on the things that happened, to rebuilding Okinawa, to honoring the lives lost during the battle and to basically promote peace.

    • It’s the admirable part of Japan. Japan has the country with the longest life expectancy. Okinawa is the number 1 out of the entire world. Crime, even to the smallest, plays a part to that. Even the mindset, the freedom that people have not worrying about crime is also adds to that. It’s lile they’ve seen so many blood to that war that they never want to see more drops of it

  5. the sad remnants of war…the museum room of the Battleground of Hell must be tortuous to view for anyone but especially for the local community. really glad you shared your visit to this place…the last photo with the water…is that called the Okinawan Heart? great post. ☺

Don't be shy to say hi.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s