June 26, 2017

Maeda Kochi in the film Hacksaw Ridge

Filed under: news — Tags: , , — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

The film titled Hacksaw Ridge (ハクソー・リッジ) has been released in Japan in June, 2017. According to IMDb, the film tells a story about a US medic named “Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.” The place in Okinawa depicted in this film is Hacksaw Ridge, which is Maeda Kōchi (前田高地), Urasoe City, Okinawa.

Maeda Kochi in Urase City, Okinawa, shown in Google Maps

[Map source: Google Maps, https://goo.gl/maps/bfWfZXKg7sr]

Film poster titled Hacksaw Ridge

Urasoe City created a webpage which explains the Hacksaw Ridge as a place where both civilians and soldiers were killed and wounded.

map of the war victims at the Hacksaw Ridge, Urasoe City, Okinawa

The number in blue shows survivors, and the one in red is deceased.

[Image source: http://www.city.urasoe.lg.jp/docs/2017050200104/]

A newspaper The Guardian has an article on the film and the main character, Desmond Doss.

Graham-Harrison, Emma. (February 4, 2017). On the real Hacksaw Ridge, a voice is heard: beware the fake glamour of war. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/05/hacksaw-ridge-okinawa-fake-glamour-of-war-mel-gibson

June 22, 2017

June 23 is irei no hi (Okinawa Memorial Day)

Filed under: news,resources — Tags: , , — okinawacollection @ 4:00 PM

June 23: Irei no hi (慰霊の日 / Memorial Day) in Okinawa

Yahoo! Japan and The Ryukyu Shimpo has created a special site to teach the viewers and readers about the Battle of Okinawa and the victims during the war.

“Okinawa-sen to, sonogo / 沖縄戦と、その後 (The Battle of Okinawa and its aftermath)” in “Mirai ni nokosu sensō no kioku / 未来に残す戦争の記憶 (memories to pass on for the future)” at Yahoo! Japan

*The site is written entirely in Japanese

The video from the site above titled: The Battle of Okinawa in 3 minutes.” (Adobe Flash required)

Image of The Battle of Okinawa from Yahoo! Japan site


The image of June 23, 1945, from the Yahoo! Japan's Battle of Okinawa site

The site also has other audio/visual materials on the war damage in Japan during the WWII.


NHK (Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai) also has a special page, dedicated to the Battle of Okinawa. The site is written entirely in Japanese.

NHK Sensō Shōgen Ākaibuzu:  tokushū Okinawa-sen kuronikuru (NHK War Archives Special: the Battle of Okinawa Chronicle = NHK 戦争アーカイブズ:特集 沖縄戦クロニクル–その時何が起こったのか–)


The Yomitan Village in Okinawa created a page dedicated to a song whose lyrics tells the survivors’ sorrow for losing his family and wish for peace.

The title of the song is Kanpōnu Kuwēnukusā / 「艦砲ぬ喰ぇー残さー(かんぽうぬくぇーぬくさー)」.

The Cornerstone of Peace in Okinawa adds 54 more victims: 15 Koreans included

Filed under: news — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

On June 15, 2017 (JST), the Cornerstone of Peace (Heiwa no ishiji / 平和の礎) in Okinawa added 54 more victims, including 15 Koreans

The Ryukyu Simpo and The Okinawa Times reports that the Cornerstone of Peace (平和の礎) added 54 more victims, including the Koreans who were forced to fight during the Battle of Okinawa. The total number of the names inscribed on the stone is 241,468.

Image of the stone inscribed the war victims during the Battle of Okinawa

[Image source: http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/articles/-/102721]

The Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum explains (in Japanese) what the history of building the cornerstone of peace here.

UH Manoa Library’s related resource:

Title: U.S. military bases in Okinawa : a message from the land of courtesy = Okinawa to kichi.
Publisher: Naha : Military Base Affairs Office, Okinawa Prefectural Government, 1994.
Description: 15 pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm.
Subjects: Military bases, American–Japan–Okinawa-ken.
Military bases, American.
Other Name(s):
Okinawa-ken (Japan)
沖縄県 (Japan)
Notes: “The cornerstone of peace/Heiwa no Ishi-ji” [1 p.] tipped in.
In English.

June 19, 2017

Battle of Okinawa website by NHK

Filed under: resources — Tags: , , — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

Nippoin Hōsō Kyōkai (NHK, Japan Broadcasting Corporation) has created an online exhibit of The Battle of Okinawa: since 1945.3.20-1945.6.23.



Warning from the Site: “The images and the photographs of human bodies will be shown to tell the reality of war.”

Image of the NHK's site titled the Battle of Okinawa

The site is written in both English and Japanese. Unfortunately, GAMA 360° worked only in the Japanese version of the page.


NHK also aired a documentary titled “Compassion in the War Zone” (Senju no Chimugukuru / 戦場の真心 チムグクル:沖縄を救った日系人) on August 22, 2015.

The documentary features on the 100th Infantry Battalion veteran, Thomas “Taro” Higa who was the 2nd generation Okinawan from Hawai’i.

The Hawaii Nisei Projet at the University of Hawai’i has some information about Higa and his effort to rescue the civilians from the caves during the Battle of Okinawa.

Image of the site "The Hawai'i Nisei Story"

“Only one [other MIS man who spoke the Okinawan dialect], Taro Higa. Taro Higa is the original 100th Infantry member, he fought in Italy with the 100th. And after VE-Day, he came home to be discharged. But seeing that how civilians suffered in the European war, instead of getting discharged, he requested transfer to Okinawa. Go to Okinawa instead of getting discharged.”

June 13, 2017

Web Histreet: Okinawa City Postwar Data Digital Archive

Filed under: news,resources — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

The Okinawa City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, launched a website called Web Histreet, Okinawa City’s Postwar Data Digital Archive.

Top page of the Okinawa City's Web Histreet

“After the end of World War II, Okinawa City created an extremely unique culture, while being supported by various kinds of energy derived from military bases and coming in contact with different cultures. This website is a digital archive titled “Web Histreet”. Okinawa City has collected various postwar materials and displayed them at its postwar cultural history materials museum “Histreet.” “Web Histreet” has been created so that many people will be able to browse these materials over the Internet.”

[Source: https://www.histreet.okinawa.jp/histreet/FAA10/init?locale=en_US]

The site provide us with rich information on Koza (コザ) and the history of Okinawa City after the WWII and the US occupation.

Here is a newspaper article on the Web Histreet.

Establishment of Web Histreet: search postwar Okinawa history articles via a website

T&CT, & Ashimine, Chelsea, trans. Establishment of Web Histreet: search postwar Okinawa history articles via a website. (2017, April 12). The Ryukyu Shimpo. Retrieved from http://english.ryukyushimpo.jp/2017/04/18/26779/

The original article in Japanese can be found here.

June 12, 2017

Masahide Ota, former Okinawa governor and noted historian, dies at age 92

Filed under: news — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 1:00 PM

Masahide Ota, former Okinawa governor and noted historian, dies at age 92

On June 12, 2017 (JST), a former Okinawa governor and scholar, Masahide Ōta (大田昌秀) passed away at the age of 92.

An image of the Okinawa Times extra

“Former Okinawa Gov. Masahide Ota, a noted historian and survivor of the Battle of Okinawa, died Monday of pneumonia and respiratory failure at a hospital in Naha, his office said,” The Japan Times wrote, “He had turned 92 the same day.”

[Source: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/06/12/national/politics-diplomacy/masahide-ota-former-okinawa-governor-noted-historian-dies-age-92/]

Professor Ota has a strong tie to the University of Hawai’i. According to the article titled “‘The World is beginning to know Okinawa’: Ota Masahide Reflects on his Life from the Battle of Okinawa to the Struggle for Okinawa,” Prof. Ota “has taught at the East-West Center, University of Hawaii (1973).”

Ota, Masahide & Norimatsu, Satoko. (September 20, 2010). “‘The World is beginning to know Okinawa”: Ota Masahide Reflects on his Life from the Battle of Okinawa to the Struggle for Okinawa.” The Asia Pacific Journal | Japan Focus, Vol. 8, Issue 38, Number 4.

The Okinawa International Peace Research Institute in Okinawa, Japan, which Prof. Ota was the President, has a list of Prof. Ota’s writings.

A photo of Prof. Masahide Ota of the Okinawa Internatioanl Peace Research Institute

June 7, 2017

Kumiwudui (Kumiodori / Okinawan Dance)

Filed under: events,resources — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 7:00 PM

Kumiwudui (Kumu Odor / Okinawan Dance) – June 8, 2017

The Center for Okinawan Studies presents KUMIWUDUI : A lecture-demonstration.

Kumiwudui is the Classical Dance Drama of the Ryukyu Kingdom.
This year makrs the 41st anniversary of a visit by Kin Ryosho, and his teaching of Okinawan Dance and the Kumiwudui at the University of Hawaiʻi.
The lecture-demonstration is one of multiple celebrations of Kin Ryosho’s transmission of this Ryukyuan court legacy.

Picture of the poster Kumiwudui

Featured Presentors:
Hanashiro Seikichi (James)
Nakandakari Tetsuya
Yamada Kazuko

Date and Time: Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 7:30pm
Location: University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Music Building, Orvis Auditorum

Admission: Free

What is Kumiwudui (or Kumiodori in standard Japanese)?

According to Digital Daijisen (dictionary), Kumiwudui (Kumiodori) is:


[Source: Digital Daijisen through a database titled Japan Knowledge, accessed on June 8, 2017 (HST)]

Wikipedia defines Kumiwudui as follows:

Kumi odori (組踊?, Okinawan: Kumi wudui) is a form of narrative traditional Ryūkyūan dance. Kumi odori or Kumi wudui means “combination dance” or “ensemble dance”.

Originating in the Ryūkyūan capital of Shuri, Okinawa in 1719, the original purpose of this dance was to provide amusement and diversions, which were termed ukwanshin, for the Chinese diplomats who traveled to Ryūkyū.”

[Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumi_Odori]

The Japan Arts Council (日本芸術文化振興会) has a website that is dedicated to Kumiudui (or Kumiodori or 組踊).


The University of Hawai’i Library has some resources on Kumiwudui/Kumiodori.

  • Kumiodori no sekai : miru, kiku, yomu = 組踊の世界 [videorecording] : 観る,聴く,読む / chosaku, seisaku Okinawa-ken ; seisaku kigyō Konsōshiamu Kumiodori Kontentsu Purojekuto = 著作·制作沖縄県制作企業コンソーシアム組踊コンテンツプロジェクト.
  • The Okinawan kumiodori : an analysis of relationships of text, music and movement in selections from Nidō Tekiuchi / by Kimiko Ohtani.
  • Ushuu Guhuukuu / Alfred Yama Kina. (A Ph.D. dissertation, 2006; accessible only for the UH Manoa affiliated).

KUMIWUDUI : A lecture-demonstration

June 5, 2017

Environmental Issues in Okinawa

Filed under: resources — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 6:40 AM

Environmental accidents at three U.S. Marine Corps bases on Okinawa

Today is the World Environmental Day, which started in 2005 with the initiation by the United Nations Environmental Program.  Last year (September 1, 2016) President Barack Obama visited UH Manoa and delivered a speech at the East West Center on the conservation of nature.

Last fall (November 19, 2016), The Japan Times published an article on hundreds of unreported environmental accidents at three U.S. Marine Corps bases on Okinawa.

Here are some books on the environmental issues in Okinawa:

  • Sekine, Takamichi. Minami no shima no shizen hakai to gendai kankyō soshō : kaihatsu to Amami no kurousagi, Okinawa jugon, yanbarukuina no mirai (Kansai Gakuin Daigaku Shuppankai, 2007) / 関根孝道、『南の島の自然破壊と現代環境訴訟 : 開発とアマミノクロウサギ・沖縄ジュゴン・ヤンバルクイナの未来』(関西学院大学出版会、2007年)
  • Miyamoto, Ken’ichi, & Kawase, Mitsuyoshi, eds. Okinawaron: heiwa, kankyō, jichi no shima e / 宮本憲一・川瀬光義編、『沖縄論 : 平和・環境・自治の島へ』(岩波書店、2010年)

June 1, 2017

New Acquisitions: Anime Himeyuri (DVD) and a Guidebook

Filed under: resources — Tags: , , , — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

The UH Mānoa Library received a gift of a DVD (animation) titled Himeyuri and the Guidebook from the Himeyuri Peace Museum in Itoman City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan

The Okinawa Collection at the University of Hawai‘i Mānoa Library is pleased to announce that it received a gift of the following items from the Himeyuri Peace Museum in Itoman City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.

  • DVD titled Himeyuri (animation with English subtitles)
  • Himeyuri Peace Museum: the guidebook (English)


Image of the front cover of the DVD titled Anime Himeyuri

What is Himeyuri?

[Excerpt from the Himeyuri Peace Museum’s site]

“In April 1945 (Showa 20), when the Second World War was almost coming to a close, a fierce battle was being unleashed on Okinawa, with U.S. forces landing on the island. Male and female students at 21 secondary schools in Okinawa at the time were mobilized for the war effort and sent to the battlefield. The female students were between the ages of 15 and 19 and mainly worked as nurses in places such as the Army Field Hospital. The male students were from 14 to 19 years of age, and the upper-grade students were organized into so-called “Blood and Iron Loyalist Student Corps” (in charge of transportation of supplies, repair of bridges, etc.), while the lower-grade students were formed into the “Signal Corps” (in charge of repair of electric cables, distribution of telegraphs, etc.).”

[Source: http://www.himeyuri.or.jp/EN/intro.html]

Pictures of the Himeyuri Butai

These donated materials will be available for checkout once they are processed.