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 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

May 15, 2017

The 45th Anniversary of Okinawa’s Reversion to Japan

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May 15, 2017 marks the 45th Anniversary of Okinawa’s Reversion to Japan

A newspaper article from the Ryukyu Shimpo [written in Japanese] discusses the economic aspects (economic growth) after the reversion in 1972.

English version of the commentary is here: “Okinawa public opinion poll on the 45th anniversary of the Okinawa Reversion Agreement focused on bases, casts shadow on Okinawans” (published on May 9, 2017, Japan Standard Time).

Graph of economic ebbs in Okinawa An image of major historical events in Okinaw after the reversion to Japan in 1972

[Image source: http://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/entry-495575.html]



Okinawa reversion treaty : hearings before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Ninety-second Congress, first session, on Ex. J. 92-1, the agreement between the United States of American and Japan concerning the Ryukyu Islands and the Daito Islands : October 27, 28, and 29, 1971.

Okinawa reversion / edited by Chihiro Hosoya (1977)

The Takazawa Collection = Takazawa Bunko = 高沢文庫 (par of Japan Special Collection; appointment required for accessing the Collection)

“From Kōji Takazawa’s personal library. Contains a large collection of primary and secondary materials on Japanese social movements of the 1960’s through early 1990’s, primarily those connected to the New Left social movement. Primary materials deal with the American military presence in Japan, Japanese response to the Vietnam war, student and citizens’ environmental movements, minority rights, peace and labor, anti-emperor movements, movements against airport construction and land appropriations, prison reform and anti-death penalty movements; the reversion of Okinawa, Japanese policy in North and South Korea; …”


Title: “Okinawa: Reversion to Japan and Future Prospects”
Author: Makota Takizawa
Title of the Journal: Asian Survey
Vol. 11, No. 5 (May, 1971), pp. 496-505
Published by: University of California Press
DOI: 10.2307/2642984
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2642984

“Remembering the Battle of Okinawa : the Reversion Movement” / Shinji Kojima in Uchinaanchu diaspora : memories, continuities and constructions / Joyce N. Chinen, guest editor.

The image of book cover titled Okinawan Diaspora

News article on the discrimination people in and from the Amami Islands experienced when the Amami Islands were returned to Japan on December 15, 1953.

[newspaper articles]

「日本復帰あす45年 奄美出身、苦難の歴史 米統治下、『非琉球』で差別」(琉球新報、2017年5月14日)[Roughly translated, “Tomorrow mars the 45th Anniversary of Okinawa’s Reversion: A history of oppression and discrimination as ‘non-Ryukyuans,”experienced by the people in the Amami Islands” ; the article is written in Japanese only]

「きょう沖縄復帰45年 基地の過重負担いまだ」(沖縄タイムス、沖縄タイムス 5/15[/2017])

A photo of the signage made of stone for the Okinawa Prefectural Government after its reversion to Japan in 1972[Image source: http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/articles/gallery/97446?ph=1]

【沖縄復帰45年】依然、米軍専用施設の70%が集中 本島の15%占める(沖縄タイムス 5/15[/2017])

Two images showing the locations of the United States military bases in Okinawa; one in 1972, and the other is 2017[Image source: http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/articles/gallery/97464?ph=1]

Okinawa Times writes that they created the maps above, based on the information collected from the Okinawa Prefectural Government.


「沖縄から伝えたい。米軍基地の話。Q&A Book」– A site created by the Okinawa Prefectural Government (written in Japanese only)

May 2, 2017

Photo Book RED FLOWER, THE WOMEN OF OKINAWA by a photographer by Mao Ishikawa

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

A new photo book titled Red Flower, the women of Okinawa [赤花 アカバナ 沖縄の女] by a photographer Mao Ishikawa [石川真生]

The Ryukyu Shimpo describes the photo book as “a compilation of 80 photographs, including previously un-published pictures, taken from 1975-1977 in Koza and Kin, capturing women and American soldiers while Ishikawa was working in bars that serviced the American military.”

Source: http://english.ryukyushimpo.jp/2017/03/28/26675/, accessed on May 1, 2017, HST.

The Japanese version of the same article can be read here.

Ms. Ishikawa was also invited to speak at UC Berkeley on race, gender, and nation on April 7, 2017, along with the professors, Wendy Matsumura of UC San Diego and Annmaria Shimabuku of New York University.

The readers can look at some of the photographs included in the photo book here.

Some pictures included in the photo book titled Red Flower, the Women of Okinawa

Image source: https://www.dashwoodbooks.com/pages/books/16916/mao-ishikawa/red-flower-the-women-of-okinawa

April 24, 2017

Hokusai and the Ryukyu Islands: Eight Views of Ryukyu

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

Hokusai and the Eight Views of Ryukyu / 北斎の「琉球八景」

According to a tweet, British Museum owns a copy of Hokusai’s Eight Views of Ryukyu.

Urasoe Art Museum and Worcester Art Museum also own a copy, and it also claims that Hokusai never visited the Ryukyu Islands when he made the print.

More materials for further reading:

April 3, 2017

Shisa Day in Okinawa: April 3rd

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

Shīsā (4/3) Day in Okinawa

In standard Japanese, the number 4 is pronounced in different ways. One of the pronunciation is “shi.” The number 3 is pronounced as “san,” thus April 3rd (04/03) in Okinawa was named as the “Shīsā Day.”

On June 29, 2012, the University of Hawai’i Library received a pair of shīsā (シーサー) from the University of the Ryukyus to “commemorate he establishment of the Center for Okinawan Studies.”

Below is a link to the University of the Ryukyus’ own account on why they decided to send a pair of shīsā to UH Mānoa, and who design the shīsā (Professor emeritus Sadao Nishimura / 西村貞雄琉球大学名誉教授) to commemorate the opening of the Center for Okinawan Studies at UH Mānoa.



Here is a video of the installation of the shīsā in front of the Hamilton Library on the UH Mānoa campus.


March 4, 2017

Okinawa Karate Kaikan opens in Okinawa

Filed under: news — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 7:00 PM

Okinawa Karate Kaikan opened in Tomigusuku City (豊見城市)on March 4, 2017

Okinawa Karate Kaikan is a new facility where karate-ka (karate practitioners) can practice in dōjō, and learn karate’s forms and history. The facility also includes a seminar room, a conference room, and an exhibit room.

Karate Kaikan in Okinawa Facilities

UH Manoa has a large number of karate materials, donated from the Hawaii Karate Museum.

According to the newspaper article from Ryukyu Shimpo, karate will appear as one of the sports at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Karate: New Olympic Sport


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