CHATAN, Okinawa — It was definitely not your average schoolroom show-and-tell.

Two 12-year-old boys brought a World War II explosive to class Jan. 21, scaring teachers and students alike. Just two weeks ago, a construction worker was seriously injured when his power shovel struck a buried shell that exploded with such force that it broke out all the windows of a nearby senior citizens’ rest home in Naha.

According to police, the sixth-graders said they found the bomb a week earlier in a yard near the Shonan Elementary School, in the southern Okinawa town of Haebaru.

Every year hundreds of dud explosives from the Battle of Okinawa are uncovered throughout the island.

"The children apparently thought the bomb would be good study material at school," said Yoshiyasu Henzan, the school’s vice principal, according to local press accounts. The school has a special peace studies program.

Police were immediately notified, and the 90 mm shell was later removed by a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force bomb disposal unit. U.S. forces used 90 mm guns in the 1945 battle for Okinawa.

"Fortunately, the fuse was missing and there was no immediate danger of explosion," said Chief Warrant Officer Masaru Kaneko, a spokesman for the JGSDF. "However, because it still contained gunpowder, there was still the possibility of an explosion if heated or a strong shock was applied."

He said it is important for people living on Okinawa, especially children, to be aware of the dangers of old military ordnance.

"When an unexploded bomb is found, it is critically important to not touch it and report it to the police," he said.

Since the Jan. 14 explosion in Naha, the Japanese military has disposed of some 445 pieces of ordnance uncovered at construction sites. They ranged from machine gun rounds to a shell from a 6-inch naval gun.

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