Museum features Battle of Okinawa news
Stars and Stripes June 23, 2007
URUMA, Okinawa — A local museum in Uruma is hosting an exhibition of Japanese language newspaper clippings from Hawaii printed during and immediately after the Battle of Okinawa.
Combined with photographs, some with captions in English, the collection gives a real-time account of the last major land engagement in the Pacific, which ended 62 years ago this week.
The collection was put together by an Okinawan man from Ishikawa who immigrated to Hawaii before World War II. The museum display includes some 644 articles and photographs taken mostly on Okinawa’s main island between March 17 and Oct. 16, 1945.
On one page, there is a photograph of leaflets dropped from U.S. military aircraft that urge residents to surrender.
Another part of the collection includes articles written by Pfc. Taro Higa from Hawaii. A Nisei interpreter, Higa filed from the battlefield to the Hawaii Times from May 19 to June 25, 1945. In one articles, he made an appeal for more interpreters.
“Of course there are many who die during the exchange of fire,” he wrote. “But a great number of people are killed … because they unknowingly wander into danger zones because they do not understand English instructions.”
He encouraged American volunteers to come to the island to help the battered island recover.
“Kindergarten teachers, interpreters, nurses, occupational instructors, there is no end to (the) list (of) people who are badly needed,” he wrote.
Ishikawa History Museum’s Battle of Okinawa exhibitThe exhibition runs through July 8. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, but will be closed June 24. Admission is free.
To get there: Drive north on Highway 329. After passing the Enobi Intersection near Camp McTureous and Camp Courtney, proceed uphill until you start seeing trees along the road. Look for a large yellow sign in Japanese on the right announcing the exhibit. Turn right at the sign; the museum is on your left.
For information, call 098-965- 3866. (It is suggested you find someone who speaks Japanese).