Sekitoku Girl’s School students’ Battle of Okinawa experiences screened

Sekitoku Girl’s School students’ Battle of Okinawa experiences screened

In the evening of April 21 at the Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum, survivors of the Fuji Students, Haru Nakazato (left) and Michiko Arakaki (right) commented on the pre-screening of the short documentary, Fuji Gakutotai.

April 22, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On the night of April 22 at the Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum in Naha the pre-screening of a short documentary Fuji Gakutotai, directed by Gakuya Nomura, was held. The film records the Battle of Okinawa experiences of Sekitoku Girl’s High School students who joined nursing units in the Imperial Japanese Army. By watching the film, more than 150 people were reminded of the horrors of war. It will screen from June 5 at Palette Kumoji in Naha.
Film production started last November and was completed this March. The screening time is 48 minutes.

The film depicts the mobilization of 25 students, their caring for wounded soldiers at the Army No. 2 Field Hospital (at the Tomigusuku Castle Ruins), the withdrawal to the Itosu Cave in Itoman, and the Dissolution Order.
With actual footage, photo documents, and precise testimonies from survivors among the students, the film vividly depicts the devastation that occurred 67 years ago.

At the pre-screening, the production committee members and the survivors involved in the filming each took the rostrum. President of Sekitoku Girl’s High School Fuji Alumni Association Michiko Arakaki said, “I sometimes hesitated to talk about it and to become involved in the shooting. It was tough at times, but we were able to overcome that to complete the film.”

Haru Nakazato, a survivor of the students who joined the unit, said painfully, “Some of the wounded soldiers were covered with maggots and many of them were delirious, speaking and acting strangely.” She stressed that such an awful war should never be repeated.

The film will be screened from June 5 to 19 at the Ryubo Hall on the 7th floor of Palette Kumoji. Tickets are on sale at Ryubo Play Guide for 1000 yen for advance purchase, or 1200 yen at the door. Please contact Kaiensha on 098-850-8485 for further details.

(English translation by T&CT, Megumi Chibana and Mark Ealey)

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