Photograph capturing the protest against the deployment of the Osprey wins highest award

Photograph capturing the protest against the deployment of the Osprey wins highest award

The photograph titled No Osprey, which won the highest award in the high school photography contest commemorating the 40th anniversary of Okinawa's reversion from U.S. rule to Japanese sovereignty.


November 5, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On November 4, a photograph entitled No Osprey, which captures a scene of a protest against the deployment of the tilt-rotor aircraft, won the highest award in a high school photography contest. Kanna Higa, a sophomore of Urasoe Technical High School, took the photograph in front of the Nodake Gate of Futenma Air Station on September 30. The photo contest was part of the Okinawa Prefectural Comprehensive High School Cultural Festival held to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Okinawa’s reversion from U.S. rule to Japanese sovereignty, which was the theme of the contest. Higa took the photograph as she heard people yelling angrily amid clashes between citizens and police. She said, “I am grateful to the people who allowed me take pictures of them.”

Kanna Higa


When Higa read the newspaper on the morning on September 30, she realized that the gates of Futenma Air Station had been blocked. Wondering what was happening, Higa picked up her camera, and went to the Samashita Gate, which is located close to her house. She spoke to one of the people on the sit-in protest, and asked for permission to take pictures of the people. Realizing Higa was a high school student, the man agreed straightaway.

Higa got to three of the gates to the base, Samashita, Ooyama and Nodake, but almost had second thoughts at the tense scenes she witnessed in front of the Oyama and Nodake gates. The protesters shouted, “The police are supposed to protect citizens! Why are you protecting the United States?” Higa pressed the shutter button for all she was worth as the police officers tried to remove the people on the sit-in protest and the cars parked in front of the gate.

Despite the protests, the Osprey were deployed in Okinawa the next day. Higa is distressed to think of the people who continue to participate in the sit-in protest. She said, “I don’t know what is going to happen in future. I want to keep taking photographs, and consider the issues facing us.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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