Former Ryukyu Shimpo cameraman publishes book to commemorate Koza Riot

Former Ryukyu Shimpo cameraman publishes book to commemorate Koza Riot

On December 19, Kazuo Kuniyoshi held up a copy of the book on Route 330 in the Goya district of Okinawa City where the traffic accident occurred that led to the riot.


December 20, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On the occasion of the 42nd anniversary of the Koza Riot, which occurred before dawn on December 20, 1970, 66 year-old former Ryukyu Shimpo cameraman Kazuo Kuniyoshi published a photo book entitled STAND! He has been taking photographs of the U.S. military bases in Okinawa and the people living around them.

The book features 189 black-and-white photographs including scenes from the Koza Riot, the intensifying military exercises by U.S. forces despite Okinawa’s reversion from U.S. rule to Japanese sovereignty, and the Osprey protest rally held in 2012. These photographs graphically depict the reality of U.S. military bases and Okinawa.

Kuniyoshi had only been with the Ryukyu Shimpo for six months when the riot occurred. He remembers standing in front of burning cars and a frenzied crowd, smelling burning rubber as he took his photographs.

Since then Kuniyoshi has captured images of the U.S. military at close range such as photographs of muddied marines engaged in training and scenes from the U.S. and South Korea military exercise. Kuniyoshi has also taken photographs of local residents living beside the bases and the people protesting against unreasonable oppression.

Kuniyoshi said, “The lives of the Okinawan people have changed and they have become more affluent, but the U.S. military bases still remain. I want the people living in the main islands of Japan, who force the bases on Okinawa but then ignore the resulting situation, to think about the base issues.”

The book has 312 pages and sells for 2500 yen.

For further details, call Photogenic Person’s Peace at 098-963-6488.

Go to Japanese

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