Some of Okinawan seen as spies in the Japanese Imperial Army documents during the Battle of Okinawa

Some of Okinawan seen as spies in the Japanese Imperial Army documents during the Battle of Okinawa

Shinobu Yoshihama held a lecture to mark the 69th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa at the Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum in Naha on June 15.


June 16, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

Okinawa International University Professor Shinobu Yoshihama held a lecture to mark the 69th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa at the Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum in Naha on June 15. He talked about what the testimonies of local citizens and the Japanese Imperial Army documents revealed about the war. About 160 people took part in the lecture and listened intently to what Yoshihama said.

Yoshihama said, “After the battle of Okinawa, there have been turning points in Okinawan history, such as Okinawa’s reversion to Japanese sovereignty and erection of the Cornerstone of Peace memorial. On these occasions, the prefectural and municipal governments published history books.” He went on to say, “Every time historical events have occurred, Okinawan people have reflected on the Battle of Okinawa and thought about the future.”

Yoshihama introduced the Japanese Imperial Army documents, in which they suspected some of the Okinawan residents who fled from the Nakagami district, and asked about the location of shelters and troops, as spies for the U.S. military. He said, “The residents who fled from Ginowan and Kitanakagusuku testified that the Japanese Imperial Army suspected them as spies. I did not know why the army did so until I read their documents.”

A student who attended the talk, Yurino Oshiro, from Itoman, said, “I think the army documents were intriguing because I used to read many documents written only by the local residents. It is important to see the Battle of Okinawa from a new perspective.”

(English translation by T&CT)

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