Davao Memorial Service for the War Dead
July 22, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo
On July 21, a group from “The 50th Tour for Davao Memorial Service and Exchange” visited the Mintal district of Davao in the Philippines to hold a memorial service in front of the Monument of Okinawa at the Japanese Cemetery. Bereaved families of the war dead took part in the ceremony and offered incense at the memorial.
Yoshihiro Yamanoha, President of the Okinawa Davao Association and born and raised in the Philippines, has attended the memorial service every year. He said, “I have a deep feeling about the 50th year of the memorial service. Our challenge is how to pass this down to children and grandchildren.”
The participants made offerings at four monuments, including the Monument of Requiescat, which has recently been built with donations the association raised.
Before World War II, many Okinawans migrated to the Philippines to work at Manila cotton plantations. The number of Okinawan migrants was highest of all prefectures in Japan. While there were many war victims, some escaped from the war-torn areas and lived in the jungle.
At The Monument of Okinawa, built by the Okinawa prefectural government in 1970, the souls of about 10,700 deceased military personnel and their families and Okinawan civilians are enshrined. The tour group will return to Okinawa on July 26.
(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)
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