For the first time in 43 years, a collection of new research on the Battle of Okinawa published
March 30, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo
The Okinawa Board of Education held a press conference at their offices on March 29, regarding the March 10 release of Okinawan History Compilation 6; The Battle of Okinawa, as part of their modern history collection. The volume is a collection that includes background information leading up to the battle, the events of the battle in various places, testimonials from Okinawans who lived through the fighting, aspects of the battle such as group suicide, as well as post-war cleanup and peace education. The book also shines light on disabilities, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and leprosy. At the press conference, Okinawa International University Professor Shinobu Yoshihama, chair of the Special Committee on Modern Okinawan History (the Battle of Okinawa) commented, “[The book], is a culmination of all the research on the Battle of Okinawa to this point.”
The last Okinawan History book that dealt with the Battle of Okinawa was Okinawa History Vol. 8; Overview of the Battle of Okinawa, published from 1971-1974, 43 years ago. The current volume is printed on B5 paper, and is 824 full-color pages. The five-part book comprises 72 essays from 37 researchers.
The collection is written with an eye towards essays that are: 1. based on the results of the most recent research on the Battle of Okinawa; 2. based on the accumulated experiences and accomplishments of the people of Okinawa and its communities; and 3. give importance to the perspective and testimony of the people who lived through the battle. The collection also solicited the works of younger researchers, and aims to link research about the battle to later generations.
Yoshihama also noted, “The book 40 years prior was centered on people’s testimonials, but by comparing data from both the Japanese and U.S. militaries we were able to establish historical facts.” 1,500 copies of the book will be distributed to public libraries and schools throughout Okinawa, and another 300 copies will be on sale starting April 1 for 5,000 yen each. Books can be reserved starting March 29 from the Okinawa BoE website. For more information, contact the historiography team in the Cultural Properties Division at the Okinawa Bureau of Education (Tel.) 098 (888) 3939.
(English translated by T&CT and Sam Grieb)
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