Descendants outraged as Chibichiri Gama found vandalized, collected remains destroyed

Descendants outraged as Chibichiri Gama found vandalized, collected remains destroyed

Vandalized Thousand Crane strings sent from all over the country


September 12, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo Digital Edition

 

Yomitan – Chibichiri Gama, a cave in Namihira, Yomitan where civilians were forced to commit suicide by the Japanese military after the Battle of Okinawa, was discovered to be vandalized on the morning of September 12.

Shoichi Chibana, who for many years has been involved in activities such as collecting an oral history of the cave, made the discovery around 11 a.m. while giving a tour to a journalist acquaintance.

Remains that had been collected inside the cave had also been destroyed.

According to the Bereaved Families Association, the cave was in good condition during the Bon festival on September 5.

The remains left inside the cave, which included bottles, jars, and teapots, were also found broken.

The paper cranes had been torn down, and the “Icon of Peace Connecting Generations” sculpture at the entrance was destroyed.

The sign prohibiting entry was also torn down.

Norio Yonaha, head of the Bereaved Families Association, angrily proclaimed, “Why would someone do this?

This time they even lay hands on the bones.

We’ve had incidents before, but this is just too much.”

Chibana, who discovered the destruction, explained, “The place where the teeth had been collected were all scattered.

[The remains of] the jars, bottles, and kitchenware were all disfigured.”

Minoru Kinjo, who made the sculpture, added, “Who would do such a thing? It is unforgivable”

In November of 1987, the Icon of Peace at Chibichiri Gama was destroyed, but was reconstructed with help of descendants of the incident at the Battle of Okinawa.

Minoru Kinjo’s destroyed sculpture “Icon of Peace Connecting Generations” at the entrance of the cave

Smashed remains inside the cave

Inside of the ruined Chibichiri Gama

Vandalized Thousand Crane strings sent from all over the country

Shoichi Chibana showing Minoru Kinjo the broken bottles that contained water and gasoline

Police investigating with the help of Shoichi Chibana

 

(English translation by T&CT and Sam Grieb)

 

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