Group hoping to correct Chibichiri Gama omission from textbook protests against recent cave vandalism

Group hoping to correct Chibichiri Gama omission from textbook protests against recent cave vandalism

ex-Shiraume Student Corps member Kiku Nakayama speaking from the podium at the “Committee to enact the 9/29 Okinawan Citizens Festival resolution” symposium, adopting an appeal protesting the destruction at Cibichiri Gama cave. September 13, the National Diet Upper House


 

September 14, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

 

Tokyo – The “Committee to enact the 9/29 Okinawan Citizens Festival resolution,” which is working to restore in history textbooks the compulsory nature of the group suicides in Okinawa at the end of World War 2, held a symposium marking the 10th year since the Citizens Festival, as well as a photo exhibit related to the forced mass suicides, on September 13 at the National Diet.

 

The symposium took on the atmosphere of a protest in the wake of the vandalism at Chibichiri Gama cave in Yomitan, where the Japanese military forced the Okinawan citizens taking refuge in the cave to commit suicide en masse at the Battle of Okinawa, with appeals such as, “This vandalism is unforgivable.”

 

The appeals decrying the vandalism stated that Chibichiri Gama is, “a place containing the lost memories of people whose lives were taken in an extremely abnormal way,” and voiced their anger against the cowardly vandal who refuses to come forward nor make their intention known.

 

The symposium was paneled by Kiku Nakayama, who lived through the Battle of Okinawa as one of the Shiraume corps of student nurses, Nobuyoshi Takashima, professor emeritus at the University of the Ryukyus and expert on the textbook screening process, moderator Kasuga Nakanishi from the resolution realization committee, and Representative Toshinobu Nakazato (Independent).

 

Nakanishi said that there was a factual error regarding Okinawa’s economy in the high school textbook published by Teikoku-shoin, which was pointed out and corrected.

“It was because we were engaged in the 9/29 movement that we were able to stop it. It drives home the importance of engaging in these activities to ensure the truth is printed.

” Nakanishi also noted that textbook accounts of the Battle of Okinawa only include the Himeyuri Student Corps, and that “I want them to at least include the fact that all the women’s schools had student corps, and it is a shame that it has not happened.”

Professor Takashima stressed that the will of the Okinawan people has overcome the interference and pressure of the textbook screening process.

Representative Nakasato, who led the executive committee for the 2007 Okinawa Citizens Festival, said, “The origin of ‘All Okinawa’ was the citizens festival.”

 

(English translation by T&CT and Sam Grieb)

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