Nara organizations form group to urge return of Ryukyuan remains kept at Kyoto University

October 22, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo

In response to Kyoto University retaining human remains removed by anthropologists from Okinawa in the early Showa era, several organizations including the Nara-Okinawa Solidarity Commission have established a group called the Nara Prefectural Council Requesting Ryukyuan Remains be Returned. On October 21 the group met in Nara City in support of bringing a lawsuit against Kyoto University to have the remains returned.

Head Secretary Hideki Kanai of the group gave a lecture titled “Japanese Colonialism and the Issue of Returning Ryukyuan Remains.” Participants adopted a declaration that stated, in part, “We are concerned there is colonialism still among us, and we call on Japan to relinquish its hold, as a postwar duty of a suzerain nation.” The group will actively support Okinawa’s right of self-determination and oppose construction of the Futenma replacement facility in Henoko, Nago City.

The group took on representatives from the Nara-Okinawa Solidarity Commission, Okinawa no Takae-Henoko Tsunagaru Nara no Kai, and the Multicultural Coexistence Forum of Nara. In total, the three organizations have about 300 members. Other organizations cooperating in the group’s activities include the Buraku Liberation League’s Nara Branch and the Nara Peace Forum. A representative of the group, Seiki Sakihama, said, “Uchinanchu and Yamato together, including people of Amami from whom remains were snatched in a similar fashion, want to call out Japan’s colonialism.”

(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)

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