“Lobbying Journal” detailing the “beggars’ march” is published

“Lobbying Journal” detailing the “beggars’ march” is published

Okinawa International University Professor Atsushi Toriyama holding the “Lobbying Journal” recording the land dispute at Ie Island, taken on February 27 at said university in Ginowan City.

March 1, 2019 Ryukyu Shimpo

On February 28, the “Lobbying Journal” which covers the activities of late Shoko Ahagon, who took part in the land dispute in Ie Island under U.S. military rule, was published.

The journal details the lobby activities by residents of Ie Village, Okinawa Prefecture that took place in front of the Ryukyu government building in Naha City, along with the “beggars’ march,” a non-violent protest in which people traveled the length of the Main Island of Okinawa.

The journal records the events that took place between June and October of 1955.

Okinawa International University Professor of Okinawan Modern History Atsushi Toriyama, who is a part of the Shoko Ahagon Resource Research Association, and others edited the journal.

The “beggars’ march” took place between July 21, 1955 and early 1956.

Newspaper reports at the time trailed off at the end of July 1955 so the activities beyond that point by those in the march had been unknown.

But the “Lobbying Journal” reveals that they were traveling around Kunigami in September.

The journal also details the exchange between the lobby group and the Ryukyu government.

Concerning the lobby group, the journal writes that the Ryukyu government Vice Chairman at the time, Tatsubin Yogi had said, “(If we cannot resolve the issue of removing residents who are protesting the land condemnation, then) I am prepared to resign.” Professor Toriyama commented that “The Ryukyu government was caught between conflicting demands (from the U.S. military and residents). They wanted to do something but did not have the authority.”

“Lobbying Journal” had been stored at the Wabiai no Sato that traces Ahagon’s footsteps and passes on the history of Ie Island.

It seems that the journal was written by several islanders.

Professor Toriyama said, “Combining the journal with documents from the time, it gives us a solid understanding of what the situation was like back then.”

The Wabiai no Sato held a workshop on the “Lobbying Journal” at 3 p.m. on March 2 and 9 a.m. on March 3 at the Ie Village Agricultural Development Centre.

Starting at 10 a.m. on March 10, Professor Toriyama is to provide commentary on the topic.

There will be 500 copies of the book, which cost 800-yen each including tax. For more information contact Wabiai no Sato at 0980 (49) 3047.

(English translation by T&CT and Chelsea Ashimine)
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