Every Chatan elementary and junior high school teacher to receive “peace training,” second of its kind in Okinawa

Every Chatan elementary and junior high school teacher to receive “peace training,” second of its kind in Okinawa

In July 2020, first-year educators visited a concealed WWII bunker for suicide boats located on U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Foster, as part of the Chatan Board of Education’s “peace education training.” (Photo provided by the Chatan Board of Education.) 

April 2, 2021 Ryukyu Shimpo

By Wakana Arakaki


The Chatan Board of Education is set to offer “peace education training” to all of its elementary and junior high school faculty this academic year. While many municipalities in Okinawa offer peace training to first-year and mid-career educators, Chatan will be the second municipality, following Nakagusuku Village, to train teachers at all levels. Faculty members of all six elementary and junior high schools in Chatan will receive the peace education training during summer vacation, two schools per year, over the next three years.

The training will kick off with a visit to Abuchira-gama in Nanjo City but will vary by school beyond that. Kuwae Junior High School, which will train its teachers this year, plans to tour the local WWII sites. In the past, peace training for first-year teachers in Chatan included visits to the Kumaya-gama, a secret bunker for the marure suicide boats.

Chatan School District Superintendent Nobuyuki Tsukayama said, “Fieldwork allows us to experience the realities of the Battle of Okinawa which may not be gained from reading alone. I hope [the teachers] will continuously explore and think about their own teaching methods.”

The Okinawa City Heiwa (Peace) Guide network, a group of retired teachers, and others expressed concern about the educators’ lack of knowledge on the Battle of Okinawa and requested the municipality to take the initiative on educating its teachers. Originally, the town budgeted and planned the peace training for the 2020 academic year. However, it was canceled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and delayed until this year.

Noboru Morine, 79, representative caretaker of the Okinawa Peace Guide Network, emphasized, “Some textbooks have an incorrect understanding of history. That is why I want all educators to value historical facts, site visits, and testimonies. I hope they nurture their interest in the topic and continue their learning.”


(English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki)


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