Former marine displays photographs taken 50 years ago

Former marine displays photographs taken 50 years ago

On May 15, at Kitanakagusuku Village Community Center, Bruce (center) and the people of Akano in Uruma reminisce about life 50 years ago.

May 25, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

A photo exhibition entitled “Mayaga, Tayaga, Nuyaga (Where is it, Who is it, What is it) @ Kitanakagusuku” was held in a local community center through until May 15. Former marine Dick Bruce, now 73 year-old and living in Washington DC, displayed 200 photographs that he took between 1958 and 1959 in Uruma near Camp Courtney. Some visitors actually found themselves in the pictures and commented that the photographs represent a precious record because hardly anyone owned cameras back in those days.

Bruce was stationed in Okinawa from 1958 to 1959 as a member of a U.S. Marine band, and 53 years later he visited Okinawa to donate his old photos to the local society. It was not possible to identify most of the people and the places that appear, but some of them were thanks to cooperation of visitor to the exhibition. Bruce said, “I received kind words from many of the visitors. They were just as warm as when I was here 53 years ago.”

Sixty-two year-old Eiichi Yokota found an old photograph of himself in the exhibition. Bruce and eight boys were in the picture with gloves and a crumpled paper ball. Yokota said, “It makes me feel like a child again. I was always out there playing baseball in bare feet.”

Sixty year-old Yoshimitsu Goya also found himself, aged eight, in one of the pictures. He said, “It reminds me of the tough times I went through back then.”

(English translation by T&CT, Shinako Oyakawa and Mark Ealey)

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