Fundraising begins to repair and preserve “Solidarity Dojo,” symbol of resistance to US military

Fundraising begins to repair and preserve “Solidarity Dojo,” symbol of resistance to US military

On October 9 in Maja, Ie Village, repair work starts on the Solidarity Dojo (photograph provided by Wabiai no Sato)

October 13, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo

On October 9 repairs were started on the “Solidarity Dojo” in Maja, Ie Village, which the late Shoko Ahagon used as the base of land struggles in the resistance movement against the U.S. military. Because the repairs will cost about 10 million yen, the Wabiai no Sato Foundation and volunteers are carrying on Ahagon’s memory by launching the Iejima Solidarity Dojo Preservation Society and seeking donations. President of the Preservation Society, Etsuko Jahana, is calling for cooperation with the words, “We want to leave the symbol of Iejima’s land struggle for future generations.”

The Solidarity Dojo was completed in 1970. It has been used as a place for studying the history and ideology of the nonviolent resistance in the land struggle. The names of individuals and organizations that supported the Iejima Land Protection Association’s activities are placed in the building. This includes a wide range of people, such as the first elected Okinawa governor Chobyo Yara and former chairman Baldwin of the International Human Rights Federation.

As the building has aged, concrete has detached and fallen away. The repair work is expected for completion in March next year. Visitors are not allowed to enter the building during repairs.

Kozo Takagaki, a member of Wabiai no Sato, talked about the significance of preserving the dojo as “a historic building that stands as a record of the nonviolent resistance on Ie Island.” Jahana stressed, “The base problem after the war began on Ie Island. Those records are here.”

Donations start at 2,000 yen for individuals and 10,000 yen for organizations. These donations will be received at JP Bank “Wabiai no Sato Foundation” Symbol 17010, Number 20371481. For inquiries, call Wabiai no Sato at 0980 (49) 3047.

(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana) 

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