Himeyuri Peace Museum “operational crisis” tweet spreads, leading to 17.5 million yen in donations over two days

Himeyuri Peace Museum “operational crisis” tweet spreads, leading to 17.5 million yen in donations over two days

Himeyuri Peace Museum tweet explaining the museum’s dire “operational crisis” and asking for donations

June 7, 2021 Ryukyu Shimpo


On the morning of June 6, the Himeyuri Peace Museum, which has seen a dramatic decrease in visitors as a result of Covid-19, posted about its dire “operational crisis” on Twitter. The tweet was retweeted widely, leading to a sudden inflow of donations. The museum received 4,990 donations, reaching a total of roughly 17.5 million yen, on its donation site between the time of the tweet and 5:30 p.m. on June 7. Compared to the figures from the time it opened its donation site in October of last year until April, the amount donated was 5.4 times and the number of donations reached 28.5 times those figures.


The museum had 491,345 visitors in the 2019 business year. As a result of Covid-19, cancellations of school trips and other factors caused visitors to fall to only 66,532 in the 2020 business year, an 86% reduction compared to 2019. In the 2021 business year, the difficult situation continued, with only 4,151 visitors in April and 4,908 in May.


The tweet was posted at 9:21 a.m. on June 6. It explained that visitors had decreased as a result of Covid-19 and made an urgent plea, stating, “This situation is extremely difficult for our museum, which is a private organization and relies on admission fees for its operation. We would greatly appreciate donations of any amount.”


The tweet spread on Twitter and other SNS. Many people announced that they had made donations, with comments such as “This museum needs to keep existing” and “I donated 100 thousand yen,” and the message continued to spread. As of 6:00 p.m. on June 7, the original tweet had received a total of more than 23,000 retweets and likes as the circle of support spread further.


According to the museum, it started using the donation site “Syncable” (https://syncable.biz/associate/himeyuri/) in October of last year as visitors decreased, and as of April, it had received 175 donations reaching a total of 3.22 million yen. After the tweet, it received 2,637 donations of a total of roughly 8.98 million yen by 5:30 p.m. on June 6, and 4,990 donations of a total of 17.5 million yen by 5:30 p.m. on June 7.


“It came as a surprise. We received donations from many people, and all of us at the museum are full of gratitude. Our operations are still strained, but we are greatly encouraged by all of the warm comments we received,” said Katsumi Maedomari, curator of the museum.


The Himeyuri Peace Museum is a privately operated museum founded by the Himeyuri Peace Foundation, a foundation having the Himeyuri alumni association, an association of former students of the pre-war Okinawa Shihan Women’s School and the Okinawa Daiichi Women’s High School, as its parent organization. It serves as a place for activities to link the tragedy of war and appreciation of peace to the future through the experiences of students and others who were mobilized during the Battle of Okinawa. Its operational expenses for the 2019 business year were 147.62 million yen. It receives no public funding and relies on admission fees and donations for its operations.


(English translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)


Go to Japanese 


Previous Article:
Next Article:

[Similar Articles]