Peace Memorial Museum

We got up, ate breakfast, and were off on the bus for a packed full day of touring. It was raining really hard, but our first stop today was to a museum so hopefully the rain will  clear up for the rest of the spots.

After an hour ride we got there, and it was still pouring. The museum was built on the Pacific Ocean, symbolizing be connected to the world to share the history of the war. After getting brief history of the Museum from our IES staff, we headed inside. I picked up an English voice guide box and it’s a must for this museum. The first room in the exhibit was interesting and gave a glimpse of the history of Okinawa before the war, called The Path to the Battle of Okinawa. The Battle of Okinawa was the numerous bombing that took place in Okinawa by US military, it was a terrible time for Okinawa. It was an indiscriminate killing of civilians and Japanese also killed Okinawans accusing them as spy’s. Gama were shelters underground for Okinawans during the bombing.

Shelters

Shelters

There were many different rooms all with a different message about the war and chronologically leading up to how Okinawa is today. After the war the US had a heavy influence in Okinawa and it was separated from Japan for a long time, today there is still military camps and a lot of controversy with it in Japan. This was definitely the most interesting museum I’ve been to in Japan, because of the strong connection with the US and Okinawa has had. I now realize that Okinawa is very separate from Japan and is a very different culture, which today is still a blend of the west and east. Overall it was a great exhibit and details a very tragic time for Okinawa.
History
The Peace Memorial was founded to mourn the souls of the Battle of Okinawa. A fierce battle took place in 1945 on Okinawa Islands, it lasted 90 days and claimed over 200,000 people. The Battle of Okinawa was the only ground fighting fought on Japanese soil and was the largest-scale campaign of the Asia-Pacific War. The museum shows individual war experiences for the people in Okinawa to mourn for the losses, and acts as a memento not to repeat history.

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