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Monday, December 28, 2009

A Beautiful Henoko III

Here is Mr. Toyama. He is the head of the "tent village," where Henoko activists are sitting-in to stop the construction of a new base - V-shaped runways by landfilling the coast of Henoko. Mr. Toyama said to build those runways, they would have to gather almost all the sea sands of the Okinawa Island. Many of the marine lives would be destroyed, and dugongs would lose their feeding grounds.
Yumiko took a photo of this tapestry within the tent. The poem reads,

"At the end of the Battle of Okinawa,

Mountains were burnt. Villages were burnt. Pigs were burnt.

Cows were burnt. Chickens were burnt.

Everything on land was burnt.

What was left for us to eat then?

It was the gift from the ocean.

How could we return our gratitude for the ocean

By destroying it?"

When Okinawan people are talking about Henoko, it is not just about Henoko. They are talking about the whole history of the war and the colonization of the Okinawan islands, by Japan and by the US. The Battle of Okinawa is still very alive in people's minds. I knew of it intellectually, but I really didn't know it. This was the biggest lesson of my week-long stay in Okinawa.

When we should eliminate bases from Okinawa,


See other photos of Henoko at:

A Beautiful Henoko

A Beautiful Henoko II

See Ginowan Mayor Iha's interview (in Japanese and in English) for why we don't need a base in Henoko.

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