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Monday, September 20, 2010

An Interveiw with Ota Masahide, Former Governor of Okinawa 大田昌秀沖縄県元知事インタビュー英語で発表 ジャパン・フォーカス誌

I would like to share my new article on Japan Focus: Asia-Pacific Journal.

"The World is beginning to know Okinawa":
Ota Masahide Reflects on his Life from the Battle of Okinawa to the Struggle for Okinawa

It is the first of such in-depth interview in English with the man, survivor of the Battle of Okinawa, who has worked, written, spoken, and taught tirelessly for the 65 years of post-war Okinawa, and continues to do so. This article also reveals crucial little-known facts around the contentious "Futenma relocation" issue, and provides historical background behind the centuries of alienation of oppression of the southernmost islands of Japan and their people.

Ota Masahide interviewed on July 20, 2010 at the Ota Peace Research Institute, Naha, Okinawa
 Interview, translation, notes, and introduction by Norimatsu Satoko


“Ota-san is the ‘Conscience of Okinawa’,” the manager of a small museum in Shuri said, when I told her I was going to interview former Governor of Okinawa Ota Masahide after leaving the museum. The museum, run by the alumni association of Okinawa Prefectural First Junior High School (now Shuri High School), commemorates their students who perished in the Battle of Okinawa. At the time of the U.S. invasion of Okinawa in late March of 1945, at least 1,787 junior high school boys across the island, mostly from age 14 to 18, were drafted by the Japanese Imperial Army as members of the “Tekketsu Kinnoutai (Blood and Iron Student Corps).” At least 921, more than half of those students, died in the Battle, the bloodiest of the Pacific War, which took over 200,000 lives, half of them local civilians....

Click HERE to read the whole article.


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