“Near the end of WWII, Okinawa became the site of one of the war’s bloodiest battles, when the US forces invaded and occupied the island. An estimated 200,000 people, including more than 100,000 civilians and 12,500 Americans were killed in the battle, which lasted from April to June 1945. The devastating effects of the war had a profound impact on the Okinawans, and there are a number of monuments and museums relating to the period. The worst fighting of the battle took place in the south, and that is where some of the larger monuments have been constructed.
The main memorial to the Battle of Okinawa is the Peace Memorial Park, which is located near the southern tip of the island. Its main attraction is the Peace Memorial Museum, which gives a sobering overview of the lead up to the battle, the battle itself and the reconstruction of Okinawa. Other monuments in the park include the “Cornerstone of Peace”, a collection of large stone plates with the names of all fallen soldiers and civilians, including Koreans, Taiwanese, Americans and Britons. There is also an area with memorials donated by each of Japan’s 46 other prefectures.”
The park is right on the ocean, overlooking the cliffs. We walked through the museum which was laid out in chronological order with the events of the Battle of Okinawa.The Cornerstone of Peace walls were laid out in an easy to navigate system, with the English (American, British and Irish) names all together. It was a sad sight to see. 12,500 Americans died in the battle, but over 200,000 total died, including 100,000 civilians. The walls list the names of all these people. The park consisted of other monuments, that we walked by, but didn’t investigate further. It was a well laid out park. Since we went, I have found other memorials that are in the area, so we may need to go back!
|The view was gorgeous!|
|A map of the park that was painted on a wall of the museum|