Irei no Hi
|Irei no Hi|
|Next time||23 June 2014|
Irei no Hi (慰霊の日?, lit. the day to console the dead in Japanese) is June 23, the day systematic fighting of Japanese in Okinawa came to an end in 1945 and is now a prefectural holiday of Okinawa Prefecture.
In the Battle of Okinawa, Japanese soldiers as well as inhabitants, were pushed into the Southern border of Okinawa and Mitsuru Ushijima and Isamu Cho, top generals committed suicide on June 22 or 23, 1945. In 1961, Irei no Hi was made a holiday by the then Ryukyu Government in order to remember and pray for their family members and relatives who were killed during the Battle of Okinawa. In 1972, Okinawa was returned to Japan and Irei no Hi lost the basis of holiday. In 1991, Irei no Hi was made a prefectural holiday.
Cornerstone of Peace
The Cornerstone of Peace is a monument in Itoman commemorating the Battle of Okinawa and the role of Okinawa during World War II. The names of over two hundred and forty thousand people who lost their lives are inscribed on the memorial. It was unveiled on 23 June 1995 in memory of the fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Okinawa and the end of World War II at Mabuni, Okinawa. It was erected to: (1) Remember those lost in the war, and pray for peace; (2) Pass on the lessons of war; and (3) Serve as a place for meditation and learning. Another expression is Okinawa Peace Park. On June 23, or Irei no Hi, memorial services are held every year with the attendance of the prime minister.