Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum
Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum (沖縄県立平和祈念資料館 Okinawa Kenritsu Heiwa Kinen Shiryōkan) is a museum in Itoman, Okinawa. It was established on June 11, 1975. The Cornerstone of Peace, a monument similar to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, is located here.
The Basic Concept of the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum
In late March 1945, a fierce battle such as has rarely been seen in history took place on these islands. The "Typhoon of Steel" that lasted for ninety days disfigured mountains, destroyed much of the cultural legacy, and claimed the precious lives of upward of 200,000 people. The Battle of Okinawa was the only ground fighting fought on Japanese soil and was also the largest-scale campaign of the Asia-Pacific War. Even countless Okinawan civilians were fully mobilized.
A significant aspect of the Battle of Okinawa was the great loss of civilian life. At more than 100,000 civilian losses, it far outnumbered the military death toll. Some were blown apart by shells, some finding themselves in a hopeless situation were driven to suicide, some died of starvation, some succumbed to malaria, while other fell victim to the retreating Japanese troops. Under the most desperate and unimaginable circumstances, Okinawans directly experienced the absurdity of war and the atrocities it inevitably brings about.
This war experience is at the very core of what is popularly called the "Okinawan Heart," a resilient yet strong attitude to life that Okinawan people developed as they struggled against the pressures of many years of U. S. military control.
The "Okinawan Heart" is a human response that respects personal dignity above all else, rejects any acts related to war, and truly cherishes culture, which is a supreme expression of humanity. In order that we may mourn for those who perished during the war, pass on to future generations the historic lessons of the Battle of Okinawa, convey our message to the peoples of the world, we thereby established the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum which displays the whole range of the individual war experiences of the people in this prefecture.
1975 (partially revised April 1, 2000) Okinawa Prefecture
The Cornerstone of Peace (Flame of Peace) is fed by flames from both Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as a flame from Zamami, where US forces first landed on Okinawa in 1945. The flame is in the center of a circular pond and is where visiting heads of state come to pay their respects to the dead. The Cornerstone of Peace is a semi-circular avenue of stones engraved with the names of all the dead in the Battle of Okinawa regardless of nationality. The Memorial Path includes 32 memorial monuments as well as the place where Lieutenant General Ushima committed suicide.
The Peace Memorial Museum, south of Naha on the main island of Okinawa is the main memorial to the Battle of Okinawa which took place during World War II on Okinawa's main island. The Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum is located on a very large site on Mabuni Hill where the Battle of Okinawa came to a bitter end and where the most bloodshed ensued.
The Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum Peace Zone has a number of separate memorials including the Okinawa Peace Hall, a large tower erected in 1978 which holds a 12m-high statue dedicated to world peace.
614-1 Mabuni, Itoman City, Okinawa
Tel: 098 997 3844
Admission: 300 yen
Hours: 9am to 5pm
1. Naha bus terminal - Itoman bus terminal
Bus No. 89 (leaves every 20 minutes)
Fare：500 yen (one way)
2. Itoman bus terminal-Heiwa-kinendo-iriguchi
Transfer to bus No. 82 (Gyokusendo bus route)
Fare：400 yen (one way)
Naha - Peace Memorial Park
Distance 22 Km Fare：3000 yen - 3500 yen (one way)
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