Suicide Cliff

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Suicide Cliff
SUICIDE CLIFF.jpg
Suicide Cliff is located in Northern Mariana Islands
Suicide Cliff
Nearest city San Roque (Saipan), N. Mariana Islands
Coordinates 15°16′38″N 145°48′35″E / 15.27722°N 145.80972°E / 15.27722; 145.80972Coordinates: 15°16′38″N 145°48′35″E / 15.27722°N 145.80972°E / 15.27722; 145.80972
Area 9 acres (3.6 ha)
Part of Landing Beaches; Aslito/Isley Field; & Marpi Point, Saipan Island (#85001789)
NRHP Reference # 76002193[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP September 30, 1976
Designated NHLDCP February 4, 1985

Suicide Cliff is a cliff above Marpi Point Field near the northern tip of Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, which achieved historic significance late in World War II.

Also known as Laderan Banadero, it is a location where thousands of Japanese civilians and Japanese soldiers committed suicide by jumping to their deaths in 1944 in order to avoid capture by the United States, as Japanese propaganda emphasizing brutal treatment of Japanese such as American mutilation of Japanese war dead. Many Japanese feared that 'American devils [were] raping and devouring Japanese women and children.'[2] The precise number of suicides there is not known, but has been estimated at around 8,000 deaths.[3] A contemporary correspondent, praising their actions as 'the finest act of the Shōwa period', described them as 'the pride of Japanese women.'[4] The alternative name of the pace, Banzai Cliff, stems from the fact that, when the people jumped, they shouted '"Banzai" (wishing the Emperor 10,000 years of life).'[5]

By 1976, a park and peace memorial was in place and the location had become a pilgrimage destination, particularly for visitors from Japan.[6] In that year, 9-acre (3.6 ha) of the site were listed on the US National Register of Historic Places.[1]

The cliff is, along with the airfield and Banzai Cliff, a coastal cliff where suicides also took place, part of the National Historic Landmark District Landing Beaches; Aslito/Isley Field; & Marpi Point, Saipan Island, designated in 1985.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ Jennifer F. McKinnon; Toni L. Carrell (7 August 2015). Underwater Archaeology of a Pacific Battlefield: The WWII Battle of Saipan. Springer. p. 23. ISBN 978-3-319-16679-7. 
  3. ^ Frederick E. LaCroix (2009). The Sky Rained Heroes: A Journey from War to Remembrance. BookPros, LLC. p. 245. ISBN 978-0-9821601-3-8. 
  4. ^ Kingston, Jeff (5 July 2014). "Battle of Saipan: a brutal invasion that claimed 55,000 lives" – via Japan Times Online. 
  5. ^ Wen-Shing Tseng (6 June 2001). Handbook of Cultural Psychiatry. Academic Press. p. 388. ISBN 978-0-08-052562-4. 
  6. ^ Dennis Vander Tuig (1976). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Suicide Cliff / Laderan Banadero" (PDF). National Park Service.  and accompanying two photos from 1976
  7. ^ "NHL nomination for Landing Beaches; Aslito/Isley Field; & Marpi Point, Saipan Island" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2015-04-14.