Himeyuri Peace Museum Okinawa
Himeyuri Peace Museum & Himeyuri no To Memorial, Okinawa ひめゆり学徒隊
Another much visited memorial to the bloody Battle of Okinawa in 1945 is Himeyuri no To. This is a cave where 210 high school girls and their teachers, who were working as student nurses were killed by American fire, including a gas bomb dropped into the cave. The girls were from Okinawa First Girls'High School and Okinawa Women's Normal School and had been inducted in to the Okinawa Army Field Hospital in the village of Haebaru, about 3 miles south east of Naha. The name Himeyuri comes from the nickname for Okinawa Women's Normal School.
Himeyuri Peace Museum
The site includes the cave and the Himeyuri Peace Museum with photographs, videos, survivors' accounts and other exhibits explaining the lives and sacrifice of the school girls. The girls met their fate not just in the cave but also outside from American fire. Others committed suicide with grenades or shells. The miserable conditions of the inter-connected caves that served as a hospital are recreated with dioramas. The museum has a very strong anti-war message. A visit here is a moving experience. Other memorials to the Battle of Okinawa include the Former Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters (Kyukaigun Shireibugo), Cape Kyan, where many Okinawans jumped to their deaths, Konpaku no To and the Peace Memorial Museum on Mabuni Hill.
Access - Getting There
Himeyuri Peace Museum (himeyuri.or.jp in Japanese, English and Chinese) Okinawa 901-0344 Tel: 098 997 2100 9 am-5.30 pm daily (last entry 5 pm) Admission: Adults 310 yen, High School Students 210 yen, Elementary and Junior High School Students 110 yen. Memorial stone to Harry Shinichi Gima (1917-1986) who donated the land to the museum
To get to the Himeyuri Peace Museum take bus #82, #107 or #108 from Itoman. The Himeyuri Peace Museum is on Highway 331.
Books on the Battle of Okinawa
Books of note on the Battle of Okinawa include With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by the ex-Marine E. B. Sledge and The Battle of Okinawa by Colonel Hiromichi Yahara, a high-ranking Japanese staff officer. Paper cranes folded in memory of those who were lost
Himeyuri Peace Museum, Okinawa is a cave where 210 high school girls and their teachers were killed by American fire during the battle for the island.