Saturday, August 27, 2011

Leaving this Cave in Okinawa had to Feel Great: A Photo Essay

To appreciate what it must feel like being bombed into the Stone Age it's probably best to show you this cave from the inside, looking out.  Welcome to a cave called Shimuku Gama in Yomitan Okinawa, Japan.
Over a thousand residents of Yomitan Village took shelter in this cave during the battle of Okinawa 1945.
With no flashlights or electricity this is the only daylight visible from inside Shimuku Gama.  It's dark.
The only nice thing about this natural bombshelter is the watersupply; it runs right through the front door.
Outside, to the left of the main entrance, this area could be considered the patio; it's covered, sort of.
A little bit to the right of the monument in this photo is the path that you would take to enter the cave.
The monument recognizes two men, I think we should call heroes, Heiji and his nephew Heizo Higa.

The occupying forces of the Japanese Imperial Army had instructed the civilians who took shelter in the cave to kill themselves rather than be captured when American forces arrived at the cave.

When the Americans arrived at the entrance to Shimuku Gama, the Okinawan residents were perpared to take their own lives. 

They had been told they would be tortured, mutilated and raped by the American beasts and belived it.

Heiji and Heizo convinced them otherwise.  They had both lived and worked with Americans in Hawaii and knew that US soldiers would not harm unarmed civilians. Not one civilian from this cave died.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the case in many other caves during World War II.

Leaving this cave in Okinawa had to feel great.

REFERENCES:

SURVIVORS REMEMBER COMMOTION THEN CALM INSIDE OKINAWA CAVE

COMPULSORY SUICIDES DURING BATTLE OF OKINAWA


RELATED LINK: REMINDER OF WAR IN OKINAWA


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