Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mr. Miyagi and the Stone Marker in Kunigami

Memorial, Robert Morris Flynn, killed in action, USN, Jun 15 1945


Image on a Clipboard



Today's visit to Kunigami was for the purpose of gaining some information.

Doc Graff and I, have visited Mr. Miyagi a few times before and, he's very friendly.

Searching for a book concerning King Sho-en, I wasn't having much luck.

Miyagi, used to be in an office, next to the library. He's a historian.

We asked if, the gal working there, could give him a call and, she seemed puzzled.

There are many people, with the name Miyagi, in  northern Okinawa.

I told her, we're looking for the Miyagi, who's kinda ancient, like me, she knew, who I meant.

She placed a call and, started to turn on the air conditioning, for us, while we waited.

"Nah, we don't need AC, we'll go outside and do some smoking." I told her.

Miyagi, showed up, smiling and waving, from half a block away.

Inside the library, he understood, exactly what I was searching for and, hurried back home.

He showed up with an old book, he had highlighted pages on and, got to work.

Miyagi, got an unmarked copy off the reference shelf and, had copies of pages, made for me.

When I tried to pay for the pages, the gal told me, they are free. Yay !

Thanking Mr. Miagi and the girl in the office, we were ready to go down the highway.

But, Miyagi had a request. "Could we translate something from English to Japanese?"

Heck yeah. The guy always helps us. So, he ran back to his house again.

We found a spot in the shade and, did some more smoking. Miyagi was back in minutes.

He had a color photo attached to a clipboard. I took an iPhone camera snap of it.

We got the translation done and, Miyagi scribbled it down, under the photo.

He was delighted. He started telling us the story, behind the memorial stone.

Then, asked if, we had a few minutes to spare and, a car, to go see the stone marker.

The three of us headed off, in Doc's automobile and, were there shortly later.

It took awhile, peeking through some bushes, in mosquito and habu land, to find it.



Robert Morris Flynn Memorial Library, stone, marker


Our cameras, were left behind, in the car.  This is another iPhone photo.

We got out of the bushes and, Mr. Miyagi continued with the story. He was very happy.

He waved his hands and almost danced, with joy, thanking us and giving a history lesson.

He even, had us walk a bit, down into town, to show us where the library, used to be.

Back in 1945, some Imperial Army soldiers, spotted Robert M. Flynn.

He was crouched down, sort of hiding. Two soldiers shot him at close range.

Then, Miyagi motioned, as if swinging a sword. Flynn whacked their heads off.

Then, hopped in a vehicle and escaped from, anyone else encountering him.

He died from his wounds that day. But, Miyagi was glad, the enemy soldiers got killed, too.

He kept hopping around, bowing to us and, practically danced in the street with joy.

He wanted that stone translated and, kept thanking us for our help.

Doc, offered to drive him back to his home and, he just wanted to walk. What a guy !

He's going to have that memorial marker, cleaned up and, put it back, where it came from.

We'll have to return and, join him, when his restoration is complete.



Back at the Office



A little Google Search helped me find some information concerning the stone marker.


screenshot from USN WWII casualty records


There wasn't any more information available in these records. I'll look for more.

Maybe, someone who reads this blog, can come up with something more detailed.

It's a sad story but, something I believe, needs more investigation.

There aren't many people, still alive, who remember the Battle of Okinawa.

And, I think it's important, for both sides, to learn from it and, remember.

Don't you ?
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