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.
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.
SURVIVORS REMEMBER COMMOTION THEN CALM INSIDE OKINAWA CAVE
COMPULSORY SUICIDES DURING BATTLE OF OKINAWA
RELATED LINK: REMINDER OF WAR IN OKINAWA
Have a look at photos of wildlife, festivals and travel sites here. Sharing tips for travelers with a twist of humor is part the life I enjoy in Okinawa, Japan. Photos and text Copyright © Michael Lynch. All photos contain traced digital watermarks. You may contact:http://www.ryukyulife.com/ for licensing.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Leaving this Cave in Okinawa had to Feel Great: A Photo Essay
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How interesting! Living conditions must have been dire, to say the least.
It what became known as the Typhoon of Steel, bombs and shelling by both Japanese and US forces destroyed 90% of the buildings on the island so, I guess a cave with running water was better than staying at home.
Awful, huh ?
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