Sunday, June 25, 2017

Booklets Gathered from Okinawa Prefecture Archives

History, culture and aerial photos of Okinawa

A Wealth of Information

A visit to Okinawa Prefectural Archives netted me a few pounds of booklets.

These items, written in English and Japanese, are available for free to the pubic.

It helps if, you speak a little Japanese or, bring along someone, to assist with translation.

Anyone who knows me, can attest that, I'm a fairly boisterous character.

The place, has sort of a library atmosphere so, I asked two adults, to enter first.

They speak in normal (soft to me) volumes and, broke the ice before, I entered.

Photography Is Permitted

Many establishments, such as this, do not permit photography.

This facility will let you use a camera, with one exception - NO FLASH.

Many of the items are enclosed in glass cases so, flash wouldn't be a bright idea, anyhow.

Hundreds maybe, thousands of classified/secret documents and messages, may be viewed.

Most of them pertain to the war or, the administration of the Ryukyu islands, afterwards.

Of course, these days, they are no longer considered classified materials.

A few of the Secret files, I took photos of but, ain't showing anybody because, I feel guilty.

Materials Gathered

Top center in the image above, is the only item which was unnumbered.

It contains over 200 pages of information and images depicting Okinawa's history.

Title: Okinawan History on Record Archives as Evidence of Change

Especially important, to me is a scroll, handwritten letter from Kanemaru to the Shogun.

Kanemaru changed his name to Sho En, when he became the king of the Ryukyu islands.

He wrote, thanking the Shogun for a sword, gifted to him.

Sho En is someone, I have a special interest in and, have been tracing his history.

From his birthplace, travels, reign as king, to his burial, I have been researching his past.

Heck, I even know where the other end if his bellybutton (umbilical cord) was buried.

Any Okinawan, whose umbilical cord wasn't saved, may have a problem.

Either, their family doesn't follow tradition or, they might have been born ugly !

Book #2

Minatogawa Human Remains and Paleolithic Okinawa

This is a 55 page booklet filled with archaeology, human, animals bones and fossils.

Book #5

The Battle of Okinawa: Views from the Air

Airbases Photographed by US Forces Before and After the Battle

Fifty pages of images taken of airfields the Japanese had built throughout the islands.

A total of 18 airfields, were constructed during 1944, in preparation for the war.

Okinawa was to become an "unsinkable aircraft carrier" in the defense of Japan.

Book #8

The Edo-nobori Ceremony and Triangular Politic

A 72 page, illustrated booklet, depicting envoys from the Ryukyu islands to Edo.

Ships sailed to mainland Japan, bringing island royalty to pay tribute to the Shogun.

Ryukyu formal attire, resembled that of Chinese clothing, distinctly not, Japanese.

This resulted in delegations appearing as foreigners, to the northern neighbors.

Book #10

Okinawa's Recent Past: Views from the Air

Aerial photographs of central and southern Okinawa Island taken by US Forces in 1945

Black and white stereo photography dated JAN-APR 1945

A 79 page booklet of B-29 flight coverage from Ishikawa south to Itoman.

Book # 11

Okinawa's Recent Past: Views from the Air II

Aerial photographs of northern and central Okinawa Island taken by US Forces in 1945
Another 79 pages of images from Yomitan, Onna-son, Ishikawa, Kin, Nago and Motobu.


These printed editions are certainly collectibles and, will surely be out of print.

There are no, ISBN numbers on any of the book jackets; supplies will become diminished.

And, I doubt the Prefectural Board of Education plans on printing more.

Military photography was accredited to U. S. National Archives and Record Administration.

If, you cannot visit the Okinawa Archives, I haven't got time to help you.

There are more important things for me to do, such as chasing bellybuttons !

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