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    Grandson of the Japanese Imperial Army commanding general visits Kinser historical display / 日本帝国陸軍第32軍牛島司令官の孫がキンザー沖縄戦歴史資料館を訪問

    Grandson of the Japanese Imperial Army Commanding General Visits Kinser Historical Display / 日本帝国陸軍第32軍牛島司令官の孫がキンザー沖縄戦歴史資料館を訪問

    Photo By Yoshie Makiyama | Sadamitsu Ushijima talks to Chris Majewski, director of the Kinser Battle of Okinawa...... read more read more



    Story by Yoshie Makiyama 

    Marine Corps Installations Pacific

    Sadamitsu Ushijima, the grandson of General Mitsuru Ushijima, who led the 32nd Army in the pacific theater toward the end of World War II, visited the Kinser Battle of Okinawa Historical Display, April 20.

    For nearly 30 years, he has been collecting information to track down what happened to his grandfather and why he gave orders, which caused many casualties among residents during the Battle of Okinawa.

    On this day, Ushijima did not visit the museum for a tour like other visitors. He was there to collect more information about the tunnels of the 32nd Army's Shuri Castle command center bunker.

    He introduced himself saying that he had been looking forward to seeing the display as the U.S. Army's research was excellent, precise and extremely informative about what happened 78 years ago. Ushijima hoped to see if the Kinser display carried more photographs, other documents and materials which were in the archive he had not seen.

    As Chris Majewski, a Marine veteran and the director of the display, was informed by Ichino Doshida, Camp Kinser community relations specialist, of the request, he prepared a book for Ushijima. It was an Intelligence monograph of the 10th U.S. Army.

    The monograph had detailed information and diagrams with photos of the 32nd Army headquarters bunker that the United States had learned about during the battle, according to Makoto Nakamura, director of Okinawa Peace Memorial Museum Fellowship who accompanied Ushijima.

    Although the book was a copy, Ushijima looked through the pages and analyzed them. At a certain page, he compared the drawing on the book with an aerial photo of the area he brought with him.

    Nakamura said the Japanese did have a rough plan of the site, but the U.S. Intelligence monograph measured and determined the length, depth of the site.

    Ushijima believed that images would be good since the U.S. cameras were better quality and professional combat photographers took them.

    After going through the Intelligence monograph, Ushijima toured the display and stopping at a particular location.

    “Okinawa Convention and Visitors Bureau told me about this place,” Ushijima said. “They visited here and saw the picture of my grandfather’s body and said they were speechless with emotion.”

    On the wall in front of him was a picture of the bodies which are believed to be that of Ushijima and Isamu Chou, chief of staff. His grandfather was reported to have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

    Ushijima and Majewski discussed the photo and the embedded caption on it. They both doubted that the body in the photo was General Ushijima because of the body’s condition and the background of the site differed from what had been reported.

    “He was thin and the place is not right. Where he died, the command bunker at Mabuni, didn’t have wood pillars, but the photo shows a pillar,” said Ushijima.

    Majewski said if Ushijima had questions about the display, or wanted to know something about it, Majewski would know it intimately and could give him an answer.

    Ushijima explained that during his research into his grandfather, he discovered many things that helped him understand what the Battle of Okinawa was like and what his grandfather did with what authority.

    “My aunts and uncles respected my grandfather so much that they would not look into it any further,” said Ushijima. However, he said that it is his quest to find out why his grandfather gave orders to withdraw south and fight to the end.

    Before Ushijima left, Majewski handed Ushijima a sake cup found at the general’s headquarters cave in Mabuni, he said, “The cup may mean more to you because it came from the cave where your grandfather died.”

    ***This is a sneak preview of an article for the bilingual magazine “Big Circle” September issue. More to Ushijima’s inner conflict as being the grandson of the General and his new quest can be read in the magazine.

















     最後にマジェフスキー館長は、摩文仁の司令本部の洞窟で発見された盃を貞満さんに手渡した。「この盃は、あなたのおじいさんが亡くなった洞窟から出たものだから、あなたにとってより大きな意味があるかもしれません 」



    Date Taken: 06.20.2023
    Date Posted: 08.31.2023 02:30
    Story ID: 452508
    Location: OKINAWA, JP

    Web Views: 172
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