News Articles on Okinawa’s Textbook Protest

Below are excerpts and links to articles on the textbook cover-up.

More than 110,000 people on Japan’s southern island of Okinawa demonstrated Saturday against the central government’s order to modify school textbooks which say the country’s army forced civilians to commit mass suicide at the end of World War II…”         —INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE article

Governor will join in textbook protest”         —WEEKLY JAPAN UPDATE article

Sumie Oshiro was 25 when she and her friends tried to kill themselves to avoid capture by U.S. soldiers at the start of the bloody Battle of Okinawa...”Four of us tried to commit suicide with one hand grenade, but it did not go off”…”         —REUTERS article

All Okinawa assemblies protest gov’t view on wartime mass suicides”         —YAHOO! ASIA NEWS article

Okinawans press protest against textbook changes”         —WEEKLY JAPAN UPDATE article

Nobuaki Kinjo, 80, is one of the survivors… he was 16 years old living on Tokashiki Island when the Americans invaded the Keramas on March 26, 1945, in preparation for the April 1 landing on the main island of Okinawa… He said that in a state of insanity fueled by the propaganda of Japanese soldiers, he killed his mother and two siblings in a mass suicide the day the Americans invaded. “We were told the Americans were beasts,” Kinjo said in 2001. “We were told by the soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army that we should commit suicide rather than be captured.” Some 329 bodies were later counted in a valley where the villagers pulled the pins on hand grenades passed out by soldiers. He said he survived the mass suicide only because he was convinced by other teens that they should die a “more glorious death” by attacking the Americans. They were armed with sticks, but became disheartened when they came across some Japanese soldiers. “I felt we had been betrayed,” Kinjo said. “Why were they alive and all the residents had to commit suicide?” …”         —STARS and STRIPES article

Tokyo admits Okinawans were under suicide order ”         —STARS and STRIPES article


statue of an Okinawan mother and childA statue of an Okinawan mother and child inside a walled-off monument to civilians who were convinced to commit suicide rather than surrender to American invasion troops. The monument was vandalized by right-wing Japanese nationalists in 1987 because they said it embarrassed the emperor. Photo: David Allen / S&S