JPRI Working Paper No. 65: February 2000
Peace Wars: The Politics of Presenting the Past in Contemporary Okinawa
by Julia Yonetani

"It was a struggle over history in multiple ways, with heated passions, with feverish polemics. To all, history clearly mattered. The question was, who would shape it?" Barton J. Bernstein, Afterword, Judgment at the Smithsonian (1995)

Like the blistering summer sun, the official day for consoling the spirits of the war dead comes early to the archipelago of Okinawa, Japan's southernmost prefecture. On June 23, 1999, while the rest of Japan (except for Hokkaido) was still slogging through a particularly relentless rainy season, the recently elected Governor of Okinawa Prefecture, Keiichi Inamine, attended ceremonies for the fifty-fourth anniversary of the Battle of Okinawa. On this day, a prefectural public holiday in Okinawa known as Irei no Hi (Day to Console the Spirits), commemorations are held annually at the National Peace Memorial Park at Mabuni. The scene of the last resistance by the Japanese and of the deaths of many Okinawan civilians, Mabuni is located in the district of Itoman at the southern tip of Okinawa's main island. The Memorial Park contains numerous war memorials, including the "Cornerstone of Peace," erected under Governor Ota's administration; the Okinawan Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum, officially reopening in March, 2000; and the national monument called the "Break of Dawn." (For a map of the park and pictures of several dozen other memorials within it, see

In issuing his "Declaration of Peace" for the twenty-first century, Governor Inamine said that holding the last G-8 Summit of the millennium was of profound "historical significance." This gathering of heads of state is scheduled for July 21-23, 2000, in Nago, northern Okinawa, which is also the site for a proposed new American military base that would take over the functions of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station at Futenma when it is finally closed. The summit, he said, would provide an opportunity to convey to the world "Okinawa's heart" (Okinawa no kokoro) and the Okinawan commitment to achieving "step by step . . . everlasting world peace" (Okinawan Times, June 23, 1999, eve. ed.).

Yet such apparently transparent references to "peace" hide highly divergent memories and motivations for remembrance. Contested ideologies of war and peace--as dialogues with the past and as visions of the future--continue to haunt the postwar Japanese political landscape. In Okinawa, the only place in Japan where Japanese and United States ground forces fought each other, such dialogues are further complicated by the uninterrupted American military presence since the end of World War II and by the many territorial, legal, and moral issues that come with the U.S. bases. Less than two months after Inamine's declaration and barely six months since he took office, his administration found itself embroiled in a serious controversy over precisely how "peace" should be represented. The implications of this dispute reverberated throughout the archipelago.

The controversy arose over two different "peace memorial museums" (heiwa kinen shiryo-kan) recently constructed in Okinawa: the Yaeyama Peace Memorial Museum, which opened in May 1999 on the southern island of Ishigaki, and the new Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum, which is scheduled to reopen in March 2000 at the Peace Memorial Park in Mabuni. From August to October, 1999, a fierce political dispute arose over displays in the two museums. The Prefectural Government's alterations to displays at Yaeyama without the approval of the committee overseeing the project brought to light other surreptitious attempts to change the content of the exhibits at Mabuni as well. Inflaming the controversy was the simultaneous transition in prefectural government leadership from the active anti-base administration of former Governor Masahide Ota to the pro-central government policies of Governor Inamine. Beneath the local disputation lay the haunting question of Okinawa's political and historical place within Japan, and the tensions between a Japanese national commemorative history and the many ways in which Okinawa's history contradicts it.

Recollecting the War in Okinawa

Museums and memorials, as Laura Hein and Mark Selden (Living with the Bomb, M.E. Sharpe, 1997) remind us, are major organs of the state "dedicated to the instruction and edification of the public" but also serve as a means of control over the act of commemoration. Yet as public sites involved in the reproduction of memory, they remain inherently contentious. This is nowhere more true than in Okinawa. There grim scenes of decaying human remains in half-concealed caves contrast starkly with the glittering monuments dedicated to the heroic and noble spirits of war.1 On the main island, site of the most protracted fighting during the Battle of Okinawa and still home to the largest concentration of U.S. military facilities within Japan, it is perhaps least of all the dead who are at rest--and in the National Peace Memorial Park at Mabuni competing narratives vie for the authenticity of their voices.

At the bottom of the hill overlooking the sweeping cliffs of Mabuni, the Ota administration constructed the massive peace monument "Heiwa no Ishiji" or "Cornerstone of Peace" to mark the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Okinawa. The Cornerstone monument, based on a winning design entitled "Everlasting Waves of Peace," is composed of concentric arcs of wavelike black granite walls on which the names of all those who died in the Battle of Okinawa are engraved. A unique feature of the memorial is that it memorializes all of the casualties, regardless of nationality or status as combatant or civilian.

The collection of names marked the first time a large-scale investigation of the war dead had been carried out on the island. This was in line with Ota's perception of the "Okinawan heart," which in desiring peace challenged the Imperial Japanese Army, the United States military presence in Okinawa, and the notion of "national security" as in any way providing protection for the people. Of his own war experience, Ota writes, "On the battlefield of Mabuni, I saw around me scenes that were in every respect completely incongruous with the supposed righteous causes (of the war), nothing but carnage of the worst kind where people literally became less than human" (see Ota's book Okinawa: heiwa no ishiji [Okinawa: Cornerstone of Peace], Iwanami Shinsho, 1996, p. 25). The site of the memorial Ota built and its aims are detailed on the Internet.

Impressive though it is, the "Cornerstone of Peace" also reveals many of the contradictions associated with the display of war and peace in Okinawa. In spite of the immense work involved in gathering a total of 234,183 names by the official opening, absences from the monument spoke of the many difficulties involved in the trans-national effort. Many Korean names were hard to trace, and some Koreans actively resisted participating. Other people criticized the act of inscribing all the names on the memorial as a way of avoiding the question of responsibility for the war. In a battle in which the Imperial Army committed atrocities against Okinawan civilians, the fact that the names of Japanese combatants stand alongside those of local Okinawans has been criticized by Okinawans.

Above the concentric waves of the Cornerstone monument rises the national monument on Mabuni Hill. Here, after the reversion of Okinawa to Japan in May 1972, remains from various local caves and tombs have been gathered at one grave site, inscribed in "honor of the heroic spirits of the dead." At the summit of the hill stands the Reimei no To (literally, the "Break of Dawn Monument," with obvious pre-war nationalist connotations), built in honor of the Japanese commander of the forces in Okinawa who committed suicide in the face of imminent defeat. In the eyes of the Japanese Government, the Cornerstone of Peace does not constitute as "sacred" a place to console and commemorate the heroic spirits of the war as this shrine-memorial. On his visit to the park in August, 1995, Emperor Akihito laid a wreath of flowers at the Mabuni Hill site, while he merely "observed" (goran ni narareta) the Cornerstone memorial. He has yet to attend the official ceremony held annually at Mabuni on the Day to Console the Spirits of all who died.

In his book Okinawa: heiwa no ishiji, then Governor Ota described the construction of the Cornerstone monument as "the largest event that took place to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the war." He added, "It would not be an exaggeration to say that the motivation which led to the building of this 'Cornerstone of Peace' has also become the basis for the people of Okinawa devoting heart and soul, night and day, to solving the military base issue" (p. ii). Its very name, the Cornerstone, was an attempt by Ota and his administration to construct a competing dialogue to the "Japan-U.S. security partnership." The latter was described by then Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto and President Bill Clinton in their 1996 summit meeting as providing the "cornerstone of achieving common security objectives for the Asia-Pacific Region as we enter the 21st Century" (Japan Times, April 18, 1996).

Envisioning a New Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum

In addition to the Cornerstone of Peace, the Ota administration also set out to build a new Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum. This museum, projected to be a massive nine times the size of the old archive and to cost an estimated 80 billion yen, was to be a further challenge to the Japanese government's emphasis on the security treaty instead of peace. It was also an attempt to address some of the issues raised (or rather not raised) by the construction of the Cornerstone of Peace. In addition to the new museum, two other projects were fostered by the Ota administration: building an "Okinawan Peace Research Center" and preserving the underground Japanese military headquarters in Okinawa. These projects were to progress hand-in-hand with the prefectural "action program" for the return of military base land and for curtailing the U.S. military presence in Okinawa.

The original Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum was established in 1975 at Mabuni, to "mourn for the victims of the war, to convey correctly the historical teachings of the Battle of Okinawa to the next generation, and to contribute to the establishment of everlasting peace," in the words of the official guidebook (1991 ed.). Itself a product of fierce political debate, the original museum included various materials that raise questions about the role of the Japanese military during the war, such as military documents, propaganda posters, including a poster warning against "spy activities" within Okinawa, and a large darkened room devoted to videos of individuals recounting their experiences during the battle.2

The official ceremony initiating construction of the new complex took place on November 7, 1997. However, even before work on the four-story building, complete with an Okinawa-style red-tile roof, had begun, the question of how "peace" should be construed had emerged as a contested issue. In an op-ed contribution to the Okinawa Times, a schoolteacher from mainland Japan criticized the Shinto purification ceremony as a manifestation of "State Shinto," which should be a target of criticism in a site purportedly seeking to document the "imperialization" (kominka) of education in prewar Japan. Such a ceremony, the schoolteacher wrote, sits uneasily in the context of Ryukyuan culture, in which the indigenous religion is utterly distinct from Shinto, and contradicts the constitutional principles of separation of state and religion (Okinawa Times, November 17, 1997).

The prominent Okinawan scholar, commentator, and anti-base activist Moriteru Arasaki describes the months immediately following the gubernatorial elections in November 1998 as a kind of honeymoon period. In this election, Governor Inamine, who was openly backed by the Liberal Democratic Party, the American Embassy, the Pentagon, and Okinawan business interests, narrowly defeated former Governor Ota (see Arasaki's important analysis in Shukan Kin'yobi, October 15, 1999, pp. 29-33). The Japanese government was desperate to convert the "Okinawan problem" from one of protests against the bases to one of "economic stimulus policies" and to fulfill the promises made by Hashimoto and Clinton at their April 1996 summit to relocate the Marine Corps Air Station at Futenma out of the center of Ginowan City.

When the return of Futenma was first announced, hopes were raised that the Marines were going back to their own country or that at least they would be transferred to the large Marine air station at Iwakuni in southern Honshu. But it soon became clear that the Japanese government intended to relocate them to another site in Okinawa and not to any locality elsewhere in Japan. In Okinawa itself, the new governor's pre-election promises of "no offshore heliport" and a "fifteen-year lease limit" for any new joint-use civilian/military airport, without which he could not have been elected, seemed to ensure that his positions would not fit easily into the agendas of the Japanese and American governments. The initial policy taken by the central government was therefore hesitant, concentrating on ensuring a socially and economically conducive environment before seriously tackling the relocation issue.

On April 29, 1999, Inamine's honeymoon came to an end. To the surprise of virtually everyone, Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi announced that Okinawa Prefecture, jointly with Miyazaki prefecture in Kyushu, were the winning sites to host the G-8 Summit Meeting of the world's leading democratic nations in the year 2000, even though Okinawa reportedly ranked low or even last in terms of existing facilities and security capabilities. Obuchi said that the main meeting of heads of state would take place in Nago, a small, economically depressed town in northern Okinawa, which is where he wants to build a new military airfield to replace Futenma. Arasaki concluded that the summit was Obuchi's "trump card" in trying to line up a majority of Nago voters to accept another base in their midst (Nago already has American bases at Camp Schwab and at the Henoko Ammunition Storage Depot).

Tokyo's attempts to secure a relocation site swiftly while denying that there were any direct links between holding the summit in Nago and building a military base there were apparently uncoordinated with the United States. The Clinton administration declared that it wanted the relocation issue solved well before the meeting opened, which put pressure on Tokyo to act swiftly, which in turn put pressure on Inamine to line up support for the new base at Nago as quickly as possible. During the summer of 1999, however, these plans and machinations were dealt a blow by revelations that the Inamine administration had been tampering with the contents of the Prefectural Peace Museum. The apparent intention was to placate long-standing mainland attempts to suppress allegations that Japan committed war crimes during World War II in Okinawa. By early August, newspaper reports revealed that the prefectural government had secretly attempted to alter the displays within the new Prefectural Peace Museum without the knowledge or approval of the overseeing Supervisory Committee entrusted with planning the exhibits. The credibility of the government was seriously challenged.

The first hard evidence came from the new Yaeyama Peace Memorial Museum located on the southern island of Ishigaki. This museum was constructed to memorialize the victims of "war malaria"--those local inhabitants of the Yaeyama islands who had contracted the deadly virus after being expelled to malaria-infested areas by the Japanese army.3 Someone had altered eleven captions out of a total of twenty-seven in the exhibits of photos and diagrams without the knowledge of Professor Hiroshi Hosaka, the Ryukyu University professor who had originally supervised the work. Alterations included replacing the phrase "forced expulsion" (kyosei taikyo) with "ordered to take refuge" (hinan meirei). Alterations to the Yaeyama Museum were concentrated in sections depicting relations between the Japanese army and Okinawan civilians during the war. The alterations at Ishigaki suggested that there was a concerted attempt on the part of the new prefectural government to alter the way in which the Battle of Okinawa was presented to the public.

The prefectural government denied that Inamine and his bureaucrats had any part in the changes, but throughout the summer of 1999 local newspapers reported other changes that were unauthorized by the supervisory committees as well as documents that implicated Inamine and his administration in a plan to make comprehensive alterations. On October 7, the Naha press published relevant internal papers on the changes, and Deputy Governor Hideo Ishikawa finally acknowledged that the Governor and two of his deputies had played decisive roles in the alteration process (Ryukyu Shimpo, October 8, 1999). Ishikawa conceded that comments on the exhibits by the governor and his deputies had been taken "with gravity" (omoku uketometa) by bureaucrats within the prefectural government administration, who had then ordered detailed alterations. He said that all deliberative proceedings over suggested alterations had since ceased.

The documents published by the local press revealed that prefectural administrators had referred to fundamental differences in "perceptions of the state" between themselves and members of the museums' supervisory committees. The minutes of meetings between prefectural officials and museum administrators were in note form and lacked full details. Yet it was undeniable that as early as March 1999, Governor Inamine had stated that the exhibits "should not be too anti-Japanese" and that as Okinawa "only amounts to one prefecture within Japan," commentaries on the war should take into account "museum displays elsewhere in the country." For example, in the meeting of July 23, Inamine remarked that the proposed draft captions hardly varied from the originals "in spite of the change in [prefectural] government," and he pointed out that "various people" from throughout Japan, who presumably might be offended by overly accurate museum displays, were to visit Okinawa in conjunction with the G-8 summit.

Proposed Alterations and Protest

The attempted changes in content fell into three broad categories: those depicting the Battle of Okinawa, those depicting the Second World War in general, and those depicting the postwar United States occupation of the islands. While not as extensively reported in local media, the most blatant censorship occurred with respect to displays of Japan's military role in Asia during World War II. The prefectural monitors ordered that the entire section entitled "Japan's aggression as depicted on film" be eliminated, including pictures of Japanese forces "closing in on Nanking," a scene showing Unit 731 (the Kwantung Army's euphemistically entitled "Epidemic Prevention and Water Supply Unit") experimenting with and producing biochemical weapons, and photographs of the excavation of victims in Singapore. Historical documents and materials concerning popular opposition to Japanese rule and a stamp in commemoration of Korean resistance to Japanese colonialism were also ordered to be withdrawn.

The advocated changes were not limited to displays of the Japanese military or to World War II. Prefectural administration documents explicitly stated that the museums should include materials on the "role that the U.S.-Japan treaty has played in maintaining security" in the Asia-Pacific region and that an "anti-Security Treaty" stance should be avoided. On the sensitive question of accidents and other kinds of incidents involving American troops and Okinawans, it was suggested that "the greater frequency of incidents in Okinawa not related to the bases must be taken into account within the displays." On August 7, the prefectural government ordered that a timeline depicting all U.S. military-related incidents since reversion in May 1972 should not be portrayed separately but integrated into a general display on the history of post-reversion Okinawa. It was suggested that documents on controversial issues relating to the overwhelming presence of the U.S. bases in Okinawa--such as manuscripts of the 1997 legislation that empowered the central government to forcibly lease land for the American military, an outline of the final report of SACO (the Japanese-American Special Action Committee on Okinawa set up after the rape incident of September 1995) on proposed military facility relocations in Okinawa, and former Governor Ota's testimony before the Supreme Court in 1996 following his refusal to act as a proxy in signing leases for base land--should be replaced by a display on the peace-making role of the United Nations.

On the outside wall of the new Mabuni museum, plans for a map illustrating the U.S. military's advance during the Battle of Okinawa were withdrawn and replaced by a design displaying an ocean and mountains. After the controversy broke, some Liberal Democratic Party representatives in the prefectural assembly actively defended the governor's censorship and promoted the need for an "image change" in Okinawa. During parliamentary questioning, LDP representative Osamu Ajitomi asserted that peace should be displayed as something "positive and bright" (akarui), in order to help promote Okinawa as a "tourist destination" (Okinawa Times, October 5, 1999). The LDP's position was similar to that Lisa Yoneyama found the municipal government of Hiroshima taking with regard to that city's history--an emphasis on "lightheartedness" and a civic culture that "privileges 'atmosphere' and images over substance, that constantly transforms knowledge into mass commodities, and that incessantly flattens and trivializes history" (see her Hiroshima Traces: Time, Space, and the Dialectics of Memory, University of California Press, 1999, p. 63).

In Okinawa, the Inamine administration wants to promote a self-image more acceptable to mainland tastes than those associated with the last battle of World War II, an image in harmony with the islands' current status as a popular tourist spot for money-spending leisure-seekers. "It is natural," the LDP representative continued, "that alterations and compromises should be made given the fact that many people will visit the exhibition, including people from mainland Japan." Other places in Asia, such as the war memorial at Sentosa Island in Singapore, have watered down the exhibits in order not to offend Japanese tourists. The Singaporean exhibit today stresses British incompetence in defending the place, not the brutality of the Japanese occupation.

The aspects of the war most irreconcilable with the tourist-resort image are depictions of the gama, the dark and cavernous caves that dot the Okinawan landscape and that were used as air-raid and battle shelters during the war. Revered in Ryukyuan legends as the homes of spirits, these caves were the scenes of some of the most horrific occurrences in the Battle of Okinawa, including numerous cases of so-called collective suicide by terrified civilians hiding in them. In 1983, Japan's Ministry of Education took the stance that references to collective suicide contribute to an "objective understanding" of the Battle of Okinawa, even though many Okinawans are repelled by use of the word "suicide," and that these killings took place as a result of the local people's "own volition." Such occurrences were to be separated from what the ministry said were unsubstantiated claims that the Japanese army massacred civilians. It ordered that Japanese school textbooks use the term "collective suicide" in describing the deaths of many civilians during the Battle of Okinawa.4 In contrast, Masahide Ota, Masaaki Aniya, and other historians testified against the Ministry of Education's textbook alterations and asserted that "collective suicide in the original sense of those words did not exist." The killings had "taken place because of coercion or inducement as a result of the overwhelming presence of the Japanese Army."

In the summer of 1999, prefectural administrators decided to replace a photograph in the museum at Mabuni thought to depict "collective suicide" with a picture of civilians who, having sheltered in an Okinawan tomb-style grave, were shot down by U.S. machine-gun fire. Unlike other controversies in Japan involving censorship by the Ministry of Education, the Okinawan prefectural government and its subordinate administrative bodies were the ones charged with "distorting the truth," in the words of Professor Masaie Ishihara, head of the Supervisory Committee overseeing the Yaeyama Museum displays.

By far the most widely reported incident concerned alterations to a life-sized diorama depicting enforced suicide in a gama. The display was intended to portray the horrors of hiding in the caves during the Battle of Okinawa. The supervising committee of thirteen historians for the Mabuni museum, which had been formed in September 1996 and had visited many war museums in other parts of Japan and abroad, approved the plan in March 1999. The diorama was to portray a Japanese soldier pointing his rifle at an Okinawan mother and ordering her to kill her baby because the baby's cries might be heard by the Americans. Another scene showed two soldiers holding out condensed milk laced with potassium cyanide and telling the civilians to kill themselves. However, when Masahiko Hoshi, a member of the supervisory committee, visited the workshop during the summer he found that the soldier no longer had a rifle but was merely staring at people hiding in a cave and that the two soldiers with the cyanide had disappeared altogether. Hoshi said, "It is strange that the OPG (Okinawa Prefectural Government) changed a major concept without any consultation with us" (see "Bureaucrats Alter Memorial Exhibits," Ryukyu Shimpo, August 2, 1999; and "Interpreting the Battle of Okinawa," Okinawa Times, August 21, 1999, eve. ed.).

When asked what was going on, Inamine's assistants expressed annoyance at the news reports and claimed that "It is still under review." Protests against the attempted revisions began at once and focused on four related issues: the secrecy surrounding the attempted alterations, the lack of consultation with the respective oversight committees, the government's repeated denials that it had attempted to make alterations, and the attempts to alter the "truth" of the war in Okinawan. Much of the rhetoric surrounding the protests centered on attempts to curry favor with the Japanese government. In the case of the diorama, following the disclosure of papers documenting the ordered alterations, the committee ordered that the gun be restored but agreed to lower it so that it does not point directly at the mother.

In another well reported act of protest, a local historian and collector of war memorabilia, Kentoshi Kudeken, visited the Mabuni museum and retrieved a portion of the 150 items he had donated to it, including an iron canteen dented with bullet holes, army documents containing regulations for the administration of "comfort women" stations in Okinawa, and a wedding dress made from a parachute. Asked why he was withdrawing the items, Kudeken said, "The material does not speak for itself. Their meaning may be distorted by the captions attached to them. I can't understand why the OPG (Okinawa Prefectural Government) had to change the plan, and I am now afraid how my collection would be used by the change" (Okinawa Times, August 21, 1999, eve. ed.)

On September 18, peace groups organized a meeting entitled "How Should the Realities of the Battle of Okinawa be Portrayed? Urgent Symposium on the New Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum Issue." At the gathering, anti-base peace activists, often the most vocal at such meetings, fell solemnly silent while survivors from the war took the stage and recounted their personal experiences. In his paper given at the symposium, Professor Masaaki Aniya asserted that "a determined stance that perceives objectively the realities and causes of the war, that brings to light the injuries incurred by the people, and that prosecutes those who inflicted this harm, is needed. Otherwise, the distortion of the Peace Memorial will prevail" (Ryukyu Shimpo, September 19, 1999).

This case is not over. The Inamine administration was forced to reconfirm the original supervisory committee in its jurisdiction over what goes into the Mabuni museum. However, the government's actions had decisively altered the climate in which the museum's original plan was formulated. Other developments are likely to enter the picture. With regard to the relocation of Futenma, the LDP, the Pentagon, and the Inamine administration have succeeded in obtaining narrow votes in the prefectural and Nago assemblies approving the building a new military/civilian airport in the Henoko district of Nago. Okinawan peace groups have gone into action to mobilize the anti-base movement against plans for the Futenma relocation, while local businesses and pro-development groups around the city of Nago have organized themselves to reap the benefits from construction of the new base and other large-scale economic stimulus projects promised to Nago. Even Governor Inamine has expressed concern over possible illicit flows of money and favors from Japan's large general construction companies (zenekon) to local inhabitants in Henoko.

Will the museum be finished on schedule? Will summit leaders and tour guides include it as a destination on their itineraries? Will the Japanese government be able to secure Henoko as the Futenma relocation site despite local opposition before the summit meeting? What will be Okinawa's "message of peace" to the world? Finally, what role, if any, is the Japanese soldier of today to play in the construction of this peace and where exactly will his gun be pointing? Museum contractors have resumed construction, and history is being remade.


1 Many of the lesser known sites in Okinawa are listed in Arasaki Moriteru et al. eds., Kanko kosu de nai Okinawa (Okinawa Not in the Guidebooks), Tokyo: Kobunken, 1996, revised edition.
2 See Tsuyoshi Shima, Okinawa-sen o kangaeru (Thinking About the Battle of Okinawa), Naha: Okinawa Bunko, esp. pp. 148-56.
3 See Masaaki Aniya, "Senso mararia" (Wartime Malaria), in Rekishi Kyoikusha Kyogikai (Council of Historians), ed., Shitte okitai Okinawa (Okinawa, A Reader), Tokyo: Aoki Shoten, 1998; and Masaie Ishihara, ed., Mo hitotsu no Okinawa-sen--mararia jigoku no Hateruma-jima (More on the Battle of Okinawa: the Malarial Hell of Hateruma Island), Naha: Okinawa Bunko, 1983.
4 On this issue, see Koji Taira, "The Battle of Okinawa in Japanese History Books," in Chalmers Johnson, ed., Okinawa: Cold War Island, Cardiff, CA: Japan Policy Research Institute, 1999, pp. 39-49; Arasaki Moriteru et al. eds., op. cit., pp. 153-55; and Norma Field, In the Realm of a Dying Emperor, New York: Pantheon, 1991, p. 67.

JULIA YONETANI is a Ph.D. candidate in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies of the Australian National University, Canberra. Her dissertation is on the Okinawan linguist and historian, Iha Fuyu (1876-1947). She studied at the University of Tokyo and made many research trips to Okinawa during 1994-1999. In the preparation of this paper, she would like to thank Lewis Mayo, Tessa Morris-Suzuki, Geremie Barmé, Maxine McArthur, and in particular Gavan McCormack for comments and assistance.

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