Episode 34 – Japan and Okinawa, Part 2

This week we’ll finish up our two-parter on Japanese-Okinawan relations with a look at Okinawa during the Imperial Period. We’ll be focusing heavily on the bloody Battle of Okinawa, and then wrap things up by looking at the relationship between the islands and the Japanese mainland today.

This week’s episode is rather more graphic and violent than usual — I could not in good conscience whitewash the battle, but I do feel I should warn those of you who might be offended by such things to pass on this one.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan.

Fields, Norma. In the Realm of a Dying Emperor.

Pyle, Kenneth. The Making of Modern Japan.

Images(Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation)

The commanders of the Japanese 32nd Army, which would be annhilated during the Battle of Okinawa. Every man in this photograph would die fighting the United States.
The commanders of the Japanese 32nd Army, which would be annhilated during the Battle of Okinawa. Every man in this photograph would die fighting the United States.
A US Marine patrol passes a dead Japanese soldier during the battle.
A US Marine patrol passes a dead Japanese soldier during the battle.
American troops on Okinawa listening to the radio reports on May 8th announcing Germany's surrender. Okinawa would not fall until 55 days after Hitler's regime collapsed.
American troops on Okinawa listening to the radio reports on May 8th announcing Germany’s surrender. Okinawa would not fall until 55 days after Hitler’s regime collapsed.
Civilian POWs on Okinawa. Before capture, Okinawans were led to expect brutal treatment at the hands of the Allies.
Civilian POWs on Okinawa. Before capture, Okinawans were led to expect brutal treatment at the hands of the Allies.
The New Mexico-class battleship USS Idaho bombarding Okinawa during the battle.
The New Mexico-class battleship USS Idaho bombarding Okinawa during the battle.
Futenma Air Station, one of the American bases on Okinawa. Futenma is one of the largest and most controversial base sites owing to its proximity to centers of civilian population.
Futenma Air Station, one of the American bases on Okinawa. Futenma is one of the largest and most controversial base sites owing to its proximity to centers of civilian population.
The Cornerstone of Peace Memorial on Okinawa. Listed on the monuments are the names of every verifiable death during the Battle of Okinawa.
The Cornerstone of Peace Memorial on Okinawa. Listed on the monuments are the names of every verifiable death during the Battle of Okinawa.
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