• Access
  • Japanese
  • Tokyo University of Foreign Studies


Okinawa Study Tour

Nov. 5 - 7, 2018


Shukulu and Rodrigue visited Okinawa with Dr. Kazuyuki Sasaki as a study tour. They visited peace museums, cave, and U.S. military bases. The following is his report.

I had study tour in Okinawa at the beginning of this month. It was from 5th to 7th November 2018. The purpose of going to Okinawa was to learn about the history of Okinawa especially during World War II and its legacy. As someone who is studying peace and conflict studies, it is very important to get some information related to different conflicts that happened or happening around the world. Also to know how people are trying to overcome the challenges that caused by wars and other violent conflicts. This was my main purpose of going to Okinawa for some days. Below I am going to talk more about some of the things that I learned in Okinawa but also what I learned there in relation with what I am studying.

First of all, I like how Okinawa is warm place compare to Tokyo and how it is green with fresh air, also the ocean is clean too. When I was in Okinawa, I felt the presence of the fresh air which is good for me. From there, I learned that we human beings we need really fresh air for our batter lives and in this days air is pollinated and it is more dangerous to our bodies. And I think that we have to protect our environment by encouraging people to reduce to use of chemicals which are polluting the air especially in the big city like Tokyo. If not we are going to suffer from a lot of health problems which are caused by polluted air. When I was in Okinawa I realized that there is the difference between the air in the big city like Tokyo and Place like Okinawa . I think it should be for us to do something so that we can protect our environment this will help us to protect our bodies too.

In connection on how we have to protect the environment so that we can enjoy life and be happy. When I was in Okinawa, I had the opportunity for snorkeling and see different creatures which are in water especial different kinds of the fish and sea cola. It was something interesting to see and I was very happy about that. But I was very surprised by hearing that soon in Okinawa, they are going to dump one part of the ocean for the sake of the new construction of the military base in the place called Honoko. This shocked me because the creatures which are in that part are going to disappear and also people will no longer go there for having fun. To me, this more damaging environment but also violating the right of the creatures which is bad for our living. Because we need them for surviving and those creatures need to live too. Not only Okinawa but many places around the world, now people are doing the same thing for their own benefits. And this will bring a lot of problems in the future because we are depending on those creatures that we are destroying today direct or indirect and I wonder when they will disappear how are we are going to survivors? I think that we really need to be friendly with the environment and protect for the sake for the future generation.

Apart from the things related to the environment also I had the opportunity to visit peace museum in Okinawa and I knew how people suffered in War and it was my first time to know that Okinawa experienced war on the ground and I visited the cave where people were in.I saw different parts of it like where people gathered for the meeting, where they got water in the cave, the place they used for cooking their meal, the place where they kept their food and the place where they kept the dead bodies. And I was very surprised at how people tried to manage survival in the cave It was so attaching to hear the story of how people died in the cave and it was so sad to hear.

Also, I visited the memorial site where people who died during World War II are buried. But something that surprised me is that I saw even the names of American who died in Okinawa during the war. This was something new to me because most of the time, we don't remember people who died during the conflict on the side of offenders and we ignore their sufferings. This causes us some time to be biased when we are telling the story about the conflicts, we found that most of the time we give the single sided story of what happened. But seeing how in the memorial site in Okinawa mentioned the names of offenders who died there it impressed me. I wish that all the countries which experienced violent conflicts could be honest when they are telling the stories of the conflicts. Once we can try not to be biased in history telling, this could help us to reach peace with a common understanding of what happened. But most of the time conflicts are not ending because there is no truth in what people are talking and you find that the history is repeating itself. From what I saw in Okinawa, I learned that we need to be honest when we are talking about what happened and avoiding on focusing on one side of the conflict.

In general, my study tour in Okinawa was really nice because I learned many things which were new to me but also it was a great time for me to think what can be my contribution for the bringing peace in this world. Because I found that in these days, human beings are having conflicts with different things such as conflict with environment or conflicts between themselves. We really need to do something so that we can be friends with one other but also with the environment. This will help us to live in the better world all we wish to live in.