The Laureate of the 11th Okinawa Peace Prize

ページ番号1008377  更新日 2024年1月11日

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The Himeyuri Peace Museum run by the Okinawa Himeyuri Peace Foundation

The Himeyuri Alumnae Incorporated Foundation (2011: renamed The Okinawa Himeyuri Peace Foundation) was established in 1960. It was established when it started to regain stability after the war as an incorporated foundation that was based on the alumni association of Okinawa Women's Normal School and the First Prefectural Girls High School, which reunited soon after the war. Their schools were destroyed during the battle of Okinawa and closed.

It has been 77 years since the war ended and most of the current generation has no idea what war really is. The Okinawa Himeyuri Peace Foundation has worked with the aim of continuing the calls for eternal world peace and never allowing a war happen ever again. They work toward this by passing down the experiences of the Himeyuri Student Corps and relaying the reality of the war. They are playing a very important role in correctly bequeathing the memories of the horrible war to the next generation.

The foundation established the Himeyuri Peace Museum in 1989, since then 23 million people have visited the museum. The museum exhibits valuable materials like the belongings of the Himeryuri students that were left in the cave they had sheltered in during the war. The museum is utilized as a learning place for peace where the survivors of the Himeyuri Student Corps tell their own stories of the war as "witnesses". For many years, they have made a significant contribution to peace education for the younger generations of Okinawan residents as well as for school trip students from outside Okinawa.

As time passes, we see the decline in the numbers of people who had experienced the war first-hand, and so the museum is developing successors for the narrators. On the other hand, with the improvements in English services, the museum has carried out activities to share the memories of the battle of Okinawa to the world and has held exhibitions in several Asian languages. We expect their contributions to the promotion of international peace, not only in local society but beyond and for their further development as well.

イラスト:沖縄平和賞のロゴマーク

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