65 Years Ago

4 Mar

Yesterday was the Japanese holiday 「ひな祭」 (Doll Festival).
Click here to see my FAQ about it.

People with daughters decorate their homes with an elaborate princess doll display.
We have 「ひな人形」 (princess dolls), but we haven’t set them up since my kids were young.

It’s also common for families with daughters to eat sushi for dinner on this day. We had an excellent sushi dinner yesterday.

Also, Tuesday was the 65th anniversary of the famous World War Two battle on 「硫黄島」 (Iwo-to (aka: “Iwo-Jima”)) between the U.S. Marines and the Japanese Army.

The photograph of the U.S. Marines raising the American flag on the island is very famous.

In honor of this anniversary, there was a ceremony held on this island to remember those who died in that very bloody battle.
Both U.S. Marines and Japanese soldiers attended this ceremony. The actual remaining survivors of the “Battle Of Iwo-Jima” are too old to make the journey, so younger Marines and soldiers attended in their place.

Ceremony in honor of the 65th anniversary of the "Battle Of Iwo-Jima"

By the way, the name of the island is correctly called “Iwo-To“…”Iwo-Jima” is another possible pronunciation of the characters 「硫黄島」 that spell the island’s name and during the war, it seems, the U.S. military mistakenly began calling the island “Iwo-Jima” and that remained in use after World War Two. But it was recently officially changed back to the original name of  “Iwo-To“.

6 Responses to “65 Years Ago”

  1. Chris March 11, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    I vote that since we took Iwo Jima, we get to call it whatever we want. 😉


    • tokyo5 March 11, 2010 at 11:18 am #

      If that were the case, it would probably have been given a name in English.

      That reminds me, after WW2 when America colonized Japan, the U.S. military took over many of the buildings that were still standing after the allied air-raids are turned them into U.S. military offices and the tried to rename all of Tokyo’s streets with names like “Central Ave”.

      It didn’t last though.


      • Chris March 11, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

        I wouldn’t say we colonized Japan. That would imply that we had every intention of making it part of the United States. I’d say we occupied it, and rightly so. Of course we also spent a lot of time, money and effort building it back up. Admittedly this was at least in part as a bulwark against the Soviets, but still.


      • tokyo5 March 11, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

        It’s true that an important factor why Japan is as economically strong as it is is due to the events during and post World War Two.

        If Japan hadn’t fought and lost to America, it would most definitely be a very different place today.
        And if America hadn’t fixed the dollar-yen exchange rate after WW2, Japanese companies wouldn’t have been able to sell their products in America.

        And as you said, America didn’t help Japan out of selfless reasons…in addition to the reason you stated, the U.S. wanted Japan to become a powerful ally.
        It’s politics.


  2. cuteandcurls March 6, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    The flag hoisting at Iwo Jima has to be one of the many most memorable poignant photos ever. Interesting fact of Iwo Jima’s real name. Did you set the dolls up this year? I would love to see them.


    • tokyo5 March 6, 2010 at 11:49 am #

      >Interesting fact of Iwo Jima’s real name.

      Actually, I think it should be spelled “Iou-jima” or “Iou-tou” …that would be a more accurate phonetic spelling of the name using the English

      >Did you set the dolls up this year?

      No. Too much effort. 😉


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