Tag Archives: Iwo-Jima

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“.

Advertisements

US Soldier returns Japanese photo

16 Mar

Last Saturday (March 14), a U.S. World War II veteran who fought the Japanese Army on 硫黄島 (Iwo-Tou*) returned personal belongings of a Japanese soldier who died in the battle.

(*The Japanese island of 硫黄島 is often mistakenly called “Iwo-Jima”. The correct name is actually “Iwo-Tou” (or “Iwoto”)).

The American former soldier, 85 year old Frank Hobbs, took an envelope from the pocket of Matsuji Takekawa who died at the age of 37 in the famous “Battle Of Iwo-Jima“*.

The envelope contained a photo of Mr. Takekawa’s youngest daughter as an infant and a drawing done by his older daughter when she was about 7 years old.

Mr. Hobbs decided he should return the belongings to Mr. Takekawa’s relatives before he dies.

Through the Japan Consulate in America, he was able to locate Mr. Takekawa’s youngest daughter (who was an infant in the photo) who, ironically, is living in America now.

Frank Hobbs and Yoko Takekawa, 64, had a tearful meeting at Mr. Hobbs’ home in Boston where he handed her her father’s belongings.

Ms. Takekawa will be bringing the photo and drawing back to her family’s home in 新潟県 (Niigata Prefecture, Japan).

The photo that Mr. Hobbs returned to the Takeyama family.

The photo that Mr. Hobbs returned to the Takeyama family.

The drawing done by Chie Takegawa when she was about 7.

The drawing done by Chie Takegawa when she was about 7.

Frank Hobbs returning Matsuji Takegawa's belongings to his daughter Yuko.

Frank Hobbs returning Matsuji Takegawa's belongings to his daughter Yuko.