Boy Soldiers: Secret War in Okinawa - Free Documentary Screening - Possible postponement or cancellation

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Film & Other Media

Apr 20204

Terasaki Nibei Foundation
11570 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, California, 90064
United States

Award-winning film uncovers secret histories of WWII’s Battle of Okinawa 

On April 4, the Terasaki Nibei Foundation will host a free screening of the award-winning documentary “Boy Soldiers: The Secret War in Okinawa” (Okinawa supai senshi).

Directed by Chie Mikami and Hanayo Oya, the 114-minute film won Best Cultural Film at the prestigious Kinema Junpo Awards in Japan. Co-director Oya will be present for a post-screening Q&A.

Okinawa, the chain of islands at the southernmost tip of Japan, became the bulwark to protect the Japanese mainland toward the end of World War II. After the Americans landed and a violent battle ensued, over 200,000 lives were lost, including many civilians.

While the bloody war depicted in films such as “Hacksaw Ridge” ensued on the surface, there was another secret war developing in its shadow that not even Japanese people are aware of. For over 70 years after the war, survivors have been afraid to share the tragic details.

Guerrilla units composed of boy soldiers, malaria epidemics, allied troops and civilians killing other civilians…and a conspiracy plotted by young elite generals who had just graduated from the Japanese army’s enigmatic “Nakano school.”

This documentary uncovers Japan’s greatest taboos concerning the Battle of Okinawa, and also sounds alarms concerning modern Japan’s recent steps toward remilitarization.

“Having done many interviews with survivors of the Battle of Okinawa, we realized that no matter what experience they had or where they were during the war, all of them have reached to one single conclusion: ‘Japanese military didn’t protect us,’” the directors wrote in a statement. “Hearing the voices of the survivors and bringing hidden facts under light was a responsibility for us as journalists working for Okinawa.”

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Okinawa, which claimed over 200,000 lives including an estimated one-third of Okinawa’s pre-war population. A memorial day in Okinawa (Irei no Hi) is observed annually on June 23.

The free screening will take place on Saturday, April 4, 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. at the Terasaki Nibei Foundation, 11570 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles 90064. Free on-site parking is available. For more information, please contact Tsukuru at, (323) 899-0463.

Official Website (Japanese)
Trailer (Japanese)
The Japan Times Review (English)

Check for updates.


josephkamiya . Last modified Mar 26, 2020 1:45 a.m.


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