Visitors to “Hacksaw Ridge” in Urasoe increase

A spot named “Maeda Kochi” in Urasoe City is a place where a fierce battle was fought during the Battle of Okinawa. It’s also the setting for the famous American war movie “Hacksaw Ridge.”

Since the release of the movie in theaters, an increasing number of people have been visiting the location. There are battlefield tours for visitors, and there is also a plan to construct a monument to Desmond Doss, a combat medic and the main character of the movie.

However, the movie does not describe any of the immense hardships to local civilians. Survivors of the Battle of Okinawa wish people to recognize when they watch the movie that many precious lives were lost.

Maeda Kochi, known as “Hacksaw Ridge” to the U.S. military, is located at a corner of Urasoe Castle Ruins Park in Maeda, Urasoe City. The Japanese Imperial Army set up its defense line on the ridge to protect the military headquarters in Shuri four kilometers away, and fought against U.S. troops who had to climb up the cliff.

The movie was shown in local theaters from June 24, and since then more and more people have visited the location. Many of them seem to be tourists, including U. S. military personnel and foreigners.

Urasoe Guide Association and Urasoe City have started offering guided tours of Maeda Kochi on Saturdays and Sundays that continue through August.

During the Battle of Okinawa, 44.6% of local residents in Urasoe lost their lives, but this fact is not described in the movie.