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Nurse Corps Says Their Names on War Monument “Sacreligious”

Date Posted: 2000-08-18

A monument for the memory of those who perished in the WWII unveiled at Yasukuni Shrine in Kanazawa has raised the ire of several Okinawan peace activist groups as it contains the name of the Himeyuri Nurse Corps. Members of the corps served as assistant nurses for Japanese troops who fought in the Okinawan war. The corps has a permanent monument built for them in Itoman City.

Representatives of the corps survivors lament the inclusion of their corps’ name in the Kanazawa monument as sacreligious as their organization is dedicated to peace whereas the shrine in Kanazawa is dedicated to the memory of those who died fighting for the Emperor and their country.

However, officials at the shrine say that the money to construct the monument came from numerous organizations and individuals and the names of those organizations on behalf of which the money was donated are all included. Sachiko Ishikawa, one of the survivors of the Himeyuri Corps says that no one asked if their organization’s name could be added on the monument. “This is absolutely against our ideals. I wish that they would remove our name from the monument,” she said.

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