【Tower of Shimamori】Okinawa Ground Battle and Arai Taizo / Shimada Ei

【Tower of Shimamori】Okinawa Ground Battle and Arai Taizo / Shimada Ei

When I am asked about someone I respect, I name them "Arai Izuzo" and "Shimada Ei".

I learned that Mr. Arai was a former at my alma mater through the principal's story at that time, and I became interested after I became a university student.

I'm a celebrity in Okinawa, but I'm writing about the existence of two people who are not well known on the mainland.


What is the Okinawa Ground War?

What is the Okinawa Ground War?

The Battle of Okinawa or Battle of Okinawa was fought between the Allied and Japanese forces, led by the U.S. and British forces that landed in the Okinawa Islands in 1945 at the end of World War II.


Following the air raids on March 23, the Allied forces landed in the Kerama Islands on March 26 and tracked the Japanese army, which had abandoned its shuri, to the south.

It is the fiercest battle zone so that it is described as "iron storm", and there are many people who are mentally attacked by japanese troops and guerrilla battles.

It is said that many residents were involved by the long-term "sleep technique warfare method", and one in four Okinawans died.

On June 23, due to the sweeping-up operation of the Allied forces, it ended with the decision of the supreme commander and chief of staff at the military headquarters of Mabuni.

In addition to the sacrifices of the residents, it is the beginning of many problems such as the U.S. occupation from 1945 to 1972 and the U.S. military base problem that accompanied it.

Situation in Okinawa at that time

Situation in Okinawa at that time

The defeat continued, such as the fall of the Japanese army and Guadalkanal island at that time, the war death of Yamamoto 56, and the ball crushing of ats island.

In 1943, local administrative officers were transferred to Okinawa with Prefectural Governor Moriki Izumi.

In addition, considering the possibility that U.S. forces will land in Okinawa, the 32nd Army of the Army and the Naval Okinawa Area Ground Corps were established.

Arai Ying

Arai Ying

Arai, Taizo (September 22, 1900 – June 26, 1945?) Is a Japanese police bureaucrat. During the Battle of Okinawa, he was the head of the Okinawa Prefectural Police Department and made efforts to evacuate and protect the people of Okinawa Prefecture.


Promoting evacuation

We support police officers for explanations in the area for prefectural residents who are worried about going to the unknown mainland, and create a support room specializing in evacuation.

At that time, there was still no sense of crisis among the residents, and anxiety about going to the mainland where there was no one to rely on and fear of submarines of enemy countries were outweighed.

In addition, Governor Izumi and the director of domestic affairs who did not think Arai well said that "there is no okinawa landing", and encountered interference from relatives.

In order to promote evacuation, the police officer family is evacuated preferentially, but the sinking accident of tsushima maru occurs in such a thing.

It is said that he continued evacuation activities while suffering from the death of people who believed in him, saving 200,000 lives.

Governor's Substitute

At that time, the governor of Okinawa Prefecture was the last day of work, and there was a risk of becoming a war ground, so it was considered the lowest position.

The prefectural governor Izumi did not follow the evacuation plan of the military to protect the residents, and said that Arai was doing the plan arbitrarily.

In the air raid on the mainland of Okinawa (10/10 air raids), Governor Izumi was confined to an air-raid shelter, and Arai took the lead in collecting information at the prefectural office.

The military will also lost credibility from the governor and the director of domestic affairs who have tried to escape Okinawa many times, and will ask Arai for instructions.

As a result, Arai was able to do all the work of "domestic affairs", "economy" and "police" alone despite the police director.

The tower of the island guard has a lot of Shimada viewpoints, but he could not have acted without Arai's efforts.

Ei Shimada

Ei Shimada

Akira Shimata (December 25, 1901 – June 26, 1945?) is the last governor of Okinawa Prefecture. Born in Suma Ward, Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture. The motto of the right is "The demon god also avoids the subject if it dares absolutely".


a prepared assignment

The next prefectural governor will be considered for the governor who has abandoned his duties and is at odds with the residents and the military, but it is difficult to find a good person.

Okinawa, which is likely to become a battlefield in the future and has also occurred as a bureaucrat escape, will be declined even if it becomes the governor of the prefecture.

Shimada, whose arrows stood from the military, immediately agreed and surprised those around him, including his wife and children.

"I can't refuse a young man being called up with a piece of red paper," he says, flying to Okinawa with a handgun and potash cyanide.

In addition, when we hear requests from the military for food procurement, we will fly to Taiwan without air control and secure 3,000 bottles of Horai rice.

Interaction with residents

Shimada, who became governor, will move to restore relations with the military and residents, which were grooved by the former governor.

We visited a person I had been dating from the Shanghai Incident, exchanged information with the Army 32 army, and immediately decided to move to wartime administration.

In addition, we will call on staff to "do it clearly" and act to protect residents, such as continuing evacuation and securing food in the run-up to the war.

On the other hand, they went to areas where evacuation was not progressing and deepened friendships on their own, and resurgence of village plays and deregulation of tobacco and sake.

When the Allied forces landed, the abandonment of Shuri Castle was fiercely opposed when it involved general residents unrelated to the army.

End of the Battle of Okinawa

End of the Battle of Okinawa

Due to the "landing air raid" conducted in the nine days before landing the U.S. military, the prefectural office and Shimada and others moved to Shuri together with the army's main force.

The 32nd Army was forced to change plans because the military headquarters, which had also expected to land in Taiwan, pulled out personnel.

It was a "sleep technique" that abandoned the water-front battle and gradually shaved off the enemy's war potential at Shuri Castle, where gama (caves) were stretched.

Therefore, allied soldiers who landed in anticipation of a fierce battle on April 1 suspected April Fools' Day in their almost bloodless landing.

However, due to the iron storm of the Allied Forces, the army abandons Shuri Castle, avoids jade crushing and devotes himself to buying time for mainland decisive battle to the last.

Shimada and Arai moved gama to protect residents and procure food, but finally dissolved the prefectural government and the police.

In order to convey the mainland, I instructed several people to escape Okinawa, told the people of okinawa and those around me not to die, and recommended surrender rather than self-harm.

"I can't survive myself, who turned Okinawa into hell and killed many people," he said, pursuing the army and missing.

Impressions of "Shimamori-no-To"

Impressions of "Shimamori-no-To"

a bureaucrat loved by the residents

They were very brave, but I write that it is unclear whether they were completely impeccable people.

(The distance from the military was close, there are few witnesses and aging is progressing, there are not many official records, etc.)

However, officials and newspapers viewed them favorably, and six years after the end of the war, the "Tower of Island Guards" was established.

It might be a special correspondence as treatment to the police and the prefectural office staff who were existence which forced the hardship to the resident.

I don't like the atmosphere of "praise the whole prefecture", but I thought you should know that there was such a person.

Ready to die, not to die

Mr. Shimada, who was appointed governor of Okinawa Prefecture just before the war, flew to Okinawa with a potash cyanide and a pistol for his own harm.

Arai also died without being able to meet his wife and children who had been evacuated without any transfers, although they would normally be transferred if he was assigned for three years.

They did what they could with the resolution to die, and took the initiative to protect the people of the prefecture.

It is a big thing that it was explained to live , saying that "Do not die" in the age when it was demanded to crush it for the country.

The appearance that lived unwaveringly according to what we believe may be not only a bureaucrat but also a figure that we should emulate.

Reference material

  • Yozo Tamura, "Okinawa's Shimamori House Bureaucrat Fight Eri", Chuko Bunko
  • TBS "Ikuro" Interview Team, "Okinawa Governor Shimada Who Saved More Than 100,000 Lives", Poplar Shinsho
  • NPO Nanohana Kaido, "Arai Izuru Martyred in Okinawa without Tajiro", Shimono Shimbun
  • "The Heart of Shimoka", No. 38-39, 2015, Inoue General Printing Sales Planning Group, Inc.
  • Kyodo News, "War in the 20th Century: The Battle of Okinawa Ground", Grassroots Press
  • Wikipedia " Battle of Okinawa", "Ei Shimada" "Arai Exterra"
  • 75th anniversary of the end of World War II Movie "Tower of Shimamori" Official Website

I usually write such an article.