|Okinawa, being Japan's only prefecture in a subtropical latitude, enjoys mild weather year round with beautiful blue water teeming with tropical fish and bright coral reefs. It is truly and island paradise. With that said, we spent the day "reliving" the battle of Okinawa which was the final major battle of the War in the Pacific and the only battle fought on Japanese soil. It was sobering to watch the films and visit the battle sights where 200.656 people died in a bit over three months, with an estimated 120,000 being civilians! Japan's strategy was a battle of attrition, meaning Okinawa and its army and civilians were sacrificed solely to delay the allies from invading mainland Japan! Every building on the island has been built since 1945 as all buildings were destroyed by over 2.7 million US Navy bombs and shells! The Cave network took months to totally clear out and they are still finding remains to this day! We visited a memorial to the 200 high school girls that were "inducted" into nursing positions during the invasion, only 19 survived, with most committing suicide once the Japanese Army sent them out of the caves in the last days of the battle--before committing suicide themselves by the thousands rather than surrender! Wow!
On a positive note--the oldest woman in the world at age 114 lives here and the average age of women here is 87--the highest in the world! They attribute it to the climate, lifestyle, and diet consisting of mostly raw fish, vegetables and fruits!
We are off for a few days in Shanghai!
Michael and Cheryl