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Northern Battery,Storehouse beside the battery -- OKUNOSHIMA Island - The remains of an old gun battery and the remains of a poison gas

Northern Battery,Storehouse beside the battery

This is the warehouse associated with the 12cm rapid-fire cannon.

Inside, the walls are covered with a plethora of graffiti.Such graffiti is an act of unawareness of the historical significance of this place.

This walk of visit to the remains of a gun battery and poison gas production facility on Okuno Island is intended to remind us of all the negative implications of war. Therefore, there is no element of carefree tourism in a walk around OKUNOSHIMA island.

I am therefore almost disappointed by this profusion of graffiti.


OKUNOSHIMA Island is now known as the "Rabbit Breeding Island". And many tourists visit for the rabbit.However, about 110 years ago (1902-1924),  a fortress was installed on this island.

The role of this island as a fortress ended in 1924.However, in 1929, a poison gas production plant will be set up on the island. And many poisonous gases were produced until 1944. The main products were blister agment,yperite and lewisite,whici cause blistering when contacted with skin.Annual production was 1500tons and it is said that a total of 6616tond were produced over the 15years of active production. These poisonous gases were used in battles fought on the Chinese mainland and caused great damage to the Chinese people.(The use of poisonous gas was "prohibited during the war" even in international treaties at that time.) The Japanese workers who produced the poison gas also suffered serious health problems and many died. Survivors of the workforce at the time are still suffering from severe after-effects to this day.

Immediately after the end of the war, the poison gas production facilities on Okuno Island were first destroyed by the Japanese. This was done in order to conceal the fact that poison gas was being produced. In addition, the American and British troops who occupied Japan destroyed and detoxified the facilities.

After the war, Japan's production and use of poison gas was prosecuted by the Tokyo Tribunal.However, it was exonerated by the US military.When Japan's poisonous gas was a problem, the US military itself was afraid that it would not be possible to research and use poisonous gas.

The Americans were planning to use poison gas in the event of an invasion of the Japanese mainland.

OKUNOSHIMA Island should be remembered as a place of "Negative Heritage". But,due to the destruction after the end of the war, there are almost no poison gas production facilities left on the island. Apart from the ruins of the few remaining warehouses, all that remains is the site of the gun emplacements, the remains of the power station, which had nothing to do with the production of poison gas, and the museum, which displays the few remaining production tools and materials.










(『化学兵器の理論と実際』陸軍技術本部 1936年)





Copyright: Bibouroku Tabito
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 10900x5450
Taken: 05/08/2019
Uploaded: 13/09/2021


Tags: japan; hirosima; okunoshima island
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