Film: Himeyuri – Untold History Unfolded in Okinawa
©Japan 2007/ ASIA Documentary Productions, Coproduction: Himeyuri Alumnae Incorporated Foundation/colour
Friday, 23rd August at 6:30 pm
Saturday, 31st August at 2 pm
Saturday, 14th September at 2 pm
Director: Shohei Shibata
Synopsis: This film documents the testimony of a group of World War II survivors, young women later known as the ‘Himeyuri Students’. They speak of their harrowing experiences and their friends who committed suicide in the Battle of Okinawa.
The Okinawa Women’s Normal School and the Okinawa Prefectural Girls’ High School were sister schools. They were popularly called the “Himeyuri School.” “Hime” means “princess”, and “Yuri” means “lily”. Girls aged 13 to 19 studied there. On March 23, 1945, 222 Himeyuri students between the ages of 15 and 19 were mobilized to the front to act as nursing aides, without any prior training. The hospital where they worked was situated on a battlefield with shells flying overhead, and had no Red Cross flag for protection. In the end, surrounded by U.S. forces, the students were dismissed by the Japanese military. Many of these students were killed in the war, not only in battle but also by their own hand, refusing to be taken prisoner. In total, 123 girls lost their lives.