OIS Script

These photographs were taken from 2015 to 2017 in Okinawa, Japan.

Over 70 years ago, many people had come to this island. After the bloodiest of battles which even bodies of the dead cannot be found, everything had disappeared. Nobody could decipher both sides of armies comprehensively.

In Japan, the majority of storytellers give the impression of American troops as devils and fiends; merciless, cold and heartless. But is that true?

“70 years ago, American soldiers had come to Okinawa with clouds of fleets, as black out in the ocean from miles away. What did American soldiers hold in their minds?”
It is a very simple question where the answer can be found naturally if one is able to visualize from their own point of view. It is easy to guess with the human heart they must have been apprehensive.

During battles in Okinawa, armies had walked on the heated and humid lands, which had been quite different from their own homelands. Gunfire from crags and ridges prevented strategic anabasis. Amid foreign fields, nobody could have assured them a safe return home. Japanese soldiers had attempted close combats with bombs, and self-destruction by confusing Americans. KAMIKAZE had raided not only from the sky but from the front.
For instance, if American soldiers demanded the surrender of citizens, the Japanese would begin to kill themselves and each other. Every Japanese eye did not fear death. For Americans, those from a foreign country thought of them, was Japanese determination too strong?

The “Oneness”, that the medium of photography has in its own, is useful in replicating “others’ view” daringly. The camera was trained to the direction that American troops had faced Japanese fortified sites and strongholds; this act was meant to re-experience the Americans’ sights. What appears as images are Japanese troops, or ourselves like mirrored figures and the old battlefield sites that have changed absolutely which Americans of that time cannot imagine.

After what seems like an eternity, photographs appear as landscapes changed so much it will never recover.
Over 70 years have passed and all battlefields have now turned weathered. The old land names are now only on documents. Younger generations will never know these facts: places, where furious fights had changed landscapes, that are again being hacked down to redevelopment, and maps that are being rewritten. Through the present-tense, guessing the past-tense. From changed landscapes we can hear the voices of souls of those who perished in the fighting.

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