The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, September 23, 2019

Japan city defends UNESCO listing plan for kamikaze letters
Japan's Minamikyushu Mayor Kampei Shimodaira (2nd L) and Mutsuo Kuwashiro (L), Counselor of Minamikyushu city office speak before press in Tokyo on May 13, 2015 as they hope to register letters written by World War II kamikaze pilots as important global heritage. The city of Minamikyushu last year filed an unsuccessful application to include farewell letters written by the suicide fighters on a UNESCO world memory list, outraging China, which condemned it as "an effort to beautify Japan's history of militaristic aggression". AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO.

TOKYO (AFP).- The mayor of a Japanese city that wants to register letters written by World War II kamikaze pilots as important global heritage, on Wednesday defended the plan, despite criticism it was glorifying war.

The city of Minami-Kyushu last year filed an unsuccessful application to include farewell letters written by the suicide fighters on a United Nations world memory list.

That outraged China, which condemned it as "an effort to beautify Japan's history of militaristic aggression".

Mayor Kampei Shimoide told reporters in Tokyo on Wednesday that he believed the notes -- lodged in the spot from which many of the suicide missions were launched -- bore testament to the brutality of World War II.

"Our project is in no way whatsoever being undertaken in an attempt to glorify, romanticise, or otherwise rationalise the historical legacy of tokko (kamikaze pilots)," he said.

"We believe that our project... represents a significant step in the direction of realising world peace."

After the original application was turned down by UNESCO, the city announced plans to try again, hoping to get more than 300 letters -- including some written in the pilots' blood -- inscribed on the UN agency's "Memory of the World" registry in 2017.

"UNESCO is a global authority, so the registry (of the items) would help many people learn about (the subject) and visit (the city)," said Shimoide. 

"Once you visit (the museum), you will fully understand our stance."

The Chiran Peace Museum -- named after the small Japanese town from which many kamikaze planes departed on their one-way flights -- has collected memorabilia related to the missions since soon after the end of WWII.

The kamikaze -- "divine wind" -- programme from Chiran, which ran from March until July 1945, was part of Japan's desperate final effort to turn the tide of a war they were badly losing as the United States and its allies drew closer to the Japanese mainland.

Hundreds of young pilots were ordered to fly their hurridly-constructed planes into US warships in a bid to slow the American advance.

Many missed their targets, but the tactic caused terror among the US military and remains highly controversial.

The museum's co-curator, Mutsuo Kuwashiro, called the farewell letters the "valuable last words" of the pilots.

The re-application comes as Asia readies to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII at a time that differing memories of the past continue to cause diplomatic friction.

Among documents on the UNESCO register is the diary of Anne Frank, written by the Jewish girl who hid in Amsterdam with her family in an attempt to avoid Nazi deportation. She died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany in 1945.

© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse

Today's News

May 14, 2015

Frieze New York brings together over 190 of the world’s leading contemporary galleries

A 25.59 carat Burmese ruby sells for record $30 million at Sotheby's Geneva auction

Art Gallery of Hamilton announces sale of painting to government of Hungary for US$5.7 million

Mark Rothko painting sells for $46.5 million at Sotheby's auction in New York

Paris probes French art dealer for theft of painting from Pablo Picasso's step-daughter

1941 Superman #12 original cover art, never offered before, paces powerhouse comics auction

Greece will not seek Parthenon sculptures in court: Culture Minister Nikos Xydakis

Inaugural Art Miami New York Fair launches at Pier 94 with 100 leading international galleries

Celebrating NASA's 'most successful failure': Apollo 13 artifacts lead Space auction, 45 years after mission

NADA New York announces 2015 exhibitors for the 4th edition of the fair being held at Pier 36

Giuseppe Penone's 'Spazio di luce' on view in the oval room of Gagosian Gallery in Rome

Dragons, horses and tigers: An impressive arsenal ready for the Spink China sale

Singapore Art Museum presents its latest permanent collection exhibition 'After Utopia'

Exhibition of new photographs by Harry Cory Wright opens at Eleven

SELECT Art Fair NYC announces highlights

Over 12 countries represented at the inaugural FLUX Art Fair in Harlem

Hermès maintains its place at the top in $3.7+ million Luxury Accessories auction in New York

Zhu Tian announced as winner of the 2015 Catlin Art Prize

Europe's leading art fair dedicated to contemporary African art makes its New York debut

Japan city defends UNESCO listing plan for kamikaze letters

Prices soar for Chinese and Japanese works of art at Sotheby's in London

Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies announces addition of Brett Weston portfolio

Melodie Provenzano's first solo exhibition with Nancy Margolis Gallery opens in New York

Jon Buck's exuberant polychromatic bronzes on view at Pangolin London

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful