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Tsushima-maru Memorial Museum

Tsushima-maru Memorial Museum
Tsushima-maru Memorial Museum
1-25-37 Wakasa, Naha, Okinawa 900-0031
TEL: +8198-941-3515 FAX :+8198-863-3683
Tsushima-maru Memorial Museum

Boarding, then sinking...

In 1944 as the war drew gradually closer, the old, the young, women and children were ordered to evacuate outside the prefecture. A large group of schoolchildren boarded the Tsushima-maru for evacuation, which left Naha Port on August 21. However, the ocean had already turned into a battleground. On the night of the next day, the 22nd, the Tsushima-maru was hit and sunk by a torpedo from the American submarine Bowfin. Of the ship’s 1,788 passengers including crew and soldiers, about 80% disappeared to the bottom of the sea.

image Tsushima-maru

It’s said that a total of 1,661 evacuees from students of eight public schools in Naha and from other areas boarded the ship.


The route of the Tsushima-maru and the records of the U.S. Armed Forces which attacked and sank it are displayed with an intercepted telegraphic message and decoded text, showing the circumstances of the sinking.


Schools were influenced by the war,too.

Photos and belongings of the victims

Considering the number of the victims, they left behind very few photos and belongings. Besides providing evidence that the victims once lived, these photos and objects are important mementos for people who lost their beloved family members and friends. Experience the various feelings conveyed through these remaining photos and belongings.

The classroom, where the children who died had spent much of their short lives, has been recreated. Textbooks, notebooks, magazines and toys from the school life of those times were deeply tinged with reminders of the war.

(1st Floor Exhibition Room)

What does Tsushima-maru mean today?

Does it tell us of war? of peace?
What we really hope to talk about is the dreams that each person has.

Even in the dark and bitter time of war, people had their dreams.
They dreamed because they were alive.
When they became victims, their dreams for the future died with them.
Now we are alive in the future that they dreamed of.

When visiting the museum, let your thoughts and feelings speak to you.

Our museum doesn’t have many valuable exhibits considering the number
of people who lost their lives.
Why is that?
Is it because so much time has passed?
Is it because they didn’t want to leave any mementos?

(Memorial to the Victims of the Tsushima-maru Kozakura no To)

In the Battle of Okinawa, much was burned and destroyed.
Physical objects were destroyed.
But the aspirations of the people were by no means lost.

These aspirations are a strong hope for peace.
It’s easy to feel sadness or hatred when talking about war.
Unless we make an effort to change our great sadness into hope, hatred leads
us into a vicious circle of revenge.
But does this vicious circle of revenge heal our sadness?

So what does Tsushima-maru mean today?

The vicious circle of revenge is robbing children of new dreams all around
the world.
Breaking the circle of revenge calls for individual effort.
This is exactly the issue that the children of the Tsushima-maru reveal to us.

August 22, 2004, Tsushima-maru Memorial Museum Foundation


Open hours
AM 9:00〜PM 5:00
(Last entry PM 4:30)
Every Thursday and New Year Season
Entrance fee
Adults: 500 yen, Ages 13 to 18: 300 yen,
Elementary school students: 100 yen,
Groups (20 people or more 10% off)
We accept cash (JPY) only.

Naha City Map

Monorail: Get off at Kenchomae Station
and walk 15 minutes
City bus : Number 1, 2, 3, 5, 15, 45
Get off at Nishinjo or Kume Yubinkyokumae and walk 5 minutes

* The entrance to the museum is on the 2nd floor. Those with difficulty climbing the stairs may enter from the 1st floor by calling for assistance using the intercom. (5 wheelchairs are available)

Tsushima-maru Memorial Museum
Tsushima-maru Memorial Museum
1-25-37 Wakasa, Naha, Okinawa 900-0031
TEL: +8198-941-3515 FAX :+8198-863-3683
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