November 4, 2014

Historical Sites on Okunoshima Island

Lest you think Okunoshima Island was just an island full of rabbits, think again. It is one of the rare places in Japan that have buildings and sites from the Japan-Russo War and World War II still standing.

Above is where they generated power for the factories that created poisonous gas in WWII. The most chilling rumor you'll ever hear about Okunoshima is that the rabbits populate the island were once used to test the gas.

Because Japan is so earthquake-prone, and because Japan was heavily bombed in World War II, there are few sites left behind that let you see its history and legacy. (This is particularly glaring when you compare Tokyo to a city like Paris or London, where you can barely turn a corner without being confronted with the country's glorious past.)

That the island has sites from wars that took place over 100 years ago isn't really advertised, and many people who visit the island for just a day probably do not bother to explore them.

 A building used to house artillery in the 1904 Japan-Russo War.

 This was the factory where they made poison gas. In front of the building was a photograph that showed workers disposing of the gas after the War.

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