Ramble On

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

More on-post Sightseeing

Continuing with my on-post sightseeing, I found the grounds where they display a number of the memorials to the old Imperial Academy that was here until the end of WW2. There are several that mark the graduation classes, including the ones that completed their studies during the war. The last class to graduate was either 59 or 60, and they finished up in August 1945.

Here is a little blurb from one of the base information sites:

“From 1937 until the school closed in 1945 with the surrender of Japan, 18,476 cadets were trained on this installation. Training curriculum included college-level general education courses, and military training that included traditional martial arts and horsemanship. After completing the Yoka or junior portion of training, the young men were assigned for three months to regimental duties to become familiar with Army weapons and platoon leadership before resuming studies in the senior or Honka program.”

I didn’t take any photos of the class monuments; instead I have the one of the cast torii that stands on the grounds. Apparently this marks the original wooden gateway that the cadets passed through on their way into the Academy. This one was put up in 1980 but alums and other interested parties, as a way to honor those who had passed, by acknowledging the place where they first entered the Academy.

Nearby is this little memorial to “the Peacekeeping Forces” – not much interpretive information about the marker to be found. Is it to UN forces, or acknowledging some postwar collaboration between the US and Japan? I doubt I will find out this trip.

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