Thursday, July 26, 2012


On July 15th, we headed to Tokushima with Tokuda to see our friend Kohno.
The first thing we did was go to the top of Mt Bizan. From here we got a great view of Tokushima. There is also a ropeway from the Awa Dance Museum to the top of the mountain. We didn't take this since we drove most the way up.
After seeing the city from above, we went back down along the shoreline.
 Then we went to a place that makes all kinds of pottery. From large pots to small plates and tea cups.
 We even were able to go inside one of the furnaces they used for firing the pottery. It is hard to see in this small blog-sized picture, but the brick inside was actually melted.
We then went to a museum for the Bando POW camp. During WWI, Japan held up to their treaty with Britain and attacked German territory in Tsingtao, China. 3,900 German troops surrendered there and were held in camps throughout Japan. At this particular camp, they were given pretty free reign to do what they pleased, and many of them formed orchestras, produced plays, etc.
On June 1, 1918, the POWs performed Beethoven's ninth symphony. This had never been performed before in Japan, and they were able to do this with many instruments that were made by the POWs while in the camp.

When the war was over and the camp was closed, 63 of the German POWs chose to stay. This is how well they were treated. To me, an amazing contrast to the ferocity that Japan would display less than two decades later.
After we left the Bando Camp Museum, we headed to Oasahiko shrine.
One thing setting this shrine apart from many others of its size was the lack of steps.

There were two bridges here that were built by the German POWs from Bando camp. This is the other bridge made by the German POWs.
And with that we left the shrine, said goodbye to Kohno, and headed back.

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