Sakima Art Museum (Japan)

(July 27, 2010)

by Michio Sakima, Director

Sakima Art Musuem was established in Ginowan City, Okinawa in 1994 as a "place of reflection." The museum was constructed on a piece of land that was returned from a portion of the U.S. Futenma Air Station. Since then, many people from various parts of Japan, as well as from such neighboring nations as South Korea and China, have visited the museum.

The themes of the collection focus on "life and death," "anguish and salvation," and "humanity and war." Its permanent collection includes the "Picture of the Battle of Okinawa" (4 meters long and 8.5 meters wide), painted by Iri Maruki and Toshi Maruki, a couple known worldwide for their "Hiroshima Panels." Based on testimonies from the people who experienced the battle, the piece conveys the reality of the battle of Okinawa to serve as a "memory of the common people."

The museum holds about 1,000 works of art, including pieces by Kathe Kollwitz, Georges Rouault, Makoto Ueno, Yayoi Kusama, as well as works by Japan Print Association members and artists of Okinawa. It holds the largest number of pieces by Ms. Kollwitz in Japan.

The museum's special exhibitions change about every two months. The current special exhibition is "Hiroshima in Okinawa: Miyako Ishiuchi Exhibition," which runs through August 9, 2010. The beauty of her photographs, which feature personal mementos of A-bomb victims that have been preserved at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, have renewed these images of the atomic bombing and generated a strong response from the public.

Staff members of the museum offer explanations of the "Picture of the Battle of Okinawa" and the U.S. Futenma Air Station, which is adjacent to the museum, to students on school trips. The facility is a significant site for conveying the memories of the Battle of Okinawa and the reality of Okinawa. About 40,000 students visit the museum each year on school trips.

Address: Uehara 358, Ginowan City, Okinawa, Japan
Phone:+81 098 (893) 5737
Homepage: http://sakima.jp
Days closed: Tuesday
Admission: 700 yen for adults; 600 yen for junior high and senior high school students; 300 yen for elementary school students

(Originally published on July 19, 2010)

Click on the photos below to enlarge the images.


Exterior of the museum. The U.S. Futenma Air Station is adjacent at the rear.

Rooftop steps on the museum building, comprised of six steps and 23 steps. On June 23, the Memorial Day for the Battle of Okinawa, the setting sun aligns with the square window at the top of the steps.

Garden of the museum. On the right stands the fence of the U.S. Futenma Air Station.

'Picture of the Battle of Okinawa,' created by Iri Maruki and Toshi Maruki. Survivors of the battle of Okinawa, a ground war, are depicted in the panels.