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“Remembering why peace is so important”

Chiran Peace Museum
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
South Pasadena, California
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Remembering why peace is so important”
Reviewed June 1, 2013

These young men and boys did not choose to become kamikaze pilots. They became pilots out of duty for their country and for the safekeeping of their families that they would leave behind. I've been here twice with different tour groups. An hour and a half to two hours is not enough time to listen to all the narratives on the English translations devices. All the adults were emotionally moved. The students in Junior and Senior High Schools were also captivated by the displays and stories. Even more so, than when we visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. Definitely a must experience, if you have the time.

Visited July 2012
3 Thank Margaret L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Yangon (Rangoon), Myanmar
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Japanese Point of View on the 'Greater East Asia War'”
Reviewed May 25, 2013

An important and interesting place to get Japan's view on the 'Greater East Asia War'/WW II. I suggest getting the English audio guide for Y 100 to have a better understanding of the items/documents displayed. A touching and poignant reminder of the desperation and destruction brought on by war.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank CanMtl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hell, Norway
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 326 helpful votes
“Best museum ever”
Reviewed April 6, 2013

The weirdly named Peace Museum for killer Kamikaze pilots had a deeper effect on me than the soulless Peace Museum dedicated to innocent victims in Hiroshima.

And I wasn't alone, if the sniffles and dabbed eyes of the Japanese visitors, of both sexes, were anything to go by.

This is, by far, the highlight of my 3 weeks in Japan, better than all those boring temples in Kyoto and bars in Tokyo. It Is not easy to get to, on the southern tip of Japan, far from the rail, but it is worth the effort. Women will love it too, as they learn of the love stories attached to some of the thousand or so pilots who wasted their lives in the last few months of the war.

An English audioguide, rented for just 100 yen, gives detailed explanations of about 35 exhibits, but it barely scratches the surface. There is so much to read, all the pilots' wills and final letters, so you'll need to rustle up some Japanese-speaking pals for the occasion. Among the exhibits, I learned of:

- the American from Hawaii who was a kamikaze pilot, along with 11 Koreans
- the chap who was selected after 2 unsuccessful bids only after his wife killed herself and their kids in the hope that he would be 3rd time lucky and be reunited soon in the afterlife
- the fellow whose plane crashed soon after takeoff, and how he honored his rescuers on his second attempt
- the dude who wrote to his young kids that they should "avenge" their father
- the guy whose fiancee gave him a scarf and said she wished she could be that scarf on his fateful trip.

I have so many questions - what happened to the pilots who survived? to the pilots' families? did they get pensions- so I will have to hit Wikipedia. But this was great stuff. If you are coming by bus, the staff will help you out with timetables.

Visited April 2013
5 Thank dgdevil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
28 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Should be on everyone's 'must see' list.”
Reviewed March 15, 2013

The Peace Museum holds a fascinating & important collection of artifacts and personal photos & documents relating to WWII Kamikaze pilots & their mission. There are whole aeroplanes on display as well as extensive displays devoted to the individual pilots so we get know who they were by reading or hearing their stories.
If you don't read Japanese, ensure you pick up an audio guide to help you understand the exhibits & personal stories. Although, after a while, the personal stories become overwhelming and depressing - such a waste of young life. Pace yourself and look at some bigger exhibits before returning to the individual stories. The Peace Museum should be on everyone's must visit list.

Visited February 2013
3 Thank Elly M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“How peaceful can a Kamikaze pilot be?”
Reviewed December 8, 2012

This is a museum that is only reachable by private car or public bus. From Kagoshima station you can take a slow bus that takes approximately an hour to Chiran. The Peace Museum lies on the southern edge (you can walk to it for 1,5 km from the Samurai gardens).

And what to expect here? Loads of tour busses and school groups, because for the Japanese people this seems like a pilgrimage. Outside there is a monument of one of the kamikaze pilots, an airplane and a dormitory. Inside there are a lot of photo's of the pilots. They mostly came from this area (around 1.100). Okinawa is relatively close by. The families are there, the restaurants were they wined and dined.

It is absolutely forbidden to take photos inside (and they do check, since it is kinda controversial). If you do not understand Japanese it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to absorb the feel of it.

As I understand it the Japanese do admire their kamikaze pilots. Since they fought to protect the mother land. Just like the 'kamikaze' (divine wind) did in the year 1281 when the Mongols tried to invade Japan and were stopped by a sudden typhon (kamikaze).

You can easily combine Chiran with the vulcano sand bath in Ibusuki (it takes another hour due to the hilly countryside with the bus). From Ibusuki there is a JR Rail connection along the coast to Kagoshima.

Visited September 2012
4 Thank EricAmstelveen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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