First  Prev  1  2  Next  Last
Iwo Jima renamed as Iwo To
Posted 6/21/07
TOKYO - Japan has returned to using the prewar name for the island of Iwo Jima — site of one of World War II's most horrific battles — at the urging of its original inhabitants, who want to reclaim an identity they say has been hijacked by high-profile movies like Clint Eastwood's "Letters from Iwo Jima."

The new name, Iwo To, was adopted Monday by the Japanese Geographical Survey Institute in consultation with Japan's coast guard.

Surviving islanders evacuated during the war praised the move, but others said it cheapens the memory of a brutal campaign that today is inextricably linked to the words Iwo Jima.

Back in 1945, the small, volcanic island was the vortex of the fierce World War II battle immortalized by the famous photograph by Joe Rosenthal of The Associated Press showing Marines raising the American flag on the islet's Mount Suribachi.

Retired Marine Maj. Gen. Fred Haynes, who was a 24-year-old captain in the regiment that raised the flag on Mount Suribachi, was surprised and upset by the news.

"Frankly, I don't like it. That name is so much a part of our tradition, our legacy," said Haynes.

Haynes, 87, heads the Combat Veterans of Iwo Jima, a group of about 600 veterans that travels to the island every year for a reunion. He is working on a book about the battle called "We Walk by Faith: The Story of Combat Team 28 and the Battle of Iwo Jima." He doesn't plan to change the name.

"It was Iwo Jima to us when we took it," said Haynes. "We'll recognize whatever the Japanese want to call it but we'll stick to Iwo Jima."

Before the war, the isolated spit of land was called Iwo To — pronounced "ee-woh-toh" — by the 1,000 or so people who lived there. In Japanese, that name looks and means the same as Iwo Jima — Sulfur Island — but it has a different sound.

The civilians were evacuated in 1944 as U.S. forces advanced across the Pacific. Some Japanese navy officers who moved in to fortify the island mistakenly called it Iwo Jima, and the name stuck. After the war, civilians weren't allowed to return and the island was put to exclusive military use by both the U.S. and Japan, cementing its identity.

Locals were never happy the name Iwo Jima took root. But the last straw came this year with the release of Eastwood's "Letters from Iwo Jima" and "Flags of Our Fathers," war films that only reinforced the misnomer.

In March, Ogasawara, the municipality that administers Iwo To and neighboring islands, responded by adopting a resolution making Iwo To the official name. Ogasawara residents and descendants of Iwo To evacuees petitioned the central government to follow suit.

"Though we're happy for Iwo To, which has been forgotten by history, the islanders are extremely grieved every time they hear Iwo To referred to as Iwo Jima," the local Ogasawara newspaper quoted the resolution as saying of the Eastwood movies.

The government agreed; an official map with the new name will be released on Sept. 1.

Still, Iwo Jima is the only name that clicks with most Japanese who aren't from the remote island chain, some 700 miles southeast of Tokyo in the Pacific Ocean.

Even some Japanese war veterans, like 84-year-old Kiyoshi Endo, who heads an association commemorating soldiers killed in the battle, feel uncomfortable about the switch.

"Naval maps have long used the name Iwo Jima," Japan's Sankei newspaper quoted Endo as saying. "We should respect that history."

Today Iwo To's only inhabitants are about 400 Japanese soldiers.

The 1945 battle for Iwo Jima pitted some 100,000 U.S. troops against 22,000 Japanese deeply dug into a labyrinth of tunnels and trenches. Nearly 7,000 Americans were killed capturing the island, and fewer than 1,000 of the Japanese survived.

The Americans occupied the island after the war, and returned it to Japanese jurisdiction in 1968. The U.S. Navy still uses an airstrip on the island to train pilots who operate from aircraft carriers.

Link - http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070620/ap_on_re_as/japan_iwo_jima
7886 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
30 / M / Melbourne
Offline
Posted 6/21/07
to be honest im from yokohama and it dont really bother me if they changed it or not its been in talk quite awhile.
42013 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
37 / F / Fort Meade, MD
Offline
Posted 6/21/07
It's their right to change it... If Fred Haynes (not an inhabitant) is mad... SO WHAT? He doesn't live there, and he's just mad because it was him that raised the flag there...
(americans can be huge dumbasses sometimes)

(myself included - i'm american)
988 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
29 / M / Where the Buffalo...
Offline
Posted 6/21/07
its their island... they can name it all they want because its in their jurisdiction. but "iwo jima" still can be a nickname.
Posted 6/21/07
yeah but its kinda cool to read up on a battle that my grandaddy fought in
4965 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
24 / F / In your computer...
Offline
Posted 6/21/07
Dude, just let them name it to whatever they want, its their territory, people should respect their decisions.
8990 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
30 / Ronald McDonald's...
Offline
Posted 6/21/07

BillyG2093 wrote:

"It was Iwo Jima to us when we took it," said Haynes. "We'll recognize whatever the Japanese want to call it but we'll stick to Iwo Jima."



He's contradicting himself a little there, isn't he?
13418 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / M / JPN -> KR -> USA
Offline
Posted 2/16/08
iwo jima and iwo to.. same thing.. 'jima' and 'to' are written in same kanji.. so why do ppl bothered by that..???
Posted 2/16/08
Tha'ts really interesting.
:]

Posted 2/16/08
It's Japan's business, but it'll still be remembered as Iwo Jima.
4046 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
104 / F / Indianapolis, Ind...
Offline
Posted 2/17/08
Oh jees....I agree........why get so upset over it? It belongs to Japan. let them call it waht they wish. We Americans can eat shit and die if our "memories" are gonna be scrambled, cos it ain't none of our business....(how UN patriotic was that?)
2424 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
34 / M / Philippines
Offline
Posted 2/17/08
I dont care as long the story make sense
Ghost Moderator
AHTL 
87563 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
27 / Norway
Online
Posted 2/17/08
Good for them. The Americans can shove their finger up their arse, this got nothing to do with them. Just because they happened to invade that place during the war doesn't give them the right to cry about the Japanese changing a place's name.

4046 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
104 / F / Indianapolis, Ind...
Offline
Posted 2/17/08

AHTL wrote:

Good for them. The Americans can shove their finger up their arse, this got nothing to do with them. Just because they happened to invade that place during the war doesn't give them the right to cry about the Japanese changing a place's name.



Three cheers for AHTL...........we do invade too many places and tend to think we own it...wait, I mean OUR GOVERNMENT tends to think this way.
Ghost Moderator
AHTL 
87563 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
27 / Norway
Online
Posted 2/17/08

Jinchengfan wrote:


AHTL wrote:

Good for them. The Americans can shove their finger up their arse, this got nothing to do with them. Just because they happened to invade that place during the war doesn't give them the right to cry about the Japanese changing a place's name.



Three cheers for AHTL...........we do invade too many places and tend to think we own it...wait, I mean OUR GOVERNMENT tends to think this way.


"Le Americans are all le blood-thirsty people who are part of le war machine, yess of course!"

Do I need to explain any further with my :awsm: sarcasm?
First  Prev  1  2  Next  Last
You must be logged in to post.