Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots [知覧特攻平和会館]

Chiran town
Chiran town
Photo: Kagoshima Prefectural Visitors Bureau

A samurai resience in Chiran
A samurai resience in Chiran
Photo by Railstation.net

Chiran (知覧) is a small town in Minamikyushu city.
It is located about 30 km south-southeast of Kagoshima city.

In the 18th century, Satasuma Domain set one of sub-domains here to govern the local areas.
(The government of Satsuma Domain was at current Kagoshima city.)

Therefore, although here was a rural area, several samurai residences were built.

Seven samarai residences have been preserved, and they are dotted along the main street within a 700-meter area.

Street of Chiran
Street of Chiran
Photo by Railstation.net

Japanese garden in a samurai resience in Chiran
Japanese garden in a samurai resience
Photo by Railstation.net

Each residence is surrounded by stone walls with tidy hedges.
And each residence has a beautiful Japanese garden.

By the tidy Japanese scenery, Chiran is sometimes called Little Kyoto in Satsuma.

Chiran Peace Museum
Chiran Peace Museum
Photo: Kagoshima Prefectural Visitors Bureau

Inside of Chiran Peace Museum
Inside of Chiran Peace Museum
Photo: Kagoshima Prefectural Visitors Bureau

There is Chiran Peace Museum about 2 km southwest of the central Chiran town.

In 1945, the last year of the World War II, Japan had been going to lose the war against the United States.
And US Forces had been closing on Okinawa Islands.

The Japanese army conducted a crazy military operation that the manned planes attack enemy ships directly.

The special attack corps was called "Tokko-tai" or "Tokko" in Japanese.
And, another name Kamikaze (神風, God's wind) was given to hope to work miracles for Japan's win.

In Chiran, one of the air bases was set up.

1,036 Kamikaze pilots had gone on the suicide mission, and 439 pilots were from Chiran among them.
They were 17 to 32 years old.

On the other hand, by the missions, over 4,000 American soldiers died on the ships in the Pacific Ocean.

It is located about 2.5 km south of the center of Chiran town.

There was the airfield, but it was destroyed by the occupation army after the war.

Now there is the museum on the place.

In the museum, the portraits of the brave pilots, their belongings and the last letters to their family are displayed.

Also some fighters of the day are displayed.

House for Kamikaze pilots
House for Kamikaze pilots
Photo by Railstation.net

Inside of House for Kamikaze pilots
Inside of House for Kamikaze pilots
Photo by Railstation.net

In the site, a wooden house is preserved.
The pilots had stayed in the house until the order of Kamikaze mission for some days.

Chiran Peace Museum

How to get here

From Kagoshima-Chuo station, by route bus 1 hour and 12 minutes to Bukeyashiki-iriguchi (Samurai residences), 1 hour and 19 minutes to Chiran-kannon-iriguchi (Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots).

Hotels around Chiran

Hotels around Chiran

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