There is an unusual vegetable garden in Hananoi, Kashiwa-shi, Chiba Prefecture, with six large concrete tubes sticking out from the ground. The tubes in fact belonged to the old underground facility for the rocket-powered interceptor aircraft “Shusui”, which was to be completed by the Imperial Japanese Army before the end of World War Il.
This area was part of Kashiwa Air Field which was established by the Japanese Army to combat US air raids over the country, particularly Tokyo. Shusui with a rocket engine was going to be located here for defense against B-29s.
The aircraft, however, never played its intended role as its development did not complete before the end of the war. The plan ended in vain and left some facilities behind, including concrete underground fuel storage with the six ventilating tubes sticking out in the vegee garden.
Ineko Fukatsu, 80, started to grow vegetables here after the war. She now grows pumpkins and other vegetables. “I was surprised and felt uncomfortable at first but I got use to it,” she said.
Kazuo Ueyama, a professor of Kokugakuin University and a representative of Kashiwa Rekishi (history) Club, said, “People now think Kashiwa is more like a cool, stylish town but the tubes are telling them that Kashiwa was also a battlefield. I hope many of Kashiwa residents to find out about them.”
(July 25, 2015)