【Series】 World War II 70th Anniversary – Old shore artillery battery looking down at peaceful ocean (July 26, 2015)

Only foundation remains. Water melons are ready for harvest. (in Miura-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture)

Only foundation remains. Water melons are ready for harvest (in Miura-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture)

Kentarou Tominaga, Kotaro Yamada and Hiroki Arai

Miura-shi in Kanagawa Prefecture is known for producing a wide variety of high-quality vegetables. In one of the fields there, however, there is a round flat odd structure that actually fits in the place and everyday life of local residents. It is what remains from an old artillery battery, Kenzaki Battery, built by the Imperial Japanese Army.

The facility was built in current Minamishitaura-machi in Miura-shi as a part of the Tokyo Bay Shore military bases developed in Meiji Era and during World War ll. A 6-meter-long 15-inch naval gun was located to protect Tokyo and Yokosuka Military Port.

Less was known about this military base  as the entire site was surrounded by barbed wire fence. An 83-year-old local farmer flashed back to his childhood and said, “I sneaked in the site, saw one soldier and hided in a hurry.”

Sometime after the war, the gun disappeared and people started to grow vegetables around. Atsushi Usui, 53, a member of the society of Yokosuka archaeology said, “The gun was moved away probably during Korean War when there was a special war-time demand for steel and iron.”

The owner of the farmland with the old coastal battery, Hironori Tachikawa, 40, said, “It doesn’t bother me at all. I rather want to keep it here.”

(July 26, 2015)

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