Witnesses to war kept in rice fields

Two entaigo sit in a rice field

Two entaigo sit in a rice field

CHIBA, Aug. 15 — In a farmland in Sosa city, Chiba Prefecture, there still are reinforced concrete bomb shelters, called entaigo in Japanese, built in wartime to protect battle plains from air raids.

Two entaigo sit in a rice field owned by Hatsuko Shinamura, a 73-year-old farmer from Asahi city. During the war, the navy took up the land to build Katori Air Base and the concrete domes that measure 30 meters in width and 6 meters in height. One entaigo could shelter three warplanes with their wings folded.

After the war, the navy returned the land to Shinamura who then decided to use them as their family storages. Since then, for seven two years now, the old concrete semisubterranean buildings have been housing their agricultural machinery.

A local board of education has set up a board right in front of one of the engaigo to explain that kamikaze fighters flew from here to fight in the battle of Iwo-jima Island. “We still have visits from people who worked at the airbase. We intend to keep them forever,” Shinamura said.

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