SAN FRANCISCO — A talk by Yoshio Taira on the Miyamori School plane crash of 1959 will be given on Sunday, Aug. 28, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Buddhist Church of San Francisco auditorium, 1881 Pine St. (at Octavia).
Taira, who is currently a school principal in Nishihara, Okinawa, was a second-grader when a U.S. fighter jet from Kadena Air Base crashed into his school, killing 17 and wounding 210 people. (The pilot ejected and was unhurt.)
Despite its small size, Okinawa hosts the majority of U.S. bases in Japan, and residents have long been concerned about noise, accidents and crimes caused resulting from the heavy military presence.
The 1959 incident has weighed on Taira’s memories throughout his life and in recent years he has begun to talk about it in his efforts to contribute to peace as an Okinawan.
Upon hearing of the National Japanese American Historical Society’s “Nuchi du Takara: Lessons from the Battle of Okinawa” exhibit, which closed Aug. 14, Taira decided to come to San Francisco to meet and talk to people here. He has written about his experience for newspapers in Okinawa and has given talks in Japan and even in France.
The event will also feature Ryukyuan dancing by instructor Kinuko Mototake of Azama Honryu Seifu Ichizen Kai Mototake Kinuko Ryubu Dojo USA and Mieko Merril of Miyagi Honryu.