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Monday, May 05, 2014

Tomiya Shokudo Chiran


Tomiya Shokudo, in Chiran in Kagoshima Prefecture in southern Kyushu, was a small eatery (shokudo can be translated as canteen) in the town frequented by kamikaze pilots from the nearby air base.

Tomiya Shokudo Chiran Kagoshima Kyushu Japan

Tome Torihama, the owner, had a very maternal attitude to her customers, many of whom were very young, and some of whom ate their last meals there.

Some of the stories of Tome and her young customers were made into the semi-fictional 2001 move Hotaru (Firefly) which has contributed to the boom in tourism to Chiran.

Movie poster for Hotaru - Firefly

The building that housed the restaurant has been restored as a memorial museum to Tome and the pilots and is curated by her grandson, Akihisa.

On display at the museum are some of the last letters written by the pilots and handed to the owner - some recount their anguish at having to sacrifice themselves. One note reads: "A totalitarian country will lose a war."

Tomiya Shokudo
103-1 Chiran-cho
Kagoshima 897-0302.
Tel: 0993 58 7566
Open from 9am to 5pm.

Tome Torihama with some of the kamikaze pilots in Chiran

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1 comment:

  1. Touching, interesting, and revealing.


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