Wednesday, June 12, 2013

CreativeCrew: Battle of Okinawa Tour

Howdy, folks!  Time for me to share another CreativeCrew project for June!

The scrapbook challenge is to do a page (or in my case, pages--I almost never do single pages other than the first and last in each album) featuring your dad.  That worked out for me since I've been trying to finish up this album from my parents' visit to see us in Okinawa in 2008...holy cow it's been nearly 5 years now and I'm still working on it.  Well, I'm almost done!  Another challenge was to use color blocking, and it didn't occur to me that this layout looks kinda color blocked until one of the other Crew members commented on it.  Mostly I was trying to figure out a way to include all those pictures without cropping them much :)

Looks like I never blogged these pics over on Snapdragon, so I'll tell you about them here.  During my parents' visit, we went on the Battle of Okinawa tour, which took us to several sites on the island connected to the 1945 American invasion, including the Japanese Naval Underground headquarters, Hacksaw Ridge, and Peace Prayer Park.  It's unreal to think of how many people died during the battle--you can see bloodstains on the wall at the Japanese Naval Underground from where some Japanese officers committed suicide rather than concede defeat.  And Peace Prayer Park encompasses the cliffs on the southern tip of the island, where more Japanese officers jumped off the cliffs rather than surrender.  Today, the park is beautiful and serene and dedicated to peace while remembering the horrors of war.

Our tour guide, Setsuko, is this tiny little Japanese lady who speaks rapid-fire English with a heavy accent, but she usually repeats herself three or four times so you have a better chance of getting everything she's saying (my favorite thing she said:  every tour--hubs and I did several with her--she'd ask if any one needed to visit the "powdah loom"--powder room).  She was just a few months old when the Battle of Okinawa happened, and she hid in caves on the island with her family.  She's very passionate about sharing the island's history, especially since Japanese accounts generally gloss over their role--the Japanese military encouraged Okinawans to commit suicide rather than allow themselves to be captured by Americans, for one thing.  (Okinawans aren't exactly the same as mainland Japanese--they only became part of Japan in the 19th century.  Before that, the Ryukyu Islands were an independent kingdom and while they were somewhat related to the Japanese, they also had a lot more Chinese influence and they were a major trading hub in the Pacific in their own right.)

It's not all doom and gloom with Setsuko, however.  In the top left picture, in front of the Buddha statue, she'd started to say something about the statue and then had a thought that cracked herself up so much that she couldn't hardly talk :)  Mom especially liked her...she was our favorite tour guide on Okinawa.

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to check out the CreativeCrew gallery here!

Stamps:  Symbols of Solicitude (peace kanji on the left hand page)
Ink:  Versamark, Basic Gray marker
Paper:  Dusty Durango (retired), Gumball Green, Whisper White, retired Pacific Point DSP
Accessories:  old Sizzix alphabet


CCsMom said...

LOVE this, Chris!

CCsMom said...

Can't wait to see the finished book when we see you -- SOON!!!

Giffysk8s said...

Turned out great!