113km Charity Walk – to remember the hardships of wartime Okinawa

Retracing the footsteps of the civilians who undertook a 113km walk to escape the hell of the Battle of Okinawa and get to a place of safety in June 1945. 
Come to the Dojo Bar and see us off on January 2nd at 2am. Our final destination is the village of Aha on the east coast of northern Okinawa. 
Make a donation as we use the event as a way of raising money for Okinawan orphans.


Donations can be made via Paypal to dojobarnaha@gmail.com

In October 1944, 14 year old Yoshiko Gakiya (now aged 87) and a large group of elderly men, woman and children, fled from the firebombing of Naha and sought refuge in the village of Ahacha (located in present day Urasoe). However, after the US forces landed on the west coast beaches on April 1st 1945, the group made the decision to head north to Kunigami. The group had to avoid the dangerous coastal roads and was forced to machete their way through thick forest along the spine of Okinawa, avoiding both the U.S. and Japanese forces. After several exhausting weeks, the group finally reached Okuma in mid-June. In July, the group decided to cross over the mountains to the East coast where they remained until they were discovered by U.S forces in August. They were loaded onto trucks and sent back south and held in internment camps until they could finally return to what was left of their homes.
Keeping alive the memory of this arduous journey carried out at an atrocious and tragic time in Okinawan history is important for the current and future generations of not only Okinawan people, but people from all around the globe. Today, worldwide, there are 68.5 million people fleeing from warzones, crime, environmental destruction, famine, and drought, seeking their own place of safety. From Yemen to Honduras, Eritrea to Borneo, we see the plight of these people on the television, the Internet and in the newspapers.
On January 2nd, 2018, myself (Paul Vermehren), James Pankiewicz, and Becka Tedder will follow in the footsteps of the Naha citizens of 74 years ago. Setting off from outside the Dojo Bar in Asato, Naha, at 2am, our intention is to reach Aha the following day before sunset. On the first day, we aim to reach Nago Citizens beach around 5pm. The following day we will follow the coastline to Hentona and then cross the mountain to the east coast village of Aha. Total distance: 113km.
Prior to and during the race, we will be collecting donations for an Okinawan charity that supports children who have lost one or both parents in traffic accidents. The 113km walk will be our way of preserving the memory of the past to help the children of the future.
If you would like to take part in the entire walk, or a short section of this walk, please contact me on ssbmusic@hotmail.com


Route and times

2:00am – 4:40am Dojo Bar to Araha Beach, Chatan, 
Break 20 minutes
5am – 7:40am Araha Beach to Yomitan Village Market 12.7km
Break 20 minutes
8:00am – 9:00am Village Market to Sansei Coffee 
Break 30 minutes
9:30am – 13:00pm Sansei Coffee to Diamond beach 14.7km 
Break 2 hours
15:00 – 17:00 Diamond Beach to Nago Citizens beach 10.8km
Day One Total 55.1km

2:00am- 4:30am Nago Citizens beach to Isagawa Park (Nago City) 
Break 20 minutes
4:50am – 7:50am Isagawa Park to Shioya Bridge 13.3km
Break 20 minutes
8:10am – 11am Shioya Bridge to Hentona Beach 12.7km
Break 1.5 hours
12:30 – 16:30 Hentona Beach to Fukugawa Dam 
Break 20 minutes
16:50 – 17:50 Fukugawa Dam to Aha Community Centre 
Day Two Total 57.8km

Total: 112.9km

初日 (1月2日)
2:00 am – 4:40 am Dojo Bar〜アラハビーチ、北谷、
9:30 am – 13:00 pm三星コーヒーとダイヤモンドビーチ14.7km
15:00 – 17:00ダイヤモンドビーチ〜名護市民ビーチ10.8km

二日目 (1月3日)
4:50 am – 7:50 am諫早公園から塩屋橋まで13.3km
16:50 – 17:50福井ダム〜アハコミュニティセンター


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