Kushiyama Park

                                                              by Takehiko Orikawa


Kushiyama Park (串山公園) is located in the southeast central part of Kure city. It is a peaceful park loved by Kure citizens. Throughout the seasons you can enjoy flowers such as cherry blossoms, wisteria, and azalea. Kushiyam is a gentle hill so anyone can enjoy walking there.


The view from the top of the mountain is just wonderful. On one side you can see beautiful Kure Bay, with ships passing between Kure and Matsuyama. You can also see Karasu-kojima and Etajima. Turning your eyes a little, the dock in which Battleship Yamato was built can be seen clearly. On the opposite side is Mt. Haigamine and in the nearby distance Mt. Yasumiyama. You can see people doing radio calisthenics early in the morning, walking after lunch, and students training in this park after school.


However, in spite of the present peaceful atmosphere, this park has a sad history. Being located over the Kure Naval Arsenal before and during World War II, this area was a very important military installation. Its footprints can be seen everywhere. You can notice there are many stone steps to this mountain. Among them are a pair of staircases leading to Arsenal Shrine(工廠神社)built by the old navy, which were considered an approach to the

shrine. The shrine is gone now but you can find its stone monument. Why are there two staircases nearby? Presumably one was used by workers in the arsenal and the other was for young people working or studying in a school for operators.


On the approach is a robust pillbox (tochka) and a big stone basin. There are also some air-raid shelters. It has been 68 years since                         whole view of Kushiyama Park

the war ended so most of them are covered with plants and trees and can’t be seen well. When I look at these structures built during the war, I feel the people’s grief from those days. The training school where young promising operators studied became a tennis court later and today serves a parking lot. In 1998, next to the grounds, a monument was erected in memory of their achievements.


As Kushiyama is located near the Kure Naval Arsenal, the entire mountain was considered a place of prayer, shelter, and battle. I think the remains of those days convey a silent message to us. I believe it is important to keep in mind of our predecessors’ “determination to attain peace”.


Each morning I spend time in this park and think about those young students whose lives were scattered momentarily in the war.   

(top left) Kure shipbuilding dock where Battleship Yamato was built      (top right) Monument of training school


(bottom left) Monument of Arsenal Shrine    (bottom center) staircase leading to Arsenal Shrine

(bottom right) Stone basin


#146 Parkway Vol.28 No.4 October - December 2013









道沿いには頑丈なトーチカと大きな石の手水があります。防空壕もいくつかあります。戦後68年、そのほとんどは植物や木々で覆われており、よく見えません。戦争中に建てられたこれらの構造を見ると、当時の人々の悲しみを感じます。将来のある若い通信士が勉強した訓練校は、後にテニスコートになり、今では駐車場になっています。 1998年には、その敷地の隣に、その功績を記念して記念碑が建てられました。