We had rented a car and were driving the roads of Palau in search of a waterfall. Along the side of the road we noticed a concrete pyramid rising out of the jungle. What was that?
We backtracked and found the entrance with a set of tire tracks through the grass, no “official” road in sight and everything overgrown. What was it?
As we moved closer, we started to notice the writing on the walls – definitely Japanese. But so overgrown … so un-Japanese.
On the left were names of companies. All of the companies you would easily recognize; JAL, Toshiba, Panasonic and others.
On the right are the names of people. I assume people who have donated.
One of the first names is very interesting … Ryoichi Sasakawa who has a very interesting and mixed history.
Ryoichi Sasakawa (笹川 良一 Sasakawa Ryōichi?, May 4, 1899 – July 18, 1995) was a Japanese businessman, politician and fascist born in Minoh,Osaka. He was imprisoned as a Class A war criminal after World War II but later released without a trial, kuromaku (political power-broker), and the founder of the Nippon Foundation. While he is widely known throughout Africa and much of the developing world for the wide-ranging philanthropic programs that he established, he is at the same time viewed with hostility by many intellectuals for his right wing ideals and ties to Japan’s motorboat racing industry and support for the Unification Movement
I found his quote “I am the world’s richest fascist” particularly interesting when he is also recognized for leading significant charity efforts in poverty stricken nations and a peace organization that bears his name.
The black marble triangle with the dirt darkened inscription and long dead wreaths reads (roughly translated)
As a memory of fighting in this war we built this to take care of the spirits of the soldiers.
To Japan …
A place to sit and contemplate.
You can find the monument at Longitude 7 27 51.71, Latitude 134 31 40.878 (embedded in the metadata). How quickly nature creeps back …