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Kikui-cho war memorial statue approved as a local cultural property
Pass on tragedy of victims of air raids and prayer for world peace to the next generation

The war memorial statue built to console the souls of about 300 students and locals who perished in the Kikui Campus air raid shelter during the May 25, 1945 firebombing of Tokyo, was approved as a Shinjuku Ward cultural property (peace field) in May.

In this air raid much damage was inflicted such as the Okuma Kaikan (Shigenobu Okuma residence) and Imperial Memorial Hall being completely destroyed, and partial damage to the Theatre Museum. An air raid shelter was in the underground of the Kikui Campus, which housed the Research Institute of Science and Engineering, and many students and local residents evacuated there, but over 300 perished in the resulting flames and smoke.

In May 1955, marking the 10th anniversary of the attack, a war memorial statue (designed by Niki-kai and Takanari Nagano) was erected to console the victims and pray for eternal peace. Furthermore, in 1983, the Research Institute of Science and Engineering added an epitaph to relay the tragedy, and a memorial festival is held on May 25 every year in association with the Kikui-cho community organization.

Shinjuku Ward cultural property

A Shinjuku Ward cultural property is a “thing” or “place” which has continued to hold a place close to community, and has been recognized to fall into one of the six categories of, “municipal / industry”, “culture / arts”, “history”, “lifestyle”, peace”, or “nature”, and is to be conveyed to future generations. This designation and approval is the 23rd such regional cultural property in the ward.

References: Shinjuku Ward designated cultural properties related to the university
  • Theatre Museum (designated tangible architecture)
  • Statue of Shigenobu Okuma (designated tangible sculpture)
  • Others include the Tomizuka remains (Shinjuku Ward registered historical site) near West Gate No.3.
Link

2011 Campus Profile Kikui Campus Memorial Festival