Selected Projects > Close to the Bone
Close to the Bone
by Katsuya Okuma, Huang Yin-yu
A man digging for the bones of war victims tries to stop soil mixed with their remains from being dumped into the ocean for landfill construction at a military base.
The island of Okinawa (Japan), where one out of every four inhabitants died in the fierce fighting of World War II. Gushiken has been digging in the soil of the once fierce battlefield to search for the bones of war victims for 40 years.
One day, the forest where he was searching for the remains was cut down, and the rocks were exposed. The Japanese government was planning to use the rocks and earth from this forest to reclaim the sea to build a new US military base on the sea. If nothing is done, even the remains, along with the soil and sand, will be dumped into the sea to build a base for the US military, a former enemy of Japan. To stop the land reclamation project, Gushiken goes on a hunger strike at the prefectural government square. He also goes to Tokyo to lobby the government.
However, even while negotiating, the forest where the remains were left behind was being developed. The remains must be rescued at all costs before that happens. With the time limit looming, Gushiken mourns the victims through the collection of remains.