ムキュウドウ

Mukyudou


Useful Information

Location: Jomacho, Sasebo, Nagasaki 859-3237.
(33.086954, 129.814226)
Open: All year daily 9-17.
Closed 31-DEC, 01-JAN.
[2022]
Fee: free.
[2022]
Classification: SubterraneaWorld War II Bunker
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:
Guided tours: guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography:
Address: Mukyudou Honoring Preservation Society, Jomacho, Sasebo, Nagasaki 859-3237, Tel: +81-956-59-2003.
Miyaji Community Centre, Jomacho, Sasebo, Nagasaki 859-3237, Tel: +81-956-59-2676.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

29-AUG-1943 begin of construction.
15-AUG-1945 bunker completed
15-AUG-1945 unconditional surrender of Japan.
2002 renovated and opened to the public.

Description

ムキュウドウ (Mukyudou, Eternal Cave) is an air raid shelter dug by the Miya village elementary school teachers and students during World War II. The plan was suggested the principal, Ikeda Chiaki. Students grade 4 or older helped to dig a tunnel into the hillside behind their school. The boys dug with pickaxes and other tools, the girls did the shaping and the underclassmen were in charge of carrying them out. It was big enough to be able to accommodate up to 500 students. It was built with the intension that students could live inside, while they continue their schooling. In other words they would live there until the end of the war, not only during the evacuation time. This was unique, the bunker had toilets, a food storage, a kitchen, and a meeting room, as well as a classroom.

The bunker was excavated behind the Miyamura National School into the volcanic tuff. The main chamber is 5 m wide and 19 m long and has a teaching platform. The second chamber is 3 m wide and 15 m long and contained the living infrastructure. A fire escape route was also built.

But if you look at the dates, it was too late. It was almost completed when the bomb fell, but it made no sense to work on it after the capitulation. Then it was used briefly as a first aid station for atomic bomb victims, Nagasaki is only 40 km away. Then as an underground classroom, probably due to a shortage in classrooms. Finally, it was closed and forgotten, remained untouched for about 60 years.

The complex was renovated and opened to the public in 2002, on the occasion of the centenary of the founding of the city.