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#10January 27, 2019
Kyoto, Japan & Uzbekistan

Wrestling with the Past:
Kyoto Meets Uzbekistan

Middle school and high school wrestlers from Uzbekistan visited Maizuru, Kyoto in August 2018 for a training camp. The Japanese and Uzbekistani students swapped wrestling techniques, in addition to learning about an old connection between their countries. Thousands of Japanese were detained in Uzbekistan when WWII ended. Back home, the young Uzbekistani athletes head to a privately funded memorial museum to hear about the detainees' experiences. What will the kids learn from these stories?

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Photos & Clips

Takuto Practices Wrestling

Takuto is a 3rd year junior high schooler attending wrestling school in Maizuru City. Although he's petite, he packs a powerful tackle.

Haruto Attends Wrestling School

Haruto is in his 2nd year of junior high. He takes advantage of his long limbs to play in a defensive style.

The Uzbek Wresting Team

Three members of the Uzbek wrestling team participate in a joint training camp at Maizuru.

Uzbeks at Maizuru

Located in central Asia, Uzbekistan is a wrestling powerhouse. The country clinched 3 bronze medals in the 2016 Olympics.

Maizuru's Bond with Uzbekistan

Maizuru is a port town facing the Sea of Japan. This city has deep connections with Uzbekistan.

Maizuru Repariation Memorial Museum

After World War II, Japanese who had been detained in Uzbekistan were released. The place they first set foot on was Maizuru.

Uzbekistan's Navoi Theater

Pictures of the Navoi Theater are displayed in Japan's Repatriation Memorial Museum. The theater is the symbol of the Uzbek wrestlers' hometown, Tashkent.

Sultanov, Founder of a Memorial Hall for Japanese Detainees

Sultanov documented the lives of Japanese detainees over a period of 30 years. The articles are now exhibited in a memorial hall.

Power Transmission Tower

Sultanov was filled with gratitude upon finding out that Japanese detainees built the tower that plays such an important role. He spent 30 years gathering material for the museum.

Hearing from one of Navoi Theater's Builders

Niinomi experienced firsthand the hardships of the Uzbek people. What impressions do his words leave on the young wrestlers?

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