Can you help me identify the Japanese temple(s) my grandfather visited?
June 17, 2019 8:21 PM   Subscribe

He took two photographs of temples when he was in Japan in 1945. I would love to know which temple(s). I don't know any more except that he was on the USS Knudson.

The photos can be found here and here
posted by jefficator to Travel & Transportation around Japan (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The second photo, with the torii gate, is cut off on top, leaving out the first part of the name. What's there reads (something)shima Shrine. Shima, or island, is a really, really common second kanji for place names, so finding that might be really hard. I was going to try doing a google image search, but you've turned off the ability to download your photos, and google didn't recognize the URL from your account page as an image.

As far as the first image, I couldn't even tell you if that was a temple or not, sorry.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:04 PM on June 17, 2019

The Knudson was mostly in and around Okinawa in 1945. According to Wikidpedia"... Ulithi Atoll on 21 March 1945 for operations off Kerama Retto, Knudson supported Underwater Demolition Team 19 during reconnaissance and demolition operations on Kuba Shima, Aka Shima, Keise Shima, and Geruma Shima from 25 March 1945 to 30 March 1945. While serving as antisubmarine screen on 26 March 1945, she was attacked by a Japanese bomber. Her guns shot the plane down after two bombs had missed her close aboard"
posted by stormygrey at 9:37 PM on June 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Okinawa Prefecture Shrine Agency has 11 shrines listed, and the one with shima in its name doesn't look to be it. They don't have an email address listed but they do have phone # listed on the English website I linked above, and their address is 1-25-11 Wakasa Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.

The same Wikipedia article also mentions the Knudson being based in Yokosuka, Japan after the war and still in 1945. Yokosuka is in Kanagawa. Kanagawa Prefecture Shrine Agency's website is here and only in Japanese, but they do have an email address! k-jinjacho(at)
posted by sacchan at 1:13 AM on June 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Update: based on saccchan's suggestion to investigate Okinawa Prefecture (and Yokosuka in particular), and based on the help of user Iris Gambol who dm'ed me, I was able to find this blog:

The blog is operate by a Canadian-Japanese priestess. I emailed her and she *immediately* recognized the shrine. She sent me this link to google maps:


They are looking for the other shrine now!

Thanks everyone!
posted by jefficator at 9:07 AM on July 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

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