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Bando POW camp

The Bando POW camp was a prisoner-of-war camp during World War I in what is now Naruto where prisoners interacted freely with local people, teaching them to make bread, beer, and charcuterie.

Bando POW camp

The Bando POW camp was a prisoner-of-war camp during World War I in what is now Naruto. From 1917 to 1920, just under a thousand German soldiers captured at Tsingtao, China in November 1914 were imprisoned at the camp. The conditions at the prison were notably humane, and the prisoners interacted freely with local people, teaching them to make bread, beer, and charcuterie. When the camp closed in 1920, sixty-three of the prisoners chose to remain in Japan. Some of the businesses they started still exist.

Bando_POW_Camp_1

During their internment the prisoners formed an orchestra which performed over a hundred concerts between 1917 and 1920, including at nearby Ryōzen-ji Temple. On 1 June 1918 the prisoners gave the first performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in the Japan. This established the popularity of the symphony in Japan, and it’s played annually at the Naruto Bunka Kaikan on the first Sunday in June.

Information

Name in Japanese: 板東俘虜収容所

Pronunciation: bandō furyoshūyōsho

Address: Maruyama, Oasachohinoki, Naruto, Tokushima 779-0225

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