Viewer Comment: Iwo Jima Map

By The History Detectives Team
6 July 2010
Category: Viewer Mailbag

Viewer Charles E Voigtsberger shared this information about the translation of some of the Japanese characters on the hand-drawn battle map featured in the Iwo Jima Map story.

My wife reads Japanese and on the Iwo map of south island the legend that you have marked Mt.(Unintelligible) is, according to my wife “paipu” mountain. The two characters that your expert was unable to read are katakana characters “ha” and “hu” with the round accent mark that changes the pronunciation to “pa” and”pu”. It’s hard to write this and refer to the map too, so I am assuming that the character “i” follows the “pa” character because she said it was “paipu” or the Japanese equivalent of “pipe.” So the translation is “Pipe Mountain.” She speculates that there might have been a tunnel into the mountain. I speculate that there might have been some kind of pipe installation to give it the name “Pipe yama” or Pipe zan” depending upon local pronunciation. We saw the program this evening. I missed the first part of the program so came to the website to get the rest of it. I was very interested in it as the war in the Pacific is of specific interest to me.

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