-Sense of Mission-
SUKUBUN is a word that has been passed down in Okinawa for generations, and it means the “role” or “mission” we are to achieve.
Okinawa Nightingale Project
Learning about Nobu Madanbashi, who laid the foundations for the nursing profession in Okinawa,
is to reflect on the tragic history of these beautiful islands and the spirit of our forebears, and in doing so, experience the strength and warmth of the nursing spirit cultivated therein.
Just as Florence Nightingale is beloved all over the world, we hope to convey the story of the southern islands’ own Nightingale to the rest of the world, teaching future generations about the importance of peace from the perspective of nursing.
From the picture book “Sukubun”
Scene: Late May, 1945 - Retreat from Okinawa military hospital
SUKUBUN 01: Raising Awareness
Passing Down the Story of Mother Nurse
Nobu Madanbashi was a girl who aspired to become a nurse to help others during the war in Okinawa. To honor her life which she devoted to nursing and share her story and ideals, the picture book “ Sukubun (e-book)” was created and published on the official Mother Nurse website. Please enjoy getting to know Nobu Madanbashi through her story.
Donations received will be used to promote multilingual translation of the picture book “Sukubun” and the official website. We will also use them to gift the book (Japanese version), among other things.
Donations received from: Japanese Red Cross Society, International Committee of the Red Cross (Tokyo Representative Office), Japanese Red Cross Society, Okinawa Chapter, Japanese Nursing Association, Japanese Nursing Association Library, Okinawa Nursing Association, Okinawa Prefectural Library, Okinawa Prefectural College of Nursing Library, Meio University Library, Okinawa Chubu Hospital, University of the Ryukyus Hospital, and many others
SUKUBUN 02: Lecture
Sharing the “Living History” of the War and Nursing
The old photographs and handwritten letters left behind by Nobu Madanbashi are valuable materials that tell the history of the war and nursing in Okinawa, and each one is filled with her sentiments. By experiencing the “living history” of the war and nursing through her experiences, we hope that you will deepen your understanding of not only the misery of war, but also the preciousness of life and the importance of peace, and above all, the nursing with which we are all so familiar. The lecture will feature a special screening of the 30th “Florence Nightingale Medal” award ceremony in 1985, where Nobu Madanbashi became the first person from Okinawa Prefecture to be chosen as the recipient of the world’s highest nursing honor. The lecture will be held in Japan only.
SUKUBUN 03: Guided Tour of Battle Sites
Okinawa Nightingale Guide Tour
Tour Battle Sites with the Nightingale Spirit
At the young age of 27, Nobu Madanbashi stood on the battlefield as the chief nurse of the military hospital and, filled with the spirit of Nightingale, devoted herself to caring for the sick and injured to the very end. Guided tours will take you through the southern part of the main island of Okinawa and retrace Nobu’s footsteps during the war as told in the “Sukubun” picture book, all while offering the reverential feel of a memorial service.
We will explain in detail the sentiments she quietly expressed for the victims, having experienced war on the front lines, as well as the unknown efforts of courageous young nurses.
*The content of the guided tour will be determined according to the number of people, the duration, fees and other requests.
SUKUBUN 04: Research
Unraveling History and Passing Down the “Spirit of Nursing”
Okinawa was governed by the US military for 27 years before being returned to mainland Japan in 1972.
How did nursing in Okinawa develop during the turbulent postwar era, and what supported the spirits of the women who lived during that era?
In 1947, two years after the end of the war, “Okinawa Nightingale Tower” was built by Nobu and her friends using a broken airplane propeller and wheels to memorialize the nurses who were victims of the war. For a time, it was installed in the schoolyard of a nursing school. In addition, through the American-style nursing education that she received from her beloved teacher, Juanita Watterworth (U.S. military nursing adviser), Nobu trained many nursing instructors.
By examining the origins of Okinawan nursing and discovering its history, we would like to pass down the spirit of nursing cultivated in Okinawa with care. The results of the research projects conducted using donations will be converted into reports that are made public in upcoming planned exhibitions and on the official website and social media.
*The “Okinawa Nightingale Tower” is currently stored in the repository of the Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum.
Our Perspective on the History of the War
We nurture feelings of gratitude by storing up thoughts of the beauty of the island that sustained the hearts of our ancestors.
Over the course of the war in Okinawa and the long road to recovery, many unknown nurses worked behind the scenes and devoted themselves to caring for the sick and injured and praying for their health.
In the memoirs where they wrote about their experiences after the war, no matter how harsh and difficult the situation became, the colors of the flowers that bloomed around them and the natural beauty of Okinawa shone through, and this soothed my heart.”
The beauty of this island has continued to soothe people throughout the ages.
Color is created by illuminating the darkness with light. Just as color expresses beauty, shining light on the monochrome tones of the dark past and confronting history by superimposing this on our vibrant daily lives makes us feel closer to the ancestors who forged this peaceful era and makes us grateful for sharing this vital connection.
Conveying the History of These Beautiful Southern Islands
to the World
Through the Story of Mother Nurse
Okinawa, which is blessed with a subtropical climate, is famous for being one of the world’s leading tourist destinations, but little is known about the history of its tourism, which began with a journey to honor the dead
Enjoying the beauty of the natural scenery and different cultures unique to the southern islands is the true pleasure of traveling to Okinawa, but perhaps sharing the sorrowful history hidden behind this beauty and reminding everyone of the preciousness of life is the “sukubun” (mission) that Okinawa should convey to the world, the essence of life that should be learned.
We believe that our generation, which has not experienced war, must convey the history of this beautiful island to the world while thinking about the future of our children.
And we should do so through the story of Nobu Madanbashi, who taught us the spirit of Mother Nurse.
Supporting the Okinawa Nightingale Project
The Nobu Madanbashi Institute is a non-profit general foundation based on the conditions of Article 3 of the Order for Enforcement of the Corporation Tax Act, and the capital for its business activities come partly from Nobu Madanbashi’s inheritance, business income from the institute’s activities, proceeds from Mother Nurse LLC, and the kind support of those who believe in the institute’s goals and mission. The contributions we collect will be managed with care and applied effectively to promote our projects.
Information About Contributions
To make a contribution to the Nobu Madanbashi Institute,
please apply upon agreeing to the confirmation items beforehand.
We will honor your name and message for many years to come.
Please be our patron and patroness.
The Meaning Behind Our Logo
The kanji character for “kan” in the Japanese word “kango” (nursing) consists of the character for “eye” underneath the character for “hand,” which conveys the image of shading one’s eyes with one’s hand to observe something. The design is based on the kanji “kan,” which indicates the fundamental approach of caring for others with affection and consideration, and this serves as the symbol of our project.
Our logo consists of the letters “M” and “N,” which serve both as an abbreviation of “Mother Nurse” and as the initials for Nobu Madanbashi. The right triangles symbolize triangular bandages and other types of medical dressing, and the navy blue color is inspired by the uniforms worn by nurses of the Red Cross.