Monday, May 27, 2013

Noxious Fumes

The year is 1925. In response to rumors that the United States and Europe were developing chemical weapons, the Imperial Japanese Army create a secret base on the island of Ōkunoshima. Here, they begin a special weapons program devoted to the production of chemical weapons like mustard gas, in spite the fact that Japan was one of the nations that signed the Geneva Protocol earlier that year, prohibiting the use of such weapons. This treaty did not forbid the production and storage of poison gas, but Imperial Japan worked in secret nonetheless.

Ōkunoshima was chosen for it's isolation, it being far enough away from population centers like Tokyo to limit the damage of a potential leak. Working from 1927 to 1929, the factory on the island produced over six kilotons of mustard gas and tear gas. Allegedly, working conditions on the island were harsh. Serious safety precautions were not taken which resulted in illness from toxic exposure.

After the war, all documents related to the facility were destroyed, and the stockpile of gas was disposed of by the Allies. Years later, the Japanese government provided financial aid to former workers suffering from the effects of toxic gas exposure. In 1988 the Ōkunoshima Poison Gas Museum was opened.

In the intervening years Ōkunoshima became part of the Inland Sea National Park system and can be reached by ferry from Tadanoumi. Today, the island is home to a hotel and six-hole golf course...


For whatever reason, the island is home to a huge rabbit population. The persistent rumor is that they're the descendents of test subjects for the gas production, a rumor the former director of the poison gas museum denies. No matter the reason, the rabbits on the island are very tame and will approach Humans completely fearlessly.

In fact, don't be surprised if they decide to pile on top of you and just steal any vegetables you might have if you ever visit.

No seriously, an island inhabited by nothing but fluffy bunnies.

 Words cannot express how badly I want to live here.

The biggest question is why. Why are there so many rabbits? And why must life be so cruel? Why must this wonderful place be on the other side of the planet?


mom said...

I know where my next vacation is going to be.

also I think we all know why the population of bunnies is so huge there. riiiiggghhhttttt?!

Shadgrimgrvy said...

They're all genetically engineered!


That's what we're implying?

mom said...

mmhmmm that must be it

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