India Peace Memorial, Tiddim Road, Lokpaching, Imphal, Manipur

The India Peace Memorial was built in 1994 by the Japanese Government to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Imphal. It is the only recent memorial in India to be built by the Japanese.

Located on the Tiddim Road near the village of Maibam, the memorial was built on the site of the Battle of Red Hill - a nine day skirmish between the British and the Japanese as part of the much larger campaign for Imphal. Originally under the control of the British Army, Red Hill was attacked on the evening of the 20th of May by 500 Japanese troops. Nine days of vicious fighting ensued between the two sides until Allied reinforcements arrived in the form of infantry, armour, sappers, and two troops of tanks and reclaimed Red Hill for the British Army. It was the closest the Imperial Japanese Army got to Imphal from the south during the Battle of Imphal and consequently, one of the biggest losses with only 40 out of the 500 estimated to have survived.

Dedicated to the Japanese troops that lost their life at this site and the wider Battle of Imphal, the memorial consists only of concrete walls, a red sandstone floor and three large uncut sandstone blocks at the far end of the site. It is said that each of the blocks symbolises the blood spilt of the Japanese, Indian and British soldiers at the Battle of Imphal. Nearby another memorial stands as testament to the Japanese men who lost their lives in the region during World War II. Built in 1977, the more traditional looking structure is inscribed with Japanese passages and is thought to have been funded by the survivors of those who fought near Tiddim Road.

Sources and related Web-links: