The ANA Flight NH58 Memorial

As I continued to look at cases of memorialisation for public transportation crashes in Japan, after having studied the JL123 crash for many years, I also visited the ANA flight NH58 crash (also known as the Shizukuishi crash) (全日空機雫石衝突事故) memorial. Having read about the crash in books, I learnt more about the crash when visiting the ANA Safety Education Center.

In terms of the accident itself, a summary of what happened can be found on Wikipedia. The flight was a Japanese domestic flight from Sapporo to Tokyo, operated by All Nippon Airways (ANA). On 30 July 1971, at 14:04 local time, a Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-86F Sabre jet fighter collided with the Boeing 727 airliner operating the flight, causing both aircraft to crash. All 162 occupants on the airliner were killed, while the Sabre pilot, a trainee with the JASDF, freed himself from the airplane after the collision and survived. This incident led to the resignation of both the head of Japan’s Defense Agency and the JASDF chief of staff. The loss of Flight 58 was the deadliest aviation disaster at the time, surpassing the Kham Duc C-130 shootdown in 1968 and the crash of Viasa Flight 742 in 1969, and remained so until the crash of Aeroflot Flight 217 thirteen months later. It remains the deadliest accident suffered by All Nippon Airways, and the third-deadliest on Japanese soil behind China Airlines Flight 140 and JAL Flight 123.

In terms of access, when I visited the memorial, I took a train to Morioka (off to the right on the map below) and then hired a car from there. It is a very straight forward drive – you just follow the signs for Shizukuishi. There are a few spaces for parking cars, and then there is a climb to the memorial site (note that the name of the forest, at least in Japanese, has changed slightly).

Shizukuishi map

I visited the site in September 2017. By chance, on the day I was there, the man who maintains the site was also there so he was able to point out some things to me and provide additional information about the site.

While it is very easy to walk around the site, despite the nature of the accident, which meant that bodies were scattered over a wide area, there are no individual markers as are found at Osutaka-no-One for the JL123 crash.

There are a number of memorials around the site. The first main one you come to is the following one…

After that there is a small building with various artefacts relating to the crash. This is a bit like what the building at Irei-no-Sono used to be like before it was modified, as well as one of the huts on Osutaka-no-One.

Further along, you walk along a path that brings you to another memorial…

Walking around the site, it was possible to see some signs of modifications to the memorial since it was first established, although it was clear also that the memorial hall could do with the sort of modification that the one at Irei-no-Sono has seen (there is almost no information about the crash itself at the site and many of the items are hard to read now). However, in relation to my my article looking at where modifications are made to public transportation accidents, it is marked as one of those that have seen a modification (see Table 1 in that article). If I were to continue my research in this area, I would like to discover more about how the modifications came about and why there have not been any further ones and and consider this alongside the triggers I developed in my article.

In relation to some of my other research an interests, after visiting the site in 2017, I managed to get some photos of the shinkansen near Morioka – see this post for more information.

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Mike Unher says:

    Hello. I walked up to the site today (drizzling rain and fine autumnal colors!). I am wondering if this was the actual crash site, or simply a memorial. Thank you.


    1. HoodCP says:

      It’s where a large percentage of the wreckage and bodies came down. If you got into the hut, there’s a faded map that shows the detail. One body fell on the local road rather than the memorial site area.


      1. M. Unher says:

        By “the hut”, do you mean the wooden shelter at the top of the stairs, where the sign-in booklet is kept? Not the mausoleum, I assume… Thanks.


      2. HoodCP says:

        The concrete building – more mausoleum than hut I suppose. On the left hand side of the site soon after you get to the top.


      3. M. Unher says:

        I thought so… It was locked, so I will try to scale the 550 steps again soon, or wait until next spring (snow predicted this week…). Thank you.


      4. HoodCP says:

        I don’t think it’s often opened. I got lucky when I visited as the site curator was there clearing dead leave, etc. He opened it up and explained things to me – including the map which is in a frame but not hanging up.


      5. Mike Unher says:

        Perhaps they’ll open it on July 30th, the anniversary. By the way, have you documented the memorials along the Rikuchu coast regarding the tsunami of 2011?


      6. HoodCP says:

        Haven’t done anything related to 3/11. Still concentrating on transportation accident sites (as per list on the page about a recent article). There are others looking at 3/11, I think.


      7. HoodCP says:

        It probably is open on 30 July. Believe official memorial activities have stopped, but some families and others still go on the day


  2. Mike Unher says:

    We found out today that there was some vandalism up there recently. According to a friend, it was carried out by some teenagers intent on disturbing the ghosts and other spirits.


    1. HoodCP says:

      That’s awful. Thanks for letting me know.


      1. Mike Unher says:

        Ironic that an ad appeared at the news site… for a security camera.


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