I first visited Israel in 1967.
A few weeks after my arrival, war began and Israel occupied vast territories.
After some time, I saw some white rubble scattered on the field around a kibbutz. It was only after seeing an old map, which had been printed before the creation of the state of Israel, that I understood that these were ruins of Palestinian villages.
This was how I came to know about the issue of Palestine.
People have disappeared from the villages, the names of the villages have disappeared from maps, and people who remember about the old times pass away one after another. On top of it, the world has kept hiding all this.
Nowadays, only extremely few people who remember about 1948, when people became refugees and the villages were destroyed, remain.
60 years from this Palestinian catastrophe called Nakba, the number of people who suffer keeps increasing.
I wanted to make records of the vanished villages and people, and also to remember them, so I have started to work on this vast archive with the help of many people.
"Ryuichi Hirokawa Archives - Palestine 1948 NAKBA" consists of nine chapters with thirty DVDs, as we will show you in the "contents" section later.
I have devoted many chapters of this work to issues that the Jewish people and Israel are currently facing, so that the audience can understand the depth of this problem.
In the English version, we have inserted timing codes in each chapter for researchers to reference in articles or reports.
I have tried to make the last chapter, Chapter 9, into a structure which I hope second and third generation refugees might find helpful to investigate about their ancestral villages.
I hope this work will be useful to help people understand the issue of Palestine. Even more, I hope that it will contribute even slightly to resolution of the issue.
Endorsements to Ryuichi Hirokawa Archives Palestine 1948 NAKBA
The massive film archives, which Ryuichi Hirokawa has accumulated during the course of his forty-year engagement with the Palestine Question, have immeasurable value as oral history documents as well as a compilation of oral-visual histories offered in a package fitting to a new era. No intellectual attempts, be it a study on Palestine -Jewish questions, the Middle East and Islamic world, International Relations or War and Peace, can ignore this important work. The archives are equipped with a search and adduction function to accommodate the needs of academic researchers. This will likely facilitate widespread use in the international community. Given this potential of opening up a new public sphere, the arrival of the archives edition surely is a groundbreaking event for the Japanese society that has been seriously committed to the Palestine Question.
Yuzo Itagaki, Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo
The archives edition is extremely valuable for researchers in Israel-Palestine issues as it contains many testimonies and visual images made available for the first time in the world. I believe the archives will not only help rethinking of the NAKBA and wider sharing of its memories but also mark the beginning of a new quest for solutions to still-lingering problems and those issues not well-known to the Japanese society, such as the question of the state and identity.
Akira Usuki, Professor of Japan Women's University
Contents of Ryuichi Hirokawa Archives
Palestine 1948 NAKBA
CHAPTER 1 What Happened in 1948
1-1 The Two Daliyas
-- Residents of Kibbutz Dalia
-- Villagers from Daliyat al-Rawha
1-2 From the Jewish Viewpoint
The Myth of Independence Borne Out of Calamity Elal Pered—Jew, Former Commander of Palmach
Tragedies of Jews Ora Rutenberg – Jewish resident of Kibbutz Kfar Etzyon
1-3 In Search of Truth in History
Haganah and Palmach Pinhas Ophel -- Jew, Former Palmach Trooper
Trends of Jewish Political Groups Akiva Orr -- Jew, Former Matzpen Member
Activities of the Jewish Right Wing Itzhak Hason -- Jew, Former Right Winger
Memories of Battle Amnon Neuman – Jew, Former Palmach Trooper
How to Face History Akiva Orr – Jew, Former Matzpen member
Excavation and Justification of History Benny Morris -- Jew, Professor of History
The Truth of 1948 Ilan Pappe – Jew, Professor of History
CHAPTER 2 Massacres in Villages and Towns
2-1 Dayr Yasin Village Meir Pail --Jew, Former Palmach Commander
Yehuda Lapidot – Jew, Former Irgun (right-wing militia) commander
Sharif Kanafani – Jew, Anthropologist
Munif Jaber / Ibrahim Hamid / Mustafa Hamideh / Fahmi Jaber / Watfah Zaidan
-- Villagers from Dayr Yasin
2-2 Tantura Village
Muhammed Tanzi – Palestinian, Director of the Tantura Historical Archives
Fawzi Tanzi / Ali Mustafa -- Villager from Tantura Theodor Katz -- Jewish Historian
Yoel Solnik -- Veteran of the Alexandroni Brigade
2-3 Dawayima Village
Sharif Kanafani -- Palestinian Anthropologist
Ibrahim Najufa -- Second-generation Refugee from Dawayima, History Researcher
Haim Abradam – Jewish resident of Amatzia
Haddad Mustafa / Rahbiya Sabateen / Salim Sabateen / Khalid Abu Tamaha --Villagers from Dawayima
2-4 Lydda Town
Arnaki Ahmed -- Palestinian in Lydda, Pinhas Ophel – Jew, Former Palmach Trooper
CHAPTER 3 Palestinians in Israel
3-1 Iqrit and Kafr Bir'im Villages
Mohammed Bakri -- Palestinian Film Actor/Director Bassem Jacob -- Second-generation Refugee from Iqrit
Jacob Ayat -- Second-generation Refugee
from Iqrit Tomah Maghzar -- Refugee from Kafr Bir`im
Assem Abu-Heija -- Palestinian Resident of New ‘Ayn Hawd Dan Benarie -- Jewish Resident of Old ‘Ayn Hawd
3-3 Seeking Equality
Resistance or Coexistence? Mohammed Bakri – Palestinian Film Actor/Director
The Hebron Massacre
Juday – Palestinian Pharmacist in Israel
A Father Who Lost His Son Hassan Asri, Palestinian resident of Sakhnin
CHAPTER 4 Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
4-1 The Massacre of 1982
4-1-1 The Massacre of Sabra and Shatila - The Testifiers 
Ellen Siegel -- A nurse, Jewish American, Shahila Rudaine / Milane Borje -- Witnesses of massacre
4-1-2 The Massacre of Sabra and Shatila - The Testifiers 
Amne Banad (Missing People from the Massacre),
Dareen and Sabreen / Nadim Nasser (The Story of a Twin Sister) Beit Atfal al-Somud (Children's Home)
4-1-3 The Massacre of Sabra and Shatila - The Testifiers 
Iftikar Shleiff / Fatima Touza / Amne Hamdan / Abdel-Nasser Alameh / Sanaa Salsawi / Samih Haziza / Abir Brir
4-2 Kifah’s Story
Mervat Afifi / Kifah Afifi / Leah Tzemel / Yasmin Hasaneen
CHAPTER 5 Occupation, Peace and War 1967 – 2007
CHAPTER 6 Jewish Peace Activists
6-1 Working with Palestinian People 
Peace Now, Gush-Shalom, Uri Avnery - Former Knesset Member, Women in Black,
Ta'ayush, Yeshayahu Leibovitz - Professor at Hebrew University, Yesh G'vul, Zochrot
6-1 Working With Palestinian People 
Daria Lando - Jewish kindergarten manager, Pnina Feiler – Jew, "Physicians for Human Rights"
6-2 Matzpen 
Giyora Noyman / Ehud and Aviva Engil / Marius Shatnell / Michael Balshevski /
Matzpen Symposium (Eran Tubinel / Leah Tzemel / Ahmad Massalwi / Haim Hanegbi / Akiva Orr)
6-2 Matzpen  Akiva Orr, Oded Pilavsky
6-3 Interviews with Shlomo Sand  （October 1993 - July 2000）
No.1 October 1993 -- What the Peace Agreement Will Bring About
No.2 October 1993 -- Withdrawal of Settlements and Russian Immigrants
No.3 March 1994 -- Conversation With a Taxi Driver
No.4 March 1994 – One Crime Justifying Another Crime
No.5 November 1995 -- Assassination of the Prime Minister, and the "Promised Land"
No.6 November 1995 -- Will Israel Change?
No.7 April 1997 -- What People Can Create Out of Despair
No.8 July 2000 – The Nation State and Democracy
6-3 Interviews with Shlomo Sand  （September 2000 – November 2006）
No.9 September 2000 -- Oriental Jews No.10 October 2000 -- The Second Intifada
No.11 November 2000 -- Democratizing Israel No.12 March 2001 --“More Land, Fewer Goats”
No.13 July 2001 --“Ugliness of the Strong” No.14 September 2001--“State of Apartheid”
No.15 October 2001 --“Assassination of a Minister” No.16 January 2002 -- Suicide Bomb Attacks
No.17 February 2002 --“Intensified Clashes” No.18 July 2003 -- People Against the Peace Process
No.19 July 2003 --“Return of the Refugees” No.20 January 2005 -- Israel's "Civil War"
No.21 November 2006 -- Who Are the Jews?
CHAPTER 7 Jewish Identity
7-1 Biblical Archeology Shlomo Sand, Professor of History, Tel Aviv University
Ze'ev Herzog, Professor of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University
Adam Zartal, Professor of
Archaeology, Haifa University
7-2 Biblical Studies Nadav Na'aman, Professor of Tel Aviv University
7-3 Genetics Batsheva Bonne-Tamir , Professor of Human Genetics, Tel Aviv University
7-4 Resolution of the Jewish Conversion Law Tedi Tzuker, Member of Meretz Party
7-5 Jewish Religion and Jewish People Akiva Orr, Former Matzpen Member
7-6 "Neturei Karta" Josua Scoult, A Religious Jew against Zionism
7-7 Nation and Religion Shlomo Sand, Professor of History, Tel Aviv University
7-8 Oriental Jew Shlomo Sand, Professor of History, Tel Aviv University
7-9 Jewish people of the Khazar Empire Yehud Yaari, TV
CHAPTER 8 Returning to the Villages
8-1 Zakariyya Village Ziad Shamluk, Palestinian , Co-chair of the Ibdaa Cultural Center
8-2 Tall al-Safi Village Ramadan Abu-Bahadel, A Boy from the Shaati Refugee Camp
Muhammad, Uncle of Ramadan, Azmi Ra'az, Son of Ex-chief of Tall al-Safi village
8-3 Barqusya Village Omar Kashaan, Second-generation Refugee from Barqusya
8-4 Mi'ar Village Ali Taha, Palestinian writer and refugee from Mi’ar
Lifta Village Mohammed Musa, Refugee from Lifta
CHAPTER 9 Palestinian Villages Demolished (286 total)
9-1 The District of Acre (Akka) - 16 Villages
District of Acre (Akka) - 8 Villages The District of Beisan - 9 Villages,
9-3 The District of Haifa - 38 Villages
9-4 The District of Haifa - 5 Villages The District of Hebron - 15 Villages
The District of Jaffa - 17 Villages
9-5 The District of Jerusalem - 27 Villages
9-6 The District of Jenin - 4 Villages The District of Nazareth - 5 Villages
The District of Al-Ramla - 39 Villages
9-7 The District of Safad - 41 Villages
9-8 The District of Tiberias - 15 Villages The District of Tulkarem - 8 Villages