Tag Archives: hiroshima

70th anniversary of Hiroshima bombing

6 Aug

Today is the 70th anniversary of the 1945 August 6th bombing of Hiroshima, Japan.

The 「原爆ドーム」 (Hiroshima Peace Memorial).

The 「原爆ドーム」 (Hiroshima Peace Memorial).

When I first came to Japan in 1990, it was the year of the 45th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

As always, there was a special memorial in Hiroshima today…and a moment of silence at 8:16AM across Japan.

Paper lanterns were set afloat near the Peace Dome in Hiroshima today in a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing.

Paper lanterns were set afloat near the Peace Dome in Hiroshima today in a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing.

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1945/08/06.08:16

6 Aug

Today (2013 August 6th) is the sixty-eighth anniversary of the atomic bombing of 広島 (Hiroshima, Japan).

image

This is a photo of 「原爆ドーム」.

The name literally means “Atomic Bomb Dome” but it’s usually called “Hiroshima Peace Memorial” in English.

Today in Japan at 8:16AM, there will be a moment of silence.

Truman’s grandson visited Hiroshima

7 Aug

Yesterday (2012 August 6th) was the 67th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima (August 9th will mark the same anniversary of Nagasaki).

Harry Truman was the U.S. President in 1945 who ordered the atomic bombings of Japan.

Every August, there are ceremonies in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki to remember those who died in the bombings…and to try to ensure that no other nuclear weapons are dropped on any other city in the world.

Yesterday, for the first time ever, a member of former U.S. President Harry Truman’s family attended the ceremony in Hiroshima.

Harry Truman’s grandson laid a wreath of flower at the Peace Memorial in Hiroshima.

Harry Truman’s grandson, Clifton Truman Daniel, is an anti-nuclear weapons activist. When he attended the ceremony in Hiroshima, he said ““I’m two generations down the line (from former President Truman). It’s now my responsibility to do all I can to make sure we never use nuclear weapons again.”

Pictures of Hiroshima in autumn

20 Nov

Last Wednesday to Friday, my second daughter took a three-day field trip with her high school class to 広島 (Hiroshima).

Hiroshima is on the other side of the country from 東京 (Tokyo). I imagined that they’d go there by 新幹線 (bullet train)…but they took an airplane flight.

Here are some of the photos she took. (She took many more photos, but I’m not including any of the pictures that have her or her classmates in them.)

This is a famous landmark and symbol of Hiroshima. Before 1945 August 6th, it was an industrial exhibit hall.
The atomic bomb dropped in WW2 detonated directly above it, killing everyone who was inside…but the building was still standing.
It remains exactly how it was after the bombing but the name was changed to 「原爆ドーム」 (“Atomic Bomb Dome”). It’s now a peace memorial and a World Heritage Site.

「原爆ドーム」 ("Atomic Bomb Dome")

This (below) is a statue of Sadako Sasaki who died of leukemia when she was twelve caused by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima (her hometown).  While she was in the hospital, she tried to fold 「千羽鶴」 (1000 Paper Origami Cranes) which are a symbol of health and luck in Japan.
She died before she could complete them.
Click here to read a post that I wrote about her story (and another young Japanese girl with a big story, too).
(Some of young Sadako’s paper origami cranes are in the WTC Momument in New York. Click here to read my post about that.)

"Children's Peace Monument" with statue of Sadako Sasaki.

The 「広島平和記念公園」 (“Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park”):

In the Peace Park, there is the “Peace Flame” which will remain lit until there are no more nuclear weapons in the world, “Peace Bells” which can be rung be visitors to the park in a wish for world peace, and the “Cenotaph (empty tomb) For The Atomic Bomb Victims”…this monument lists the names of all of the victims of the bombing of Hiroshima and has the words 「安らかに眠って下さい 過ちは 繰返しませぬから」 (“Rest in peace, for we will never repeat this mistake”).

The "Cenotaph For Atomic Bomb Victims"

Looking through the Cenotaph For Atomic Bomb Victims, the "Peace Flame" and the "Atomic Bomb Dome" can be seen.

My daughter’s class took the ferry to nearby 宮島 (Miyajima), which is called the “resting place of the gods” and is another World Heritage Site.

The ferry to Miyajima that my daughter's class took.

There are deer on Miyajima.

Miyajima is most famous for 「厳島神社」 (“Itsukushima Shrine“) and it’s wooden Torii gate in the water:

Another landmark of the area is the wooden 「錦帯橋」 (Kintaikyou Bridge) with it’s five arches:

My daughter’s class also got to visit a cave. When they exited the cave, they saw this magnificent view:

All of the photos in this post were taken by my daughter. Please do not use or duplicate any of them without her express permission (which can be obtained through me).

The BBC mocks Japanese bombing survivor

23 Jan

About a year and a half ago I wrote a post about Tsutomu Yamaguchi.

He was the only person officially recognized by the Japanese government as a survivor of both the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Click here to read the post that explains his story in more detail.

Well, I saw on the TV news today about the extremely insensitive “comedy” show that the BBC of England aired that made light of Mr. Yamaguchi’s story.

Japan lodged an official complaint with the BBC and many Japanese people e-mailed the station to express their anger and disappointment over the show which was titled “The Unluckiest Man In The World”.

On the show they laughed and joked about the experiences of Mr. Yamaguchi. With comments such as “(maybe) the bomb landed on him and bounced off”.

The BBC has issued an apology for the episode and removed the video of it from their website, but the surviving members of Mr. Yamaguchi’s family said that they could never forgive them.

Here is the offending broadcast:

Sadako’s crane part of WTC memorial

11 Sep

Today is 2010 September 11.
Nine years since the 2001 September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

Last year I wrote a post about Sadako Sasaki. She was a young girl in Hiroshima when America dropped the atomic bomb on that city in 1945 and she developed leukemia from the radiation and died at the age of twelve.

The story of the 千羽鶴 (“1000 origami cranes”) that she folded while in the hospital is well-known in Japan.
(Click here to read that post.)

Almost all of the origami cranes that Sadako Sasaki folded were cremated with her when she died, but her family kept a few of the cranes.

Sadako Sasaki’s surviving brother learned of a memorial in New York to the Japanese employees of Fuji Bank‘s New York branch in the World Trade Center who died in the 2001 September 11 attacks.
This memorial included thousands of origami paper cranes…and now one of those cranes is one of those folded by young Sadako Sasaki before she died in 1955.

65 years ago in Nagasaki

9 Aug

Today is the sixty-fifth anniversary of the atomic bombing of 長崎 (Nagasaki, Japan).

Last year I wrote a post (click here) about the peace memorials in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

And three days ago, I wrote a post about the 65th anniversary of the attack on Hiroshima.

In Nagasaki today there will be a peace ceremony just as there was in Hiroshima last Friday.
I believe the U.S. ambassador to Japan will attend this ceremony just as his attended Hiroshima’s ceremony.

After the atomic bombing of Japan in August 1945, many U.S. military soldiers and marines were stationed in Japan for the U.S. occupation of Japan that lasted until after the Vietnam War.

One of those U.S. Marines was Joe O’Donnell.

Have you ever heard of him?

He was a photographer in the U.S. Marines and was stationed in Japan to photograph Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the bombings.

What he saw there deeply affected him and convinced him that the atomic bombing of Japan was a mistake.

For many years after he returned to America, he tried to forget what he saw in Japan.

But finally about twenty years ago he decided to share his photos with the world so that maybe the mistakes of the past won’t be repeated.
He showed the photos he took to his son, who then had them published in a book and he also started a MySpace page for his father.

He 1995, Joe O’Donnell was interviewed by Japan’s NHK TV station for a documentary about the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombings. (I remember watching that interview on NHK fifteen years ago).

In that documentary, Joe O’Donnell apologized to the people of Japan, especially the victims of the bombings and their families.

…I want to express to you tonight my sorrow and regret for the pain and suffering caused by the cruel and unnecessary atomic bombings of your cities…No more Hiroshimas! No more Pearl Harbors! No more Nagasakis!

—  (Joe O’Donnell, 1995)

This boy in Nagasaki, Japan is carrying his dead younger brother on his back and he's standing at a cremation pyre, trying to prepare himself to cremate his brother. (photo by Joe O'Donnell, 1945)

These three brothers were orphaned by the bombing of Nagasaki. (photo by Joe O'Donnell, 1945)

As fate would have it, Joe O’Donnell died three years ago today. On 2007 August 9th…the 62nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki!