Tag Archives: war

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!

Advertisements

65 Years Ago

4 Mar

Yesterday was the Japanese holiday 「ひな祭」 (Doll Festival).
Click here to see my FAQ about it.

People with daughters decorate their homes with an elaborate princess doll display.
We have 「ひな人形」 (princess dolls), but we haven’t set them up since my kids were young.

It’s also common for families with daughters to eat sushi for dinner on this day. We had an excellent sushi dinner yesterday.

Also, Tuesday was the 65th anniversary of the famous World War Two battle on 「硫黄島」 (Iwo-to (aka: “Iwo-Jima”)) between the U.S. Marines and the Japanese Army.

The photograph of the U.S. Marines raising the American flag on the island is very famous.

In honor of this anniversary, there was a ceremony held on this island to remember those who died in that very bloody battle.
Both U.S. Marines and Japanese soldiers attended this ceremony. The actual remaining survivors of the “Battle Of Iwo-Jima” are too old to make the journey, so younger Marines and soldiers attended in their place.

Ceremony in honor of the 65th anniversary of the "Battle Of Iwo-Jima"

By the way, the name of the island is correctly called “Iwo-To“…”Iwo-Jima” is another possible pronunciation of the characters 「硫黄島」 that spell the island’s name and during the war, it seems, the U.S. military mistakenly began calling the island “Iwo-Jima” and that remained in use after World War Two. But it was recently officially changed back to the original name of  “Iwo-To“.

History timeline

21 Nov

By no ways a complete list, but here is a timeline of some highlights of world history.

Japan-related dates are written in red.

  • 1281: Mongolia was conquering most of Asia. As the Mongolian Navy was heading to Japan to invade, a giant typhoon sunk their entire fleet. Thus saving Japan.
    That typhoon was called 「神風」 (“Kamikaze“), which means “Divine Wind“, in Japan.The World War 2 Kamikaze pilots were named after this typhoon.
  • 1346: The Black Plague started and eventually killed nearly half of Europe’s population.
  • 1492: Christopher Columbus lands in America. But he believed he was in India and called the inhabitants “Indians“.
  • 1603: 「江戸時代」 (The “Edo Period“) begins in Japan.
  • 1680: The 将軍 (Shougun), Tsunayoshi, loved dogs and enacted a number of laws protecting dogs and making harming them a criminal offense.He is therefore often called “The Dog Shogun”.
  • 1776: America declares it’s independence from England.
  • 1789: French Revolution began.
  • 1804: Napoleon became the Emperor of France.
  • 1854: U.S. Naval Commodore Matthew Perry forced Japan to open to trade with the West.At first Japan resisted and the island of Odaiba was built in Tokyo Bay to defend Japan from the American forces. But Perry’s fleet of black ships were too intimidating and Japan enacted law to allow trade with the West in general and America in particular.The resulting influx of American goods and culture sparked Japan’s “Westernization”.

An Ukiyoe portrait of Cmdr. Perry. His name is written as 「ぺルリ」 ("Peruri") because that's what it sounded like to the Japanese when Perry said his name with his American accent.

  • 1859: Charles Darwin published his book “The Origin Of Species“.
  • 1861: The U.S. Civil War began.
  • 1868: 「明治時代」 (The “Meiji Period“) started in Japan. This was a period of modernization.
  • 1876: Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone.
  • 1904: The Russia-Japan War began. Russia underestimated Japan and lost the war.
  • 1905: Albert Einstein published his “Theory Of Relativity” (E=MC?)
  • 1912: The “unsinkable” RMS Titanic sunk.
  • 1914 – 1918: World War 1.
  • 1937: The zeppelin Hindenberg exploded over the U.S. state of New Jersey.
  • 1939 – 1945: World War 2.
  • 1941 December 7: Japan attacked the U.S. Naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
  • 1945 August 6: America dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of 広島 (Hiroshima).
  • 1945 August 9: America dropped a second atomic bomb on Japan. This time on the city of 長崎 (Nagasaki).
  • 1961: Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin became the first man in space, starting the “Space Race” to the moon between America and Russia.
  • 1964: Tokyo, Japan hosted the Summer Olympics. The first Olympic games hosted in an Asian city.
  • 1969: U.S. Astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first (and so far, only) man to walk on the moon.
  • 1972: Sapporo, Japan hosted the Winter Olympics.
  • 1990 October 17: I (“Tokyo Five”) came to Japan.
  • 1995 January 17: 「阪神淡路大震災」 (Hanshin-awajidai-shinsai), (“The Kobe Earthquake“) destroyed the city of 神戸 (Kobe, Japan).

    A collapsed overpass after the Kobe Earthquake; 1995 January.

  • 1998: Nagano, Japan hosted the Winter Olympics.
  • 2001 September 11: Both of the World Trade Center in New York City, USA and The Pentagon in Washington D.C. are attacked by commercial airplanes hijacked by terrorists. Both of the towers in NYC were destroyed completely.
  • I know that I left out many important dates. Feel free to write any that you can think of in the comments section of this post.

    And did you witness any historic events?

    Peace Memorials

    9 Aug

    As I mentioned a few days ago (Click here for the post), August 6 marked the 64th anniversary of the atomic bombing of 広島 (Hiroshima, Japan) and today is the 64th anniversary of the bombing of 長崎 (Nagasaki, Japan).

    Today in 長崎 (Nagasaki, Japan) there will be a memorial service and a moment of silence will be observed all over Japan at 11:01 AM.

    In 広島 (Hiroshima, Japan), there is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial to remember the bombing of the city and help prevent another atomic bombing from happening anywhere in the world.
    In Japanese, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial is called 「原爆ドーム」 which literally means “Atomic Bomb Dome“. This building was the only building to stand nearly intact in Hiroshima after the bombing. It was originally a museum, now it’s a peace memorial.

    原爆ドーム (Hiroshima Peace Memorial)

    原爆ドーム (Hiroshima Peace Memorial)

    Here’s a photo of  Hiroshima in 1945 after the atomic bombing. The museum that is now the 「原爆ドーム」 (Hiroshima Peace Memorial) can be seen:

    hiroshima-1945

    長崎 (Nagasaki, Japan) also has a peace memorial. It’s called 「長崎平和公園」 (“Nagasaki Peace Park“) and, just like Hiroshima does on August 6th, there’s a memorial service in 「長崎平和公園」 (“Nagasaki Peace Park“) every August 9th.

    The "Peace Statue" at 「長崎平和公園」 ("Nagasaki Peace Park").

    The "Peace Statue" at 「長崎平和公園」 ("Nagasaki Peace Park").