• My Dreams Seek Revenge: Hiroshima

    June 20, 2017

    Tags: ,
    Posted in: Hooper's War

    Stillman-Hiroshima-690


    I’ve visited Hiroshima many times.


    The thing that always struck me about Hiroshima was simply being there. The train pulled into the station under an announcement that you had arrived in Hiroshima. It was another stop on the bullet train’s long run from Osaka to Fukuoka, so they called out the name as if it was just another stop. I’d get off the train, step out into the sunlight — that sunlight — and I was in Hiroshima. I had the same feeling only once before, taking a bus out of Munich and having the driver announce the next stop as Dachau. Somehow such names feel wrong being said so prosaically.

    I guess no matter how many times I went to Hiroshima, I always expected something different to happen, when in fact nothing happened. There were 200,000 souls out there that no matter how much concrete and paving had been laid down could not have been buried deep enough. I couldn’t see them for the crowds of people pushing into the station, and I couldn’t hear them over the traffic noise.

    But past lives lingered. It couldn’t be helped. The mountains that form the background in the old photos are still backstopping the city. A lot of tall buildings of course now, but the Ota River delta, where thousands drowned trying to cool their bodies and extinguish their burning flesh, is right there. In that way the Japanese had of trying to make the war go away as quickly as they could once it was over, most of the bridges and streets were rebuild right where they’d been before the bomb. Same for most pubic buildings. With a map and some old photos, you could see where you where in 2016 and where you would have been in 1945.

    In August, Hiroshima is hot as hell and twice as humid. You can’t really sweat, there’s so much moisture in the air. Take a fast walk and you feel like you have asthma. But in 2016, you can duck into a McDonald’s not far from the Dome and absorb as much free air conditioning as you’d like. An American there, or in the Peace Park, is as likely to be ignored as just another tourist as he is to become the target of some nice Japanese person wanting to practice English.


    Hiroshima is an imperfect place, and one which will not easily allow you to forget the terrible things that preceeded its day of infamy.

    While grieving for the victims, many outside of Japan feel the Japanese government has yet to fully acknowledge its aggressiveness in plunging East Asia into war, preferring to portray the nation as a victim.

    Indeed, the otherwise moving Hiroshima Museum inside the Peace Park has been chastised by some as focusing too exclusively on a single day, out of a war that began years earlier and claimed millions of innocent lives at the hands of the Japanese military. The criticism is particularly sharp right now, given a rise in militarism occurring under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

    There have also been issues between Japan and Korea regarding Hiroshima. An estimated 40,000 Koreans were injured or killed in the atomic blast, many of them slave laborers kidnapped from Korea and brought to work in Hiroshima’s factories.

    The centerpiece of the Peace Park, the Memorial Cenotaph, was created as the final resting place for the ashes and bones of the bomb’s victims, many of whom were never fully identified. Under Buddhist tradition, without such interment, the souls of those men and women will never rest. Japan, however, only allowed those remains believed to be Japanese to be placed in the Memorial.


    There is still much to atone for, and much to reconcile. The U.S., above all, remains unrepentant. It was only on the 60th anniversary of the bomb that the first American Ambassador ever came to Hiroshima on an August 6th morning to pay respects. Ask most Americans about the bombing, and it would be surprising not to hear the phrase “the Japs deserved it.” There is still not enough for some, even seven decades later.

    Perhaps the oddest part of my visits to Hiroshima was always at the end. I simply got on a train, and left it all behind me.

    Or so I thought each time I tried, because at night my dreams always sought revenge.



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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      “The United States remains unrepentant.”

      We are too busy destroying the rest of the world to rest on our laurels. We are also busy destroying ourselves by destroying our children. The childhood quality of life index just came out. You would think the U.S. ranks in the top 10. Hell not even in the top 20. The United States come in at 36, right below Bosnia and Herzegovina. Fucking pathetic.

      06/20/17 9:41 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      2

      Bravo #1 ! We are #1 (repeat and wave multiple MIC flag$). Thanks Mr. Rich.

      06/20/17 9:55 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      3

      Better to spend our bankrupt dollars on destroyers that cant detect huge cargo ships.

      06/20/17 10:09 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      4

      In the end it wont end well. Tempest fuck it.

      “And by that destiny to perform an act, Whereof what’s past is prologue; what to come, In yours and my discharge,”

      06/20/17 10:20 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      5

      Did Osoff vote for himself today? BDS

      06/20/17 10:26 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      6

      Kushner to visit BB? BDS Have a nice day.

      06/20/17 10:26 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      7

      For those who support wars and the MIC, please take a hike in Death Valley today. Take a small bottle of water.

      06/20/17 10:30 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      8

      (deleted comment saved in the cloud in Utah. Will Colion Noir run for office, and under what name?)Enjoy!

      06/20/17 10:38 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      9

      Who profits from Opium in Afghanistan? Ollie’s old boss? Russia?!

      06/20/17 10:40 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      10

      The amount $pent by the D and R group on the race in Ga. is gross. Open Secrets will be hours of reading and research on the D and R Pigs. Have a nice day!

      06/20/17 11:06 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      11

      Any U.S. press on Chauleena Lyes or North Korea on TV? BDS

      06/20/17 11:29 AM | Comment Link

    • Traven said...

      12

      You walk through memories in this piece with the awareness of the aftermath many years later. I walk through this remembering the innocent ignorance and relief I felt as a 20 year old feeling that maybe the war would finally end and I could go home. We did not understand the horror of nuclear weaponry and we were kept in ignorance for many years afterward. I now look back through eyes and consciousness more like your generation and understand . I have a small shame for that early innocence because my job involved training crews for the war in the Pacific for high altitude bombing and it was them or us. Things look different now.

      06/20/17 11:33 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      13

      At earlier year we are young of course. We learn. We educate, and work towards peace, growing.

      06/20/17 12:07 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      14

      Peter.

      Your conscious is alive and well…. When I was there…. I just felt sad…..

      Rich.

      Orange Pill on Tuesday ….. Not the green one…

      M

      06/20/17 2:36 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      15

      Hey… Rich.

      Found this for you….. Just didn’t want you to be singularly focused.

      Bet he’s into showers too….. But… He’s got a chance in 2020 ???

      https://heatst.com/politics/creepy-joe-former-vice-president-kisses-woman-without-consent/

      M

      06/20/17 6:17 PM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...

      16

      Budda Budda budda http://www.heroes-inc.net//comics/2009-03-25-page08.jpg ; if only their uninterred spirits would haunt the world Into PEACE, N0T Of the grave.

      06/21/17 2:31 PM | Comment Link

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