~ Please note that I am aware that this topic is controversial, however, I am writing this down hoping that more and more people will learn something from my blog. Thank you. ~
Hiroshima is a place where my dad used to live and spent a bit of his childhood. I have visited my uncle in Hiroshima when he was living there. Not far from where I live. Somewhere I feel connect with.
Every time I visit Hiroshima, I feel something unique. Something that our ancestors are trying to tell us. Some voices that need to be heard. Millions of people who left their shadows on the city hall, a bento box that got burnt up, tons of dead bodies that had never be identified… You start to feel something weighs heavy on your mind. You try to express what it feels like, but any words you use sound just so superficial.
On May 27th, American President Barack Obama visited Hiroshima, which was something big and a historical moment for us. He is the first American president that visited Hiroshima, after over 71 years. I, of course paid attention to his speech, wondering what he is going to say yet, I still couldn’t help believing that this day has come while I was alive. And that an American president meets the victims who actually has suffered from nuclear weapons. I wasn’t sure if it’d ever come true. I have felt that time has stopped, while the victims held their hands, talked with Obama, and hugged him with the silence. That moment was just enough. We have no idea how much they had waited for this time to come. Whether Obama truly meant everything he said on his speech or not, I appreciate him visiting there and having a look at what really happened in Hiroshima 71 years ago exactly where he was standing. We take this as a huge step for nuclear disarmament. Our Prime Minister Abe strongly emphasized that our generation must take the responsibility for world peace, and expect this our relationship with The US to bring peace to the world.
I came across the criticism going on in the US, which is :”Obama apologized Japanese people about nuclear bombs.That was wrong.” It makes me so sad when people are arguing if that was an apology or not, because to me that is a selfish idea where they are worried if the US surrender to us or not. Really, does it matter that much when we are now working on world peace together? So I see the different points that they made on this from us, Japanese people. Firstly, Obama made it clear about that he was not going to apologize on his speech beforehand. So officially he didn’t apologize. For some american people it seemed it was an apology. However, here in Japan, I don’t see anyone talking about if that was an apology or not.— because we don’t ask for an apology in the first place. Doesn’t matter to us if it was, or not. I have to emphasize this. Keiko Sasamori, who is also one of the victims said something so remarkable on this regard. ” there is something more important than asking for an apology after 70 years. I hope that President Obama would share his feelings with American citizens, about what he felt, what he thought when praying for the Monuments, and taking a look at the Atomic Bomb museum when he is back in the US. His one voice could be a bigger influence than mine.” She reflects Japanese people’s thoughts on this. What means more to us, and what we wish more is that we must not repeat this tragedy again. I am sure that is what our ancestors were hoping for. I would lie if I said the past that the US did to Japan doesn’t bother us anymore, but hey, we would rather see the future than looking for something to blame in the past, which is one of the reasons why you don’t see Japanese people angry much. Well, this has also a lot to do with Japanese education that GHQ forced us to though, but I am not going to get into this now. I have made a post regarding GHQ. The relevant post is this and about the thoughts on World War 2 is here so check it out if you’re interested.
I encourage you to visit Hiroshima and see what happened through your eyes. Also I don’t forget about Nagasaki. Victims in Nagasaki wished he would have come there as well.
Today under the blue clear sky, I see people having a everyday life in peace… which we never should stop feeling grateful for. Remembering that there used to be people who really wanted that life but couldn’t have it…. Whispering ありがとう arigatou, meaning thank you in Japanese, this is a word that I love. In kanji you can write 有難う. 有 is to exist, and 難う is ‘difficult, hard’. So literally in Kanji, arigatou means it is difficult to find its existence. It is so precious to find people or things that we are feeling grateful, that is why we say “Arigatou” to them.
PS. I will be talking about this on my friend’s podcast. I will post the link whenever it is out. I will keep you updated. 🙂 Arigatou for reading!