Monday, August 6, 2012

Place #5: Nagasaki cont'd- Peace Park 5カ所目:長崎続きー平和公園

The next day, we devoted a whole day to explore the Peace Park. It meant a lot to us that we visited this place, as we remembered the shocking response each of us had when we visited the Hiroshima Peace Museum during a school field trip. To visit the other place that got bombed, Nagasaki, was to pay the respects and to complete circle of the learning what happened in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945.

 次の日は、平和公園へ足を運んだ。高校の時の旅行で各自広島の原爆資料館へ行ったときの衝撃が胸に残っていた私たちにとって、長崎に行ける事はとても意味のあることだった。もう一カ所の長崎に行って敬意を払うことは、1945年広島と長崎で起こった事についての学びを完了させること でもある。

First, we visited the ground zero, marked by the black pillar. It is always strange that places with historical significance like these, have a powerful powerful atmospheres to them, an aura, a vibe that has a physical effect on the body. Here too, we both felt this indescribable feeling and had an automatic moment of silence. The human brain and the imagination is powerful and so effective in trying to understand something, trying to imagine, but even that you know is not enough in trying to comprehend what went on or what people went through.


But we believed that it is this effort, this will to try and understand and learn, that is meaningful- for ourselves but to other people whom we share our impressions with.


We were told by people that stayed at the same hostel, that you only needed one hour for the museum. To the contrary, we ended up spending 3,4 hours at the A-Bomb museum. It was really hard, but so interesting. We saw countless clocks that had stopped at the hour of the bombing, 11:02am, many many painful photographs, glass bottles melted into weird shapes due to the blast, and so on- it is truly an experience- of looking, touching, thinking, learning, really feeling, and imagining. It isn't easy or comfortable, but I think that it is really important in trying to understand what really happened, and to take away an important message from this event and all the lives that were lost. 


We had to cut the museum visit shorter as we had a set time to catch the train to our next destination- the hours we had were not enough but at the same time, our heads were getting tired so we left telling one another to come back one day and taking more in. We went then to see the famous Peace Park Statue, and learned its deep significances. Created by Saibou Kitamura, the 10m statue is of a man sitting in a special position. The right hand pointing up shows the threat of nuclear weapons. The left hand symbolizes eternal peace. The face with the closed eyes is praying for the bomb victims. The right leg which is folded signifies calmness and silence after Nagasaki was attacked, while the left leg shows the lives it wanted to stand up for and safe.

It made me think of the nuclear power issues in Japan- the raised right hand also signified the threat of nuclear energy. It is up to the people in the present to stand up and claim change, to protect and to save the future generations.  


これを見て考えることは、まだ「原発」という脅威も世の中に残っていること。今いる人たちで立ち上がって、 変化を求め、未来の世代を守り救わなければならない。

We also saw many many monuments given as gifts to Nagasaki from different countries.

Another monument that caught our attention was the Bell. Beneath it were many many water bottles, and we realized that they were there for the victims who died from the bombings, crying for help and crying for water.

A thousand cranes to wish this happens never again. 
Hiroshima and Nagasaki, should not have happened once. 
After this experience, we made time to visit the Hiroshima A-Bomb Museum a second time as well.


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