Hiroshima, a historic city.  

Posted by ainul ilyani in

Now these questions are not new. War, in one form or another, appeared with the first man. At the dawn of history, its morality was not questioned; it was simply a fact, like drought or disease -- the manner in which tribes and then civilizations sought power and settled their differences.~ Barack Obama
Each country possesses its history, holds its respective chronicle. Bitterness, sweetness, happy and sorrow, all are blended and unified to construe History. History itself tells the origin of one’s country no matter how great or weak the country is, a matter of life and death, history of one’s country introduces what Patriotism is all about. The word patriotism initially comes from a Greek word meaning fatherland. For most of history, love of fatherland or homeland was an attachment to the physical features of the land. (Http://Wikipedia.com). In other word, according to Merriam Webster Dictionary, Patriotism means love for or devotion to one's country. Patriotism is responsible for the born of spirit inside us which sets off our willingness, our enthusiasm to do anything for the sake of our motherland to the bitter end.

My apology; I have no intention to open the history of my own country, probably because I am jaded enough, tired of political turbulence that led by cronyism, to make matter worst, it is supported by media propaganda. I hate being in a state of turbulence, being powerless and helpless , at the same time I hate being compelled and forced to nod my head over bureaucracy despite the fact that I hate and piss off with it. You can regard me as a rebellious person. I don’t speak out loud but I do rebel in silent mode. Not afraid to admit I am one from millions who wish for positive changes of my country, if not for me but for my children in the future. Sorry if I’m sound like crying foul.

I am not a Japanese/nihongo; I am not a supporter of communism, neither a fighter of rising sun country- Japan. Nevertheless, I am just a naive vacationer in this foreign country. Before this, I never get awakened to the suffering of ancient Japanese resulted from the tragic downfall took place in 1945 during World War II long time ago, until I stepped my own foot on Hiroshima land. The land that rich of lessons about the death of innocents, the land which tells us War does not bring any good. I am anxious to recall great lessons I attained during my journey to Hiroshima. What happened to Hiroshima was like a death-blow.

Our journey to Hiroshima from Okayama only takes 3 hours in exact if using Highway. In order to cut our expenditure, to save some money for paying toll so we chose 5 hours road that has no toll. Soon after we arrived, we parked our car to have our lunch to supply energy for a non-stop long journey we were going to occupy. Then we had a look at the most famous landmark in Hiroshima which resembles the function of A-Famosa building as a landmark in Malacca. It is called the Atomic Bomb Dome ("Gembaku Domu" in Japanese). Your trip throughout Japan won’t accomplish if you don’t pay a visit to Hiroshima where the first nuclear bombing mission in the world occurred.

A number of pictures at Gembaku Domu

“Gembaku Domu" situated next to the Aioi river. According to history, when the bomb blew up, thousands of badly burned residents threw themselves into the rivers to relieve the pain. Unfortunately, most of them didn't stay alive, they died instantly, and therefore there were hundreds of corpses floating in the river. This is a center of attraction for tourist from all over the world. Why does it significant to Japan in the first place? This was one of the few buildings left standing within a two kilometer (one and a quarter mile) radius of the explosion. It's remarkable that anything of the building survived at all, because it's estimated that the shock wave from the bomb created a pressure of 35 tons per square meter at the hypocenter. (Richard Seaman, 2009). No wonder Gembaku Domu is inscribed on the World Cultural Heritage list.

Mushroom clouds over the attack of Nagasaki

In order to learn more about the history of Hiroshima, we dropped by nearby museum, The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum which offers brief information of the world war II in details as well as exhibits all the things related to World War II. I had to move in and out of the crowd of Mat Saleh who were much taller than me, peeped and peered apprehensively through the crack of their armpits at the color-screen which played the history of World War II. All I really remember, there’s a story of Albert Einstein narrated in the short film. Right at that very moment, I threw one question to myself, Should I blame Albert Einstein for his formation of atomic bomb? For your knowledge, Einstein sent a letter to the President Franklin D. Roosevelt to inform the efforts in Nazi Germany to purify U-235 with which might in turn be used to build an atomic bomb.

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

I put the sequence of the history in a very short and simple chain like this. One August 6, 1945, a uranium bomb nicknamed "Little Boy” was dropped on Hiroshima. Though It missed by only 800 feet, thousands people were killed and badly injured in instant. Then, on August 9, Nagasaki was the second target where plutonium bomb nicknamed “fat boy” was dropped. In 10 August 1945, Japan surrendered. Don’t ask me why the bomb got a very cute nickname. Oh, Drat that "little boy"! Drat that "fat boy"!

Camera was not allowed, so the vivid images could only be recorded in my memory. The museum was quite large that I spent more than one hour wanders indoors. Many goods and chattels left by war victims put on show in the glass wall. There was a bicycle of a kid remained half-collapsed; the kid was on the way coming back from school when bomb suddenly killed him. Ragged shirts which were the shirts worn by bomb victim hung over, and even skin chips of dead victim were displayed there!! Yucks! It surprised me when I saw a thumb of the victim lay on a piece of wood! I swear it’s a real thumb that has been preserved so it’s still in a mint condition! Every passer-by would stop at halt with their eyes nearly popped out of their head looking at that thing. Half-burned of the stack of paper money was also one of the historical remains. I could not forget the statue of walking people with their skins melting like a burning candle due to chemical reactions of the nuclear. It looked real and scary!

Some of the images took from the museum

The view of Hiroshima before the bomb dropped was totally different like cheese and chalks. Just imagine a city like Kuala Lumpur turns into ashes. How is it? I saw some of the Japanese visitors dropped their jaws and sniffed tears; perhaps they were bemoaning the suffering of their ancestors. I was also on the verge of tears but I didn’t cry, evaded from blushing if my hubby spots me weeping! The impact of the World War II have left great effects mentally, physically and spiritually especially to Japanese.

Many survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki blasts succumbed to radiation poisoning.The atomic bomb detonation also has the hidden lethal surprise of affecting the future generations of those who live through it. Leukemia is among the greatest of afflictions that are passed on to the offspring of survivors. (http://inventors.about.com/)

That might be a turning point for Japan to rise and bring back to life again and you can see now; Japan is one of the richest countries, well-developed country in the world.

In the years following World War II, government-industry cooperation, a strong work ethic, mastery of high technology, and a comparatively small defense allocation (1% of GDP) helped Japan advance with extraordinary speed to the rank of second most technologically powerful economy in the world after the US. Today, measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis, Japan is the third-largest economy in the world after the US and China (https://www.cia.gov)

Finally, I reached the exit of the museum where a long table embedded to wall lining up along the path, at the hidden corner, there was a log book provided especially for visitors to leave their last notes, comments, feedback or anything they want to say. I opened the book, I learnt that written responses came from many races from many countries like Germany, Indonesia, Netherlands, Thailand, Australia and many else. Perhaps I was the first Malaysian writing down something in that book. I didn’t remember exactly how many words I wrote, but almost half of the page filled with my ugly handwriting. Suddenly my husband was like insinuating me, followed by a cheeky smile.

“As if you want to write a long essay here, do you?” I put the final full stop after finishing the last few sentences.

We went out from the museum and crossed over the historical area, Peace Memorial Park. This was previously an urban district called Nakajima. In 1603-1868, it’s like Selat Melaka where business and trades became the main purpose of a thriving commercial center. As the Edo era ended, then appeared Meiji Era from 1868 till 1912 that made it as the political, administrative and commercial heart of Hiroshima. It is believed that about 6.500 people lived in this district at the time of the atomic bombing, nearly all the lives were snuffed out as the whole district vanished after the Little boy dropped.

In front of The Peace Memorial Park

We then continued our journey to Miyajima Island! Bye-bye Hiroshima, thanks a lot for teaching us that we must ban WAR! Peace-No-War!
When the power of love
overcomes the love of power,
the world will know peace.
~ Jimi Hendrix ~

This entry was posted on 19.12.09 at Saturday, December 19, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


ani, seriously you should write a book entitled honeymoon stories in Japan or something, you really know how to write in details, its impressive, hehe ;)

and you're so skinny! makanla byk sket! :p

(comment takde kaitan dgn post coz its history :p)

December 19, 2009 at 9:25 PM

r u serious?U think i shud? Naah... not for the time being, u kno, i always like being a low profile girl :) plus im not confident about my ability to write, how cud i compete with great writers out there, I m just not qualified enough! so tiny n little to stand among them...it feels gud when u don need to open ur mouth in expressing what inside, all u need is typing nonsenses despite nobody get interested..syok sendiri ni kdg2 best jugak kan.. :)..nway, thanks for reading kak Maddy..hugs n kisses to u..mmmmwwwaahhh!

December 20, 2009 at 3:01 AM

did i tell u that I am eating way too much here without doing anything to burn my fat? haha~ i think i shud get pregnant so that I can show off my big tummy to uuu...( b4 u ask about baby, let me tell u,not now! family planning)

December 20, 2009 at 3:04 AM

Ani,how u improve your english or writing?im so teribble in writing and speaking..can u give me some advices?i read alot..when i have to interact with others in english,i'm not confident and blur..:(

December 20, 2009 at 9:19 AM

Dear Anonymous,
if u don't mind, may I know who r u? r u one of my friends? I have no idea on how to improve my skill in writing English, but i do refer to dictionary every time i stumble upon unfamiliar words. I may not be good enough to give u advices because I am still learning through errors. Just try harder, some people are born with a talent of mastering language fast and easily which I call them lingua-tongue, some are not. Don't be afraid of making mistakes. you won't learn if you fear of making mistakes. That is what i did. :)

December 20, 2009 at 11:30 AM

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