The Eclipse of the Century Part 2 of 3: Nagasaki

Writing this series of blog post got somewhat stalled as I tried to figure out how to explain Nagasaki. Some things are easy to communicate. For instance, I went to breakfast at a diner that had eggs and spent an amusing 3 minutes trying via much pointing and sign language to first understand the question “What type of bread do you want with your eggs?” and then answer it (thick, btw, was what I ended up with). There was also an excellent meal of small cooked foods on sticks. And the city tram was safe, and clean, and only mildly confusing.

But food and tram rides aren’t the major things one goes to Nagasaki to see.

20 years from now there are three things I’m certain I’ll remember: The day of the eclipse, eating fugu in a sushi shop that slaughtered the food swimming in front of us, and visiting the Nagasaki Peace memorial at the site of the Nagasaki atomic bomb impact.

I’m still without words. My mind is filled with images: cluster after cluster of 100 oragami cranes, hung in random streams in the public atrium; melted glass bottles from near the impact site; statues of angels from a church that had parts of its entrance somehow left standing; images of radiation poison bodies that continue to haunt me; and the meditation ares. There is section of the memorial where they encourage you to meditate or pray where you walk through a weaving walk between walls looked like cedar planking, but it was hand molded cement, where the builders had pounded in cedar planks, one set after another, to make lasting walls. I don’t know why this one aspect struck me, and stuck with me, but touching the walls and feeling them cold and solid under my hands … it is a strong memory.

Rather than try and say more, I’m just going to add snapshots (When I’m on better internet tonight) and tell you that if you are American or Japanese, this should be a trip you make; if you are in a country that has nuclear weapons, this is a trip you should make; if you care about not repeating the past, this is a trip you should make.

7 Comments

  1. Kevin McNulty August 3, 2009 at 2:26 pm #

    I cannot get this out of my system and below is a small snippet from a thread on Mars Rover Blog where I had to mention this…….it is to do with money being wasted on conflicts and not Space exploration.

    I will write more about that experience too because i feel I have to…..

    TTFN

    Hi dx,

    No it is not a hijacking of the thread at all I feel global conflicts are getting in the way of science and Human progress too.

    I went to East Asia to see the solar eclipse (cloudy on the day aaargghhh) one of our stops was Nagasaki and we visited the A-Bomb Museum and Memorial. My 24 year old son was with me and found the whole thing a harrowing experience, there were 6 in our group all of whom enjoy a laugh and joke but that day we all fell silent. Words cannot describe what it is like to be in a City that had been hit with a Nuke and how 75,000 people were killed in one blast and the horrible slow death a further 75,000 suffered. Fat Boy was a little fire cracker in comparison to what we have now and to see first hand what it did has a profound effect on you.

    I will never forget that visit and would like every leader of all the nations that aspire to these weapons to meet there and take a long look at it and themselves.

    The only message in that Museum was Peace and thousands of Origami paper chains of Crane birds, it was said that a Girl who was suffering from Radiation Sickness was told if she made 1000 of the Cranes she would get better…she died on 999.

    One of the 6 in our excursion group is posting details of our trip on their Blog and reserving a special post for Nagasaki a much better writer than me and also an American so I will send the link when it is done.

    Hopefully the World will come together in all aspects of running this Planet including sharing ideas and knowledge on how to explore Space.

    Yeah dx it is sickening to see what is going and to know it always has been and always will be the same, when you put any human in front of one and other there is nothing but friendly greetings and smiles. Get a leader of a nation and they feel they have to make a choice of who is their friend and who is their enemy then brainwash their people to think the same way………or else!

    KPM

  2. Jorja May 16, 2016 at 5:45 am #

    I saw a lady wearing a tight sweater on a cold night. Her nipples were very large and erect and she was at least an H-.rvcEpeuy person n the grocery store, man or woman, was captivated by her heaving bosom.

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