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Published: March 5th 2006
Lanterns floating down the river
August 6, 1945 the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima City. Right before I left for Japan there was a cover article in TIME magazine on the upcoming 60th anniversary the following week. I feel very fortunate that I got to be there for the event and witness it first hand. In the morning there was a serious ceremony where the government got up and spoke and there were survivors from the a-bomb dropping as well. Due to the time of the serious ceremony and not to forget to mention the whole thing in Japanese, I opted out of going to it. In addition, it was pretty damn hot and humid. The humidity I experienced later that day was enough. During the afternoon my English club met up wtih me. Kabe Senior High School made 1,000 paper cranes to be hung in Peace Park. Before coming to Japan I heard about the story of the girl who made 1,000 paper cranes and how it was now a symbol of hope for people with cancer. I did not know the story originated in Hiroshima. THE STORY: A young girl named Sudoku survived the a-bomb. A few years down the road she
60th Atomic Bomb Anniversary
Hanging out with ESS from Kabe SHS.
got cancer due to the radiation. She said that if she made 1,000 paper cranes, she would live. The crane is a symbol of long life. Unfortunately, the young girl died of cancer before finishing. Her friends, family, and classmates finished making the 1,000 paper cranes. Ever since then cranes have been associated with cancer survival. There is a big bell dedicated to the young girl and many many strands of 1,000 paper cranes.
Later that night with my English group we decorated candles that illuminated the a-bomb memorial building. I found it interesting that none of the Japanese knew what a peace sign was. I thought that was the universal sign for peace, but I guess not. After that, at sunset, Lanterns were sent down the river, each representing a victim of the atomic bomb. Peace Park itself is a constant reminder of the damage of Hiroshima City and what nuclear power can do. There is a flame in the park and it will not be put out until there is no nuclear warfare in the world. Sitting and waching that latnerns was amazing. It was a very peaceful moment and I will never forget it. Hiroshima
is the way it is today because of what happened 60 years ago. The entire city was rebuilt to its modern state. A swedish lady commented that she felt people were nicer in Hiroshima Ken than other parts of Japan and she thinks it is because of the a-bomb and people realizing how important peace is in the world. It is indeed something to ponder.
We ended the night by going to a street party where we listened to brazilian/Japanese djs and danced like crazy. it was pretty cool. All in all a wondeful day.
OHH!!! Later that night my friend ellie and I were talking on the bus on the way home. an old man told us that it was rude to talk on a bus. Who knew! I felt awful. I wonder how many people I have unintentionally offended since I have been in Japan, probably a lot! whoops!
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