"It is all the fault of War….."said by the old woman to Richard Gere at the climactic point of the film "Rhapsody in August".|
When I was born, the Japanese economy was at its zenith, the city I grew up in was peaceful. The post war regeneration of Japan had been a success. So when I visited Hiroshima-city on a School trip, it was hard to imagine something had happened to this beautiful city.
When I went to Junior High I remember that we all had to come to school on the 6th of August. The first time I had to do this I thought it was very strange. In the middle of the summer holidays, I had to go to school. Normally people are going away to see their grandparents, some rich families were going on holiday abroad.
On the 6th of August, we all sat in the big sports hall at school, absolutely boiling, bathed in sweat. This is the day atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima in my grand parent's time. So we would mark the anniversary by attending school, watching the films about the war/atomic bomb, also looking at the photos of the people who had suffered, and were still suffering the after effects of the atomic bomb. Some of the photos were so strong and violent that even as a small child, I remember them well.
One year I remember this talk: a survivor told us that everyone was jumping into the river after the bomb was dropped. Because of the searing heat, everybody wanted to be doused. They didn't know the water in the river was boiling.
When I was writing this piece, all the visions which I have seen about Hiroshima/Nagasaki/atomic bomb related materials were in my head.
It is our duty to remember.
(Edited by Harry Ross)