Even after 64 years, it's hard to comprehend Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It wasn't just the impact and firebombs, but decades of suffering, birth defects, cancer. And still the world will not learn.
Here is an unusually moving article by Richard Lloyd Parry, Asia Editor of the Times. There were lots of superficial news items earlier this year but Parry's article is completely different. Parry, who knows Japanese, spent time getting to know the men who survived the blasts, if "survivor" is the word. If you wonder why the message of Hiroshima still needs repeating again and again, read one of the comments under the article. No, the world will not learn. Please take the trouble to read this article in full, click on the link below and pass it on. It's the least we can do.
The Luckiest or Unluckiest Man in the World? Tsutomu Yamaguchi, double A-bomb victim
Please also read the other posts on this blog about Hiroshima and Music about War. Read the story about Yosuke Yamahata, the photographer who took pictures on the spot, which were banned by the occupying army because they were too raw. Yamahata literally gave his life for these photos, dying of radiation poisoning a few years later. Every year I do a Hiroshima/Nagasaki commemoration and lots of related features. Please see my posts on Kuroi Ame (Black Rain) the film about Hiroshima based on a novel by a Hirshima mand with music based on Toru Takemitsu's Requiem for Strings and also Masako Kobayashi The Human Condition and now, The Burmese Harp, perhaps the most spiritual of all.