After a long sorting process, I've finally uploaded my remaining Japan photography online:
Monday, April 12, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Something struck me today. I went to the Osaka train station and proceeded to get a number to wait my turn to order seat reservation on a Shinkansen to Tokyo. As I waited I noticed an autistic youth pacing back and forth, worried (audibly so). Every time a new number would appear at one of the widows (each window had its own number counter), the youth would check his number ticket again and again. His number was 179 (mine was 192), and once 169 appeared at one of the windows, he went up to the window to thoroughly compare his number to the one on the counter. After six or so glances back and forth, he finally determined it was not his, and kept pacing. A few digits later, he could tell his number was getting close (meanwhile absent numbers were being thrown out within seconds of not being claimed). 178 arrived at one window, and as he was comparing his number to the almost-correct one, the digits 179 illuminated behind him. Having watched him for the previous 15 minutes, I jumped up from my seat and tapped him on the shoulder saying "sumimasen". Then pointing at the freshly posted number, I followed up with "kochira de". He grinned with relief as he recognized his number; the worker, about to throw the number out, saw the owner was present. I sat back down wondering how this boy was ever going to get to his destination, when I was surprised by what happened. The worker behind the counter closed down his station, and escorted the youth out the door and down to the correct platform, to show him his train. Instead of just being an annoyance that the worker would try to get rid of (which seems natural in any fast-paced society), he cared enough to make sure the young man made it to his train on time.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
It's impossible to describe just how haunting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and Museum is. It's an eye opener that puts a very human face on what happened in WWII (and brought me to tears more than once), without casting any blame or adding political undertones. It clearly shows just how inhumane and horrific war is on everyday citizens, and why nuclear weapons should never even be considered for use ever again. If you are ever in Japan, make time to visit Hiroshima and the memorial, it is a must see.
The "A-bomb Dome"
A clock that chimes at 8:15 every morning (the time Little Boy was dropped)
Paper Cranes donated to the memorial in remembrance of Sadako Sasaki, who created thousands of paper cranes to try and cure her leukemia (and died soon after).
Scale Model of part of Hiroshima before the bomb.
Scale Model of part of Hiroshima after the bomb struck.
About 200,000 people died from the bombing, and survivors have dealt with radiation poisoning symptoms even up until present day. The museum had many memoirs from survivors of the attack (both in written and video form) and the vivid memories these survivors had provided were a very clear picture of just how grizzly the aftermath was.