During our first days here in Japan, we got to know one another by asking various questions like place of origin, name of and year in school, and the most interestingly answered questions, “Why Japan?” Many have come as Manga heads, Anime fans, Lolita lovers, or just to satisfy a craving for an extreme change in scenery. Despite all of our specific reasons, I think it is safe to say that we all truly love Japan as a country and what it has to offer.
In the midst of the blissful touring of the countryside and the packed trains and streets of the vivacious city, the natives live their lives from day to day, just like any other year.
As a home stay student, I am a witness to the daily life of the average Japanese family including the holidays.
Today, my okaasan shared with me the importance of this date. Today, Aug 9th, marks the Memorial Anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. Just three days before, marked the Memorial Anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. My mood was brought down to a somber, contemplative murmur. Cherry Blossom Festivals, fireworks, and the playful cosplay of Harajuku are only the surface cultural novices of this long established country. As awful as the bombings were, Japan is the country it is today because of it. Hundreds of thousands of people perished that day and the days following, and as some of you may know, many victims still suffer from the damages of the nuclear bombings including severe burns and radiation poisoning.
On Aug 15th, 1945, Japan surrendered, ending World War II. Being here in Japan offers me a much different perspective on the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As the mention of the bombing is consistently disheartening, I take the time out to remember those days and be glad of the progress this grand country has made, and that the doors to this country are still wide open to foreigners like us.
The bombing’s of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are just as much a part of this culture as Manga, Anime, Cherry Blossom Festivals, Geishas, Samurai, and Ghibli animation, and I feel as Japan immersed students, we should acknowledge the history the same.
For those of you who believe in a higher power, let us pray for the victims that are still affected by the bombing, and for those who don't, please offer a sympathetic heart. ♥