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Monday, March 28, 2011

A GREAT DAY IN NAGASAKI

But first, Day 18 that Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.  Apparently, the accident level 6 upgrade mentioned a couple of days ago never happened.  Thus, Fukushima remains at "only" level 5, with four others, including Three Mile Island.  There is one level 6, in Mayak, Soviet Union, in 1957, that has remained mysterious, and, of course, level 7 Chernobyl.  Never heard of Mayak?  Here, Greenpeace measures the radioactivity at Techa River, where the apocalypse occurred.  Stalin had Mayak built specifically to provide materials for Atomic Bombs.

The death toll for the Great Tohoku disaster is now just about up to 11,000.  There was a 6.5 earthquake this morning, which resulted in a tsunami warning.  However, nothing much happened.

This will be a very long blog because I will not say much and show a lot of photos.  At 11 AM I began my Nagasaki-style lunch at Nishikisabo.  I was shown to a secluded room and never saw a customer.  Surprise, surprise, the background music was classical koto.  There were 9 courses, served on Imari porcelain, accompanied by Niigata sake and Asahi Dry:

Nagasaki food is somewhat bland, sort of like Mandarin Chinese, but the food was exceptional, music divine, service impeccable and experience memorable.  This is certainly among my three best Japanese lunches, and definitely better than my Amsterdam feast.  Goodbye to Nishikisabo:


But my day was just beginning, for off I trammed to the the Nagasaki Peace Park, a serene, yet sobering remembrance of the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb, which fell on 9August1945.  Here is a model of Fat Man (who is on the left):

Note that one of the biggest Soviet Hydrogen Bomb looked very similar:

Here is an interesting graphic of the energy total from nuclear tests:

That's Las Vegas to the right top, but note how close two tests were to Hawaii.

There are two exhibits, with the Peace Statue at one end:

I laid Pearl's ashes at the other end:

While the peak must be a week away, there were some cherry blossoms:

The tear-jerking story is of Sadako Sasaki, who was a two year old child in Hiroshima when Little Boy was dropped.  A decade later she contracted leukemia and was given a year to live.  Her best friend Chizuko Hamamoto began to origami cranes, for it is said that a crane will grant you a wish if you make 1000.   There was time, but paper was difficult to find. At 644, Sadako passed away.  Her classmates raised funds to build a memorial, where a plaque reads:  "This is our cry.  This is our prayer.  Peace on Earth."  Sadako became a symbol of the impact of nuclear war.  Cranes are everywhere at Nagasaki and Hiroshima:

Listen to 1000 Cranes by the group, Hiroshima.  I'm still wrestling with my schedule to make a stop at Hiroshima.

A particularly poignant monolith shown below:


is the mark of the Hypocenter.  Half the population of 270,000 either died or were injured.

Although discussion was difficult, I asked several staff members if they hated Americans for this Atomic Bomb.  I haven't quite analyzed why, but the only response was no.  They actually like Americans.

Well, a trip to Glover Garden was anticlimactic. But here are a few photos:

The view was fabulous:

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