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Thursday, April 11, 2013

PEARLS ASHES #16: Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

I awoke and took this photo of Hiroshima at sunrise:

My minimalist breakfast with a view:

From the Hiroshima Sheraton at the Shinkansen Station to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is a simple streetcar ride if you know what you're doing.  After a few miscues, I caught this car:

On 30 March 11 I had a personal ceremony of Pearl's ashes at the foot of this fountain at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park:

I returned today and took the following photo:

There are many yellow flowers here:

While the peak has long past, there were a few cherry trees still in full bloom:

There are also lots of colored paper cranes:

The story of these cranes is the Story of Sadako Sasaki:

These paper cranes come originally from the ancient Japanese tradition of origami or paper folding, but today they are known as a symbol of peace. They are folded as a wish for peace in many countries around the world. This connection between paper cranes and peace can be traced back to a young girl named Sadako Sasaki, who died of leukemia ten years after the atomic bombing.

Sadako was two years old when she was exposed to the A-bomb. She had no apparent injuries and grew into a strong and healthy girl. However, nine years later in the fall when she was in the sixth grade of elementary school (1954), she suddenly developed signs of an illness. In February the following year she was diagnosed with leukemia and was admitted to the Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital. Believing that folding paper cranes would help her recover, she kept folding them to the end, but on October 25, 1955, after an eight-month struggle with the disease, she passed away. 

If she had survived, she would just have been around my age.

There are many memorials:

In the far background is that Atomic Bomb Dome:

This was the Dome in 1945:

War is hell!

Well, it's getting almost boring, but both the Dow and S&P again reached record highs, 14,802 and 1588.  The NASDAQ almost ht 3300, but its high was 5049 on 10March2000:

On 10Ocober2002 it fell to an intra-day low of 1108, so the NASDAQ is 3 times higher now.

Everyone I've talked to in Japan says Prime Minister Abe is doing swell, and they are optimistic about their future.  Mind you, Japan is nowhere close to being healthy, as the Nikkei, as well as its done since Abe became PM, has a long way to go to reach a record high:

The Nikkei closed today at 13,549, but the record high occurred on 29December1989, more than 13 years ago, at 38916.   Thus the Nikkei is only at 35% of its peak.  Mind you, it did close at 8605 on 15March2011, the weekend after the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, resulting in the catastrophic Fukushima nuclear disaster.  So it has recovered by 158% since then.  There is something indomitable about the Japanese character that I won't even attempt to diminish.