“Shigeru Orimen was a first-year student at Second Hiroshima Prefectural Junior High School. He was exposed to the bomb at his building demolition work site. Early in the morning of August 9, his mother found a body with his lunched box clutched under the stomach. The lunch Shigeru never ate was charred black”.
“Noriaki Teshima was a first-year student at Second Hiroshima Prefectural Junior High School.He suffered major burns over his entire body, to the extent that his skin was dangling in tatters. With the help of a friend, he returned home. Suffering from terrible thrist, he said to have tried to suck the pus from his raw, nail-less fingers. He died in agony on August 7. His mother kept his fingernails and part of his skin to show his father, who had not returned from the war”.
“Miyoko was a first-year student at First Municipal Girls High School. Her body was never found, but her mother found this wooden sandal two months later. She recognized it by the straps that she had made herself using materials from her kimono. The print of Miyoko’s left foot remains on the sandals”.
As I continue to walked around the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, I can’t help but cry and feel extremely sad for all the lives worthlessly lost on that unfaithful day of August 6, 1945, on what was supposed to be a just another ordinary day. I needed to take a breather for a moment and to stop going all emotional but I can’t. Seeing the remaining locks of hairs, tattered clothes, photos of the victim, reading the accompanying stories and watching the short video presentation recollecting the personal account of the surviving victims, they were so heartbreaking that I can’t control my tears.
With most materials donated by the family of the victims, the exhibits also presented the before and after look of the city, the lives of its citizen during World War II, the development of nuclear weapon, the reason that leads to bombing of Hiroshima, the damage done by radiation a on human health and how the people of Hiroshima strive to re-built their cities and lives. All this information are very well presented and arranged to communicate one main message to everyone – the elimination of nuclear weapons and the continued pursue of international peace.
I consider both the Peace Memorial Museum and Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims as the best museum that I have been to so far. What I have seen and learned that day will be embedded on my mind for the rest of my life. I beg to differ to anyone whom up to this day still argues that the people of Hiroshima deserve what happened to them as payment on the brutal participation of Japanese on World War II. I believe that we are now living at times way pass the “blame game” and NO ONE deserves to die for greedy, stupid decisions of their nations leaders.
Apart from sadness, what I felt is fear. I can’t fathom the idea that the same event can possibly happen in the near future, now that the measurement of one’s nation power is how advance his development of nuclear power. Oh, how I wish I am powerful enough and invite all the world leaders to go to the museum or spent a few minutes and talk to a survivor, maybe learn a thing or two and ensure that history will not repeat itself.
If Japan is on your bucket list for places to visit, make Hiroshima and this museum your priority. I know it doesn’t boost a million dollar art collection or thousand years old temples, but it will remind us the value of human lives.