2010 – Iki-shi, Nagasaki-ken, Japan, Earth

07-26

.D-Mug and I continued our exploration of Hiroshima by visiting the Atomic Bomb Museum (and more of the Atomic Bomb Park) this morning.  I’d been there once before (Spring 2009), but I went again because I did really “enjoy” the museum.  (Enjoy is not the best word to use there.)  Once again, I left feeling depressed and annoyed at the continued existence of nuclear weapons.  Once again, I was disgusted and ashamed.  But this time, I took pictures!  (They allow photography, as long as you don’t use flash.)

These are some cranes actually folded by Sasaki Sadako, a girl who was two-years-old at the time of the atomic bombing.  She was healthy and hale until the age of 12, when she was diagnosed with leukemia. In Japan, there is an old myth that if you can fold 1000 cranes, then your wish will come true.  Sadako wished to be well.  She folded 1000 cranes and then some in her hospital room.  The more she folded, the smaller and smaller they became until she had to fold some–like these–with needles.  (I would say these are about the size of my pinky-finger’s nail.)

She died about a year after she was hospitalized.

Her story galvanized her classmates and they managed to raise enough money to erect the Children’s Memorial Monument a year after her death.  To this day, cranes are now seen as a sign of peace, and thousands upon thousands of children around the world fold cranes to send to Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be hung, showing their commitment to end disarmament and contribute to peace.

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After the museum, D-Mug and I went to Shukkeien.  They’re beautiful gardens based off the West Lake in Hangzhou, China.  (One of my favorite spots in China.)  I GOT FOUR TERRIBLE MOSQUITO BITES.  MOSQUITOES: I HATE YOU.

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