Nagasaki–Beautiful City With An Important Message

February 16, 2017 Paul Groves

Day 43 of 111. Nagasaki, Japan

Nagasaki, Japan. We toured Ground Zero where the second atomic bomb was dropped. It was a somber visit with the message that Nagasaki must be the last place on earth where an atomic bomb is ever dropped. The black obelisk marks the exact spot of ground zero. There were many, many origami cranes of all sorts around the park and in the museum. The special display of 1000 golden cranes caught my eye. The museum above ground zero is very well done, but still rather little disturbing. The artwork of the clock represents a clock at the beginning of the museum that remained after the blast but stopped at 11:02 on the summer day of the bomb.

The second stop in Nagasaki was the Nagasaki Peace Park. There are statues all over the park sent from various countries. The huge blue man is bronze and is thirty feet high. His one hand point up represents the bomb dropping from the sky and his horizontal arm represents peace. His eyes are closed in prayer for the souls lost in the blast. The statue with the angels holding a bell is above some buckets of water and flowers. Our guide told us of a 14 year old schoolboy who had been sent into the machine room on an errand when the atomic bomb dropped. The boy survived the blast but his hair and clothes were burned off. When he returned to the ground level he found his schoolmates very badly burned and calling for water. He returned to the machine room, found a rag, dipped it in water, and gave water to the others before they died. As we were nearing the main fountain a man walked into the park. Our guide told us that this was the same man from her story. He spoke to us in Japanese with the same message of peace. He shook all of our hands. It was a highlight of the trip.

We had a little time after the tours to wander the streets near the ship. This character is all over Nagasaki to welcome visitors. I saw another cool manhole cover. Finally, we saw a “fish spa” where you can stick your feet in tanks with tiny fish. Poor fish!