2 Days in Hiroshima!
A terrifying history containing an Atomic Bomb, severe devastation and major after effects surrounds this wonderful place.
Things to see and do:
- Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum- where you can see photographs, read personal stories and see melted human skin
- Atomic Bomb Dome and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park- To pay your respects
- Hiroshima Castle- beautiful building
- Take a ferry to Miyajima Shrine on Itsukushima Island- A stunning island where you can also hike to see a great view of the surrounding area.
Things to eat and drink:
- Momiji-Manju (leaf shaped baked dessert)
I never truly understood how easy it was to remove yourself emotionally from other people’s suffering. I always found it frustrating when people would comment on how the Middle East crisis didn’t affect them and how they found it difficult to relate to. I thought it ludicrous that they could lack such empathy and compassion.
But after visiting Hiroshima, I started to gain some insight. Japan and Japanese culture is so far removed from the western world; I didn’t even learn about Japanese culture and history at school and only as an adult have I started to enquire about world history. So, when I visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum expecting to react in the same way I did at Auschwitz and Birkenau, I was shocked to find that I was only “sad” to see what was on display. I should have been devastated, mortified, outraged even but as I looked at the displays, I found a culture that I didn’t recognise staring back at me. I was angry at myself. Angry that I was seeing suffering, traumatic scenes, skin melting off fellow human beings and my emotional reactions were so mild. I was ashamed. An Atomic Bomb had been dropped on human beings by other human beings and my only reaction was sadness. I pictured children running from their schools, clothes and skin melting as they looked around for familiar faces. I saw hair that had fallen out from a child’s scalp due to radiation in a glass display and my reaction was still sadness.
Is it because I didn’t have Japanese friends growing up? Is it my lack of knowledge of Japanese culture? Or have I started to become desensitised by human suffering? None of the above are acceptable justifications for my reaction.
Nevertheless, Hiroshima taught me an important lesson about human nature and behaviour; it taught me how to be more human. And as I sit and type this at the airport, I realise that every face that I see now is so familiar to me.
They are me and I am them.