n August 2001, I visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. I would imagine that it’s a difficult museum to experience no
matter what nationality you are; as a Japanese American, I found it to be
emotionally wrenching. I didn’t lose any relatives in the bombings, but I know
survivors who – although they have shown no signs of radiation disease – still live
in a vague shadow of fear every time they get a medical exam.
|8/6/13 Lanterns floating on Green Lake.|
After the U.S. dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, most believed that it was a necessary end to World War II, which had certainly taken many, many lives. Seeing photos of the horrifyingly burned children and adults and those who died slowly in the weeks and months that followed, there is no slightest doubt that Japan paid heavily for Pearl Harbor. Twelve years later as I write this, my eyes still fill when I recall those images.
|8/6/13 Seattle Kokon Taiko|
The program culminates with a Buddhist ritual and toro nagashi lantern floating ceremony on the lake. In Japan and other countries, the same type of ceremony is performed. The lanterns, hand-inscribed with prayers and the Japanese kanji character for peace, symbolize the souls of the dead released to the sea to find rest.
|8/6/13 Audience listening to presentations.|
|8/6/13 Members of Gurudwara Singh Sabha singing blessings.|
|8/6/13 Koto player|