Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Saitō Takao (斎藤隆夫) - Anti Military Speech

Saitō Takao (斎藤隆夫, さいとう たかお, September 13, 1870 - October 7, 1949)

Saitō Takao (斎藤隆夫, September 13, 1870 - October 7, 1949) was a Japanese politician and longtime member of the Imperial Diet from Hyōgo Prefecture. He was a member of the Rikken Minseito party(立憲民政党).

Speech on Army Purge(粛軍演説,しゅくぐんえんぜつ

The speech by Saito Takao on army purge or military cleansing(粛軍演説,しゅくぐんえんぜつ)on 7-5-1936. He blamed the army for the Feb 26th Rebellion.

The February 26 incident (二・二六事件 Ni-niroku jiken, or “2-2-6 incident”) was an attempted coup d'état in Japan, from February 26 to 29, 1936 carried out by 1,483 troops of the Imperial Japanese Army. Several leading politicians were killed and the center of Tokyo was briefly occupied by the rebelling troops. At that time, the incident was called the deplorable incident in the capital (帝都不祥事件 Teito Fushyō Jiken).

粛軍演説(しゅくぐんえんぜつ)は1936年(昭和11年)5月7日に帝国議会の衆議院で斎藤隆夫が行った演説。「粛軍に関する質問演説」ともいう。



Anti-military Speech(反軍演説,(はんぐんえんぜつ)

On February 2, 1940,the Minseitō representative Saitō Takao made a speech in which he sharply questioned the prosecution and justification of Japan's "holy war" in China. During the seventy-fifth session of the Diet, Saitō Takao launched into a devastating critique of the government's position on China. He denounced the official slogans of “holy war”.

The Holy War mentioned was Second Sino-Japanese War(中国抗日战争,日中戦争(にっちゅうせんそう)or支那事変, July 7, 1937 – September 9, 1945, where Marco Polo Bridge Incident of 1937, started the beginning of total war between the two countries. The war developed into The Pacific War, part of World War Two.

At the plenary session of the House of Representatives on 2 February 1940 (Showa 15), during a question-and-answer session between party representatives, SAITO Takao of the Minseito lashed out at Prime Minister YONAI Mitsumasa for his mishandling of the Sino-Japanese War. He harshly criticized the policies designed to resolve the matter, announced at the end of 1938 (Showa 13) by then Prime Minister KONOE Fumimaro, pronouncing them fraudulent, and also expressed doubts over the governing ability of the WANG Chao-ming (WANG Jingwei) Administration that the Japanese Government was maneuvering to install in the Japanese conquered territory of China. In his harangue, he went on say that it was a mistake to have laid out a grand plan for the long-range future of the nation holding up such chiming concepts as international justice, moral diplomacy, coexistence and co-prosperity, while at the same time needlessly neglecting the sacrifices of the people by using the a beautiful expression, "holy war".

The Army naturally responded to his comments with indignation, so Chairman KOYAMA Matsutoshi of the House of Representatives exercised his prerogative and ordered the last half of SAITO's speech excised from the Diet's stenographic records. SAITO was summarily referred to the Disciplinary Committee, having been admonished by his colleagues to voluntarily resign from his seat as Diet member. But he refused, saying that he could "not be true to the people of the nation" quitting simply for having had part of his speech excised from the stenographic record, given that it was supposed to be a "legislature where the freedom of speech is guaranteed by the Constitution," adding that his critics had distorted his arguments.

Nonetheless, a plenary session of the House of Representatives voted on 7 March 1940 (Showa 15) to expel SAITO.

•Support(賛成) 296 : 浅沼稲次郎・河上丈太郎・河野密・三輪寿壮・三宅正一・三木武夫・星島二郎・松野鶴平など

• Spoiled/Empty Votes( 空票): 144

• Abstain(棄権) 121 : 尾崎行雄]・鳩山一郎・水谷長三郎・西尾末広・犬養健・若宮貞夫・安達謙蔵など

* Absent/Walk Out(欠席) 23 : 安部磯雄・片山哲・鈴木文治(以上社会大衆党)など

• Oppose(反対) 7: 牧野良三・名川侃市・芦田均・宮脇長吉・丸山弁三郎(以上政友会久原派)・岡崎久次郎(民政党)・北浦圭太郎(第一議員倶楽部)

Saito Takao was expelled from the Diet on March 7, 1940.

His speech also led to the creation of the League of Diet Members Believing the Objectives of the Holy War by Fumimaro Konoe(近衞文麿).

In 1940, all political parties were forced to merge into the Taisei Yokusankai, a pro-military political organization headed by former prime minister Nobuyuki Abe.Taisei Yokusankai is known as Imperial Rule Assistance Association or Imperial Aid Association((大政翼賛会).

The 21st General Election of Japan, 1942

Takao was re-elected to the Diet in 1942. He ran as independent, in the election of 1942, the Home Ministry try to make him withdraw his candidacy, and when he refused, the police confiscated all his campaign materials. Nevertheless, he was reelected.

The 21st General Election of Japan of the House of Representatives took place in Japan on April 30, 1942. It was the only election in wartime Japan. At this time, the lower house no longer had any significant executive and legislative power, and power went to the military since 1936. The prime minister was not elected from the lower house since 1932, and was also appointed by the military.

As communist groups, left-wing groups, and anti-war groups were illegal since 1940, they were unable to name a candidate in the election. Communists, left-wing politicians and radical anti-military politicians were arrested and not even allowed to run as independents. Besides, anti-war politician Saito Takao(斎藤隆夫) who was expelled from the diet in 1941 was re-elected again.

The Taisei Yokusankai won 381 seats out of the total 466. In some districts, the Taisei Yokusankai candidates won uncontested. However, while the Imperial Army had gained a victory in almost every battle as of the election, public support for the war was still quite high, which was the main reason for the landslide victory of the Taisei Yokusankai. Turnout in the election was 83.16%.

After the War

After the surrender of Japan in 1945, he enjoyed some attention as one of the few really clean politicians for the Allied Occupation's efforts to democratize Japan.

Saito Takao see the wrongs of Japanese militarism, unlike many Japanese during the war period blinded by the propaganda and brainwashing of patriotism and nationalism. He stand up, and not only that, he was able to voice out from his sincere heart.

At the time he stand up to speak, he may be treated as the traitor of the nation, traitor of Japanese people...he was humiliated by speaking the truth... he was expelled from the Diet to silence his voice....his heart was painful for the nation, for the people, and personally.....

Today, the truth proved that he is right, his speech may saved Japan from the atomic bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, if members of Diet listen to him, and stop the war.

He is a hero, not for Japan, but for the people of the world who see evils of the war today....

Remember you, Saito Takao(斎藤隆夫), a brave man who talk out of his heart.....

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Abe Isoo (安部磯雄,1865-1949)@ 日本の野球の父

In the time of mass movement in the country for militarism, many people were stirred by the crowd effect of nationalism and patriotism, and forget the sense of reasoning. This revealed the majority may not be always right. It happen in Hitlers' Germany, Mao's Cultural Revolution and Japan's militarism.

Few people will have ears to hear, the noise of propaganda of war, the education of nationalism, and even the call of holy war; it polluted the sound of the inner heart, and the human lost its affection for fellow human being....

In Military Japan, however there are many brave Japanese who stand up for righteousness, calling the militarist government to stop the wars; some was killed, some was imprisoned, some was silenced....but the opposition continued....

They even have systematic thought change program called Tenko (転向, literally, changing direction). A Japanese term referring to the ideological reversal of numerous Japanese socialists who, between 1925 and 1945, renounced the left and (in many cases) embraced the "national community.". Tenko was performed especially under duress, most often in police custody, and was a condition for release (although surveillance and harassment would continue). But it was also a broader phenomenon, a kind of cultural reorientation in the face of national crisis, that did not always involve direct repression. One of the most well known of tenko came in June 1933, when Sano Manabu (1892—1953) and Nabeyama Sadachika (1901—1979), top figures in the Communist Party leadership, renounced their allegiance to the Comintern and the policy of violent revolution, embracing instead a Japan-specific mode of revolutionary change under imperial auspices.

Many of the social reformers are Christian, and also socialist; I was wondering how the two opposing forces were able to sparks out the Japanese Reformation Movement during the war period....

Abe Isoo(安部磯雄)is one of them.



Abe Isoo (安部磯雄, 1st March 1865 - 10 February 1949) was a well known Japanese Christian socialist, parliamentarian and pacifist.

Abe was born in Fukuoka, the second son of Okamoto Gonnojo, a samurai family. He studied at Doshisha Yogakko(Doshisha University) for 4 years and went abroad to USA in 1891. He studied at Hartford (Conn.) Theological Seminary, including at the University of Berlin, before becoming a Unitarian Church preacher. Abe was attracted to socialism while studying for the ministry in the United States, where he graduated from the Hartford (Conn.) Theological Seminary. He taught at Tokyo Semmon Gakkō from 1899, and two years later became a professor of Economic. Tokyo Semmon Gakkō later become Waseda University.

Professor Abe Isoo formed a baseball team , Waseda Nine in 1901. Their American tour in 1905 helped develop baseball in Japan. Organized the Tokyo Big Six League (TBSL), becoming its first president in 1925. Known as father of student baseball in Japan.

In 1901 he helped to found the short-lived Japanese Social-Democratic party(社会民主党), which the government swiftly prohibited.

During the Russo-Japanese War he advocated non-cooperation and participated in various early feminist movements. In 1906, he played an instrumental role in founding the first Japanese Socialist Party, from which he advocated a Christian Socialist viewpoint. However, the government outlawed this party too in 1907. In 1924 he became the first President of the Japanese Fabian Society or Nihon Febian kyôkai,(日本フェビアン協会/日本费边社),found in 1922. In 1928 voters elected Isō to the Japanese Diet as Chairman of Shakai minshûtô or Socialist People Party, where he held a seat for four consecutive elections. In 1932, he became a chairman of Shakai Taishuto or Socialist Masses Party (社会大衆党). He withdrew from politics in 1940.

Social Mass Party

Japanese government propaganda, the educational system, government repression, and social pressures effectively prevented the Japanese people from resisting government policies, military orders, or the war. Anyone against the war , Hatanaka (67) puts it bluntly: "Honestly speaking, nobody said openly that they opposed the war. If you said that you'd have been killed immediately, or taken away and killed later."

The program of thought conversion,Tenko (転向), resulted in many leftists changed their direction.

Social Mass Party, in the period of increasing extremism in politics, attempted to maintain a middle-of-the road approach, which inevitably resulted in a confused policy. The party was dominated by central and rightist elements, the lefts were mainly under government arrest, which helped to maintain unity and avoid potential splits between the fractions which had formed it.

Shakai Taishuto approved the creation of the state of Manchukuo in 1932 and voted for new military appropriations. The party took the antimilitary sentiments of Japanese workers into account; it proposed the conclusion of a Japanese-Soviet non-agression pact and in the period 1932–35 condemned Japan’s resignation from the League of Nations. It also voiced support of a campaign against inflation and poverty.

In the general election of December 1936 (Showa 11), the public pinned great hopes on the anti-fascists, still the Shakai Taishuto increased its representation in the House of Representatives, to 37 seats. The Party leaders, having built up self-confidence through their successful electoral performance, instead drew closer to the military.

In 1936 and 1937 some left-wing members of Shakai Taishuto responded to a call of the Communist Party of Japan and Nihon Musanto, a legal left-wing party of workers and peasants, to help organize an antifascist national front. However, the rightist leadership of Shakai Taishuto dismissed from the party those who supported the front.

What solidified that trend was the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in July 1937 (Showa 12), sparked by the Marco Polo Bridge Incident on July 7 (Japanese troops of the Kwangtung Army, camped on one side of the bridge, claimed a soldier of theirs was missing in nearby Wanping Town, and demanded that the Kuomintang troops there let them look, giving them an ultimatum; when the KMT refused, the Japanese bombarded the town at midnight, and set in motion the events that led to Japan overrunning Peiping(now Beijing) on July 29 and Tientsin, now Tianjin, on July 30, starting the 2nd Sino-Japanese War).

The Shakai Taishuto avidly supported the war with China. At the Party 6th convention held from 15th November 1937, the Party platform was revised so as to advocate the progress and development of the Japanese people based on the basic principle of the national polity. The Shakai Taishuto thus publicly declared its participation in the national unity framework.

Cooperating with the military, the leadership of Shakai Taishuto announced on 6th July 1940 the disbanding of the party and and becoming the first political party to join the movement for the establishment of the New Order. Formation of 2nd KONOE Fumimaro Cabinet on 22-7-1940.

Opposition to the War

He is one of the opposition voice to the Japanese militarism, prior to the Pacific War/World War 2. One of the few who dare to be difference, against the war.

In 1930, after the Taisho Democracy was passed, Abe in his 2nd election campaign, called for disarmament within the limits required for self defense. Abe's pacifism was under extreme political pressure,while his political party was trying to adjust to the nationalism of the country. He as educator, waiting to educate the younger generation through the avenue of sport, mainly baseball. But his spirit of pacifism still burning in his heart.

At the height of the war in China, Abe said " We will not have the slightest needs for the sword, in contract to the situation in the past".

The breaking point finally come on 2-2-1940.....

On February 2, 1940, Saitō Takao (斎藤隆夫) made a speech in which he sharply questioned the prosecution and justification of Japan's "holy war" in China(反軍演説).Votes were taken in the Diet to expel him, Katayama Tetsu(片山哲), Suzuki Bunji(鈴木文治), Abe Isoo(安部磯雄), and Nishio Suehiro(西尾末広) and 6 others supported Saito Takao by walking out of the Diet. Suzuki Bunji, a lawyer and Abe Isoo, professors at Waseda University, Saito Takao was later expelled from the Diet on March 7, 1940. His speech also led to the creation of the League of Diet Members Believing the Objectives of the Holy War by Fumimaro Konoe(近衞文麿).

The Secretary General of Social Masses Party, Hisashi Aso(麻生久, 1891-1940),changed direction and allied himself with militarist Party, at the side of the Prime Minister, Konoe Fumimaro. Abe Isoo resigned in 1940 as chairman of Social Mass Party, over the issue of cooperation with the government's militaristic policies. Social Mass Party was the only leftist party allowed to function in the 1930s, it grew increasing nationalistic and militaristic, but was absorbed into the Imperial Rule Assistance Association in 1940.

Abe tried to form a new party, the Nationalist Labor Party (Kinrô kokumintô). However, the Home Ministry banned it on the grounds that it was socialist and that, representing the working class, it would instigate class struggle.

Abe Isoo withdrew from politics in 1940.

After the War

He is the President of Japan Student Baseball Association(日本学生野球協会,にほんがくせいやきゅうきょうかい) in 1946. He was regarded as Father of Japanese Baseball(日本の野球の父), and Father of Japanese student baseball(学生野球の父).

He was political adviser to Social Democratic Party (社会民主党 Shakai Minshu-tō)

He died on 10-2-1949.

Abe Isoo stand up tall .......even during the war. He is universally acclaimed as Father of Japanese Socialism.

Suggested readings/references:

1. PASTOR OF A BIG JAPANESE CHURCH.; The Rev. Iso Abe, Who Has Been Study- in This Country, The New York Times, http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html
2. 先人の風景, The Sanyo Shimbun, http://www.sanyo.oni.co.jp/kikaku/senjin/news/2008/04/04/20080404170108.html
3. 安部磯雄, wikipedia(in Japanese)
4. Pacifism in Japan: the Christian and socialist tradition, by Nobuya Bamba, John F. Howes, UBC Press, 1978.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Yasukuni Shrine (靖国神社)

Yasukuni Shrine (靖国神社 or 靖國神社 Yasukuni Jinja) is a Shinto shrine located in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. It is dedicated to the soldiers and others who died fighting on behalf of the Emperor of Japan. Currently, its Symbolic Registry of Divinities lists the names of over 2,466,000 enshrined men and women whose lives were dedicated to the service of Imperial Japan, particularly to those killed in wartime.It also houses one of the few Japanese war museums dedicated to World War II

Yasukuni is a shrine to house the actual souls of the dead as kami, or "spirits/souls" as loosely defined in English. It is believed that all negative or evil acts committed are absolved when enshrinement occurs. This activity is strictly a religious matter since the separation of State Shinto and the Japanese government in 1945. The priesthood at the shrine has complete religious autonomy to decide to whom and how enshrinement may occur. They believe that enshrinement is permanent and irreversible. According to Shinto beliefs, by enshrining kami, Yasukuni Shrine provides a permanent residence for the spirits of those who have fought on behalf of the emperor. Yasukuni has all enshrined kami occupying the same single seat. The shrine is dedicated to give peace and rest to all those enshrined there. It was the only place to which the Emperor of Japan bowed.

History of Yasukuni Shrine

The site for the Yasukuni Shrine, originally named Tōkyō Shōkonsha (東京招魂社) was chosen by order of the Meiji Emperor. This shrine was to commemorate the soldiers of the Boshin War who fought and died to bring about the Meiji Restoration. It was one of several dozen war memorial shrines built throughout Japan at that time as part of the government-directed State Shinto program. In 1879, the shrine was renamed Yasukuni Jinja. It became one of State Shinto's principal shrines, as well as the primary national shrine for commemorating Japan's war dead. The name Yasukuni, quoted from the phrase 「吾以靖国也」 in the classical-era Chinese text Zuo Zhuan (Scroll 6, 23rd Year of Duke Xi), literally means "Pacifying the Nation" and was chosen by the Meiji Emperor. The name is formally written as 靖國神社, using obsolete (pre-war) kyūjitai character forms.

After World War II, the US-led Occupation Authorities issued the Shinto Directive. This directive ordered the separation of church and state and effectively put an end to State Shinto. Yasukuni Shrine was forced to become either a secular government institution or a religious institution independent from the Japanese government. People[who?] decided that the shrine would become a privately funded religious institution. Since that decision in 1946, Yasukuni Shrine has continued to be privately funded and operated.

Shinto rites are performed at the shrine, which, according to Shinto belief, houses the kami, or spirits, of all Japanese, former colonial subjects (Korean and Taiwanese) and civilians who died in service of the emperor while participating (forced or willing) in the nation's conflicts prior to 1951.


There are over 2,466,000 enshrined kami currently listed in the Yasukuni's Symbolic Registry of Divinities. This list includes soldiers, as well as women and students who were involved in relief operations in the battlefield or worked in factories for the war effort. Enshrinement is not exclusive to people of Japanese descent. Currently, Yasukuni Shrine has enshrined 27,863 Taiwanese and 21,181 Koreans without consultation of surviving family members and in some cases against the stated wishes of the family members. There are numerous enshrined kami who died at Chinreisha.

Eligible categories

As a general rule, the enshrined are limited to military personnel who were killed while serving Japan during armed conflicts. Civilians who were killed during a war are not included, apart from a handful of exceptions. A deceased must fall into one of the following categories for enshrinement:

1. Military personnel, and civilians serving for the military, who were:

- killed in action, or died as a result of wounds or illnesses sustained while on duty outside the Home Islands (and within the Home Islands after September 1931)
- missing and presumed to have died as a result of wounds or illnesses sustained while on duty
- died as a result of war crime tribunals which have been ratified by the San Francisco Peace Treaty
2. Civilians who participated in combat under the military and died from resulting wounds or illnesses (includes residents of Okinawa)
3. Civilians who died, or are presumed to have died, in Soviet labor camps during and after the war
4. Civilians who were officially mobilized or volunteered (such as factory workers, mobilized students, Japanese Red Cross nurses and anti air-raid volunteers) who were killed while on duty
5. Crew who were killed aboard Merchant Navy vessels
6. Crew who were killed due to the sinking of exchange ships (e.g. Awa Maru)
7. Okinawan schoolchildren evacuees who were killed (e.g. the sinking of Tsushima Maru)
8. Officials of the governing bodies of Karafuto Prefecture, Kwantung Leased Territory, Governor-General of Korea and Governor-General of Taiwan

Enshrinement of war criminals

One of the controversies arises out of the enshrinement of World War II war criminals. According to documents released by the National Diet Library of Japan in 2007, Health and Welfare Ministry officials and Yasukuni representatives officially met 31 January 1969. After the meeting the Shrine officials and Ministry officials agreed that all "are eligible" for enshrinement based on the extant rules. After the meeting, it was specifically decided to not publicly announce the criminals' enshrinement due to the controversial decision.[42] In 1959, the kami of 1,068 executed as Class-B or C war criminals by Allied Forces military trials were enshrined at Yasukuni.[43] In 1978, the kami of 14 executed or died in prison who were sentenced or suspected as Class-A war criminals by IMTFE were enshrined at Yasukuni.[44] According to a memorandum released in 2006 by Imperial Household Agency Grand Steward Tomohiko Tomita, enshrined Class-A was the reason Emperor Hirohito refused to visit the shrine from 1978 until his death in 1989.[45][46] Since the enshrinement, there have been calls from some groups of people to remove the war criminals from Yasukuni Shrine. Shrine officials have stated that unlike traditional Shinto shrines, all enshrined kami are immediately combined and therefore become impossible to be separated for removal.[47] There has been no move to separate the enshrinements.

(extract from wikipedia)

靖国神社:不为人知的攻防战









Lee Teng Hui(李登輝) & Yasukuni Shrine

In May 2007, Ex President of Taiwan Republic of China Lee Teng Hui(李登輝)visited Yasukuni Shrine. Lee said his brother was enshrined in Yasukuni Shrine as a navy with Imperial Japanese Navy who died during WW2. Lee's elder brother served in the Japanese Imperial Navy and died while on duty in February 1945 in the Philippines.

Lee's father was a middle-level Japanese police aide and his brother served and died in the Imperial Japanese Navy. Lee was one of only four Taiwanese students in his high school class—graduated with honors and was given a scholarship to Japan's Kyoto Imperial University, then known as Kyoto Technical School. In 1944 he too volunteered for service in the Imperial Japanese Army and became a second lieutenant officer of an anti-aircraft gun in Taiwan. He was ordered back to Japan in 1945 and participated in the clean-up after the great Tokyo firebombing of March, 1945. Lee stayed in Japan after the surrender and graduated from Kyoto University in 1946. During his youth Lee had a Japanese name, Iwasato Masao (岩里政男).

Ironically, he was presented with the first Shinpei Goto Prize by Tokyo's Shinpei Goto Society. The prize was established to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of the late Japanese colonial administrator Shinpei Goto(後藤新平),and is awarded to people who have contributed to national or regional development.

What is in the mind of a Father of Taiwan independence?.

The agreement for keeping the Yasukuni Shrine (靖国神社)after the war, was there will not be any state Shintoism, where Yasukuni Shrine (靖国神社)will only remain as purely a civilian independent religion institution, free from politic and militarism. But has the Yasukuni Shrine comply with that after the war? Just look at the movies below:

靖国神社, 軍装おじさん、自衛隊に「大和魂」を求むる

The ceremony was full of military color, reflective of revival of Japanese militarism. It was no longer just a simple family remembrance ceremony for the family members. It already become a symbolic place for the ultra-right militarist and supporters.

Will Yasukuni be the birth place of future Japanese Militarism? or as some critic said, the revival of Japanese Militarism....

This is the worry of the people all over the world.













2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

The famous photograph of VJ Day Kiss at Time Square

The famous photograph of VJ Day

V–J day in Times Square, one of the most famous photographs ever published by Life, was shot in Times Square on August 14, 1945, shortly after the announcement by President Truman occurred and people began to gather in celebration. News wire reports of the announcements in Japan had let the media know the likelihood of an imminent announcement. Alfred Eisenstaedt went to Times Square to take his specialty, candid photographs and he spotted a sailor: "There were thousands of people milling around, in side streets and everywhere. Everybody was kissing each other . . . And there was also a Navy man running, grabbing anybody, you know, kissing, I ran ahead of him because I had Leica cameras around my neck, focused from 10 feet to infinity. You only had to shoot . . . I didn't even know what was going on, until he grabbed something in white. And I stood there, and they kissed. And I snapped five times." He took five exposures, but only published the one he selected as the best. Eisenstadt was very gratified and pleased with this enduring image, saying: "People tell me that when I am in heaven they will remember this picture."

The central figures in the photograph never were confirmed by Eisenstaedt although, as he would probably agree, the identities of his fellow subjects were not important - instead the representative nature of the many men and women rejoicing was the intention. Life, however, received nurse Edith Cullen Shain's claim as the woman to hold this honor in a handwritten letter to Eisenstaedt thirty-five years later. After that a call was made in the magazine for the identity of the man. Three women claimed to be the nurse. More than twenty men have claimed to be the sailor, but none has been identified positively as the man. Edith Shain considered the possibility of one man, Carl Muscarello, but finally stated that she could not tell whether he was or not. Shain died Sunday, June 20, 2010, in Los Angeles.

End of Pacific War on 15-8-1945

Today is 15th August, the VJ Day. 8月15日。今日は、終戦記念日です。





Victory over Japan Day (also known as Victory in the Pacific Day, V-J Day, or V-P Day) is a name chosen for the day on which the Surrender of Japan occurred, effectively ending World War II, and subsequent anniversaries of that event. The term has been applied to both the day on which the initial announcement of Japan's surrender was made in the afternoon of August 15, 1945, in Japan, and because of time zone differences, to August 14, 1945, (when it was announced in the United States, Western Europe, the Americas, the Pacific Islands, and Australia/New Zealand), as well as to September 2, 1945, when the signing of the surrender document occurred.

August 15 is the official V-J Day for the UK while the official US commemoration is September 2. The name, V-J Day, had been selected by the Allies after they named V-E Day for the victory in Europe.

On September 2, 1945, a formal surrender ceremony was performed in Tokyo Bay, Japan aboard the battleship USS Missouri. In Japan, the day usually is known as the "memorial day for the end of the war" (終戦記念日 Shūsen-kinenbi); the official name for the day, however, is "the day for mourning of war dead and praying for peace" (戦歿者を追悼し平和を祈念する日 Senbotsusha wo tsuitōshi heiwa wo kinennsuru hi). This official name was adopted in 1982 by an ordinance issued by the Japanese government.

August 15 is commemorated as Liberation Day in Korea.

As the final official surrender of Japan was accepted aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945, the Nationalist Government of the Republic of China, which represented China on the Missouri, announced the three-day holidays to celebrate V-J Day, starting September 3. Starting from 1946, September 3 was celebrated as "Victory of War of Resistance against Japan Day" ( 抗日戰爭勝利紀念日), which evolved into the Armed Forces Day (軍人節) in 1955. September 3 is recognized as V-J Day in the People's Republic of China. There are still "September 3" streets (九三街) and primary schools (九三小学) in almost every major city in China.

One is VJ Day or Liberation Day to remember civilian who was killed, and military man who died during the war to defend their country. The other is Memorial or Surrender day to remember civilian died during the war, and the Imperial Japanese Army who died for invading other countries. It was the day with positive and negative value for the young generations, from different perspective.

VJ Day should not be the day to remember aggression and violence in war, or to honor militarism or war criminals who killed innocent civilians..... it should be the day to remember the positive value of heroic act to defend a nation, to help the weak, and to promote the message of peace....

Yasukuni Shrine or Yasukuni Jinja(靖国神社)

Yasukuni Shrine (靖国神社 or 靖國神社 Yasukuni Jinja) is a Shinto shrine located in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. It is dedicated to the soldiers and others who died fighting on behalf of the Emperor of Japan. Currently, its Symbolic Registry of Divinities lists the names of over 2,466,000 enshrined men and women whose lives were dedicated to the service of Imperial Japan, particularly to those killed in wartime. It also houses one of the few Japanese war museums dedicated to World War II.

The site for the Yasukuni Shrine, originally named Tōkyō Shōkonsha (東京招魂社) was chosen by order of the Meiji Emperor. This shrine was to commemorate the soldiers of the Boshin War who fought and died to bring about the Meiji Restoration. It was one of several dozen war memorial shrines built throughout Japan at that time as part of the government-directed State Shinto program. In 1879, the shrine was renamed Yasukuni Jinja. It became one of State Shinto's principal shrines, as well as the primary national shrine for commemorating Japan's war dead. The name Yasukuni, quoted from the phrase 「吾以靖国也」 in the classical-era Chinese text Zuo Zhuan (Scroll 6, 23rd Year of Duke Xi), literally means "Pacifying the Nation" and was chosen by the Meiji Emperor. The name is formally written as 靖國神社, using obsolete (pre-war) kyūjitai character forms.

One of the central controversies of the shrine is the personal visits by Japanese politicians. There have been many visits including numerous politicians, and heads of state including several prime ministers. Many in the international and Asian community see this as support for or complicity with Japanese nationalism, and denial of the events of World War II. The politicians themselves see this as paying respect to the over two million war dead of Japan from several wars, done on personal time.

After World War II, the US-led Occupation Authorities issued the Shinto Directive. This directive ordered the separation of church and state and effectively put an end to State Shinto. Yasukuni Shrine was forced to become either a secular government institution or a religious institution independent from the Japanese government. People[who?] decided that the shrine would become a privately funded religious institution. Since that decision in 1946, Yasukuni Shrine has continued to be privately funded and operated.

(extract from wikipedia)

There are still people who still pay respect to Japanese militarism, the Class A criminals who started the Pacific War, causing the death of many people during the World War 2. If it was the family members that pay the respect in their family shrine, it is private affairs, no body will bother about it. But if a national leaders are paying their respect during VJ day, then it is like saying, that Japan cherish the militarism and their war criminal acts; it is a disrespect to all civilian people who died during the war, Japanese or non-Japanese. It is also the disrespect to the Japanese civilian victims of atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They died as innocent people, as civilian. It was because of the two atomic bombs that killed many in Hiroshima and Nagsaki, Japan emperor surrender. The lives of many people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, resulted in surrender, otherwise more lives will be lost if the emperor did not surrender. May be more atomic bombs will be dropped. The people of Hiroshima and Nagsaki died for their emperor unknowingly and may be not willingly...

It is worst if the Japanese nation attempt to erase or alter the history of World War 2.....it is not respectful even to their own people who died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, who died because of Japanese militarism and because of the wars...

If you feel for the victims of Atomic Bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, you will also feel for the victims of the World War 2(Pacific War) who died during the war started by Japan militarism, Japanese Imperial Army....we will feel the same pain for them, the same sorrow for them, they died unwillingly from the war started by Japan. Japan is the offender, the initiator of the war, they should feel sorry for the war, Surrender Day should be the day for repentance, the day to remember the war crimes done, and the day to call for world peace...

I really respect the German, who was bold to face the history, and even pay their respect to the Jews and victims of WW2. I remember seeing a picture of one German foreign minister who even kneel down in front of WW2 memorial, with the public watching, with regret in his heart, and tears in his eyes. This gained the respect of the people witnessed the memorial ceremony.

That is the difference between Japanese and the German....and today German can walk boldly to face their future, unlike Japanese who still carrying the burden of the WW2, trying to erase or justify the act of the war....

Japan should take the courageous step to be sensitive to the feeling of the victim countries, avoid any ceremony and activities that will provoke their emotion and sad memories. The scar of the war is difficult to erase from memory, just like the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Surrender Day or Victory Day, it does not matter; the most important is the message that many civilian lives were lost because of the war, the war started by Japanese militarism. Any peaceful citizen of the world, Japanese or non-Japanese, will not let it to happen again, ....

To many people the war had ended, but to the victims and their families, the memory of the war still linger in their life.....the scar and bad experience of the war still remain strongly in their heart, and the painful experience still torment them even until today.....

Let there be no war, the message is clear....

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

This is London, MY God!

The young man was filmed sitting on the floor dazed as he appeared to have an injury to his mouth. Surrounded by a number of youths he is helped to his feet by one, stepping carefully past a pool of his blood.

As he stood upright a man searched into the boy's backpack, snatching items from the bag. Other youths joined the mugging, grabbing anything they could find from the vulnerable victim's pack.

The footage posted online mirrors scenes across North London where looting has been rife.



London has being a great city; and the old gentleman days of British people who teach us about human right and democracy; the country who provide us our legal system and parliament.

The country that many great missionaries come from....who had touched many lives..

The top education opportunities given to many nations...

The humanitarian help and citizenship given to political refugees...

But sad to say, it seems that Britain has changed; may be there are not many old Londoners around now a day. They have moved? London has lost its charm...its greatness....

or

Are they Londoners or outsiders? they seems to have the same culture, not typical of London we know...

or

Their culture has been polluted by the humanitarian import?

or

There is no thankfulness by the outsiders for the local Londoners from the people they helped and who provided them homes in London?

.... the name of London, the great city, is her reputation of the city now fading out?

.... gone will be the tourist money and education fund of other countries.....

or

Is it because of the weak economy? is it still safe to walk in London now? Many questions to ponder....may be to postpone the next holiday to London?...


What happen to London? .....

Instead of helping the injured victim, he has been mugged, not one but many joined in, and this happen in the North London riots

Where is the human right advocates?....where is the police?....

This happen in London....where is the old London now?


OMG....What a shameful act...of great city to a visitor...


Now I remember Norway.....the extremism become popular culture?.....and now the new culture of London....

or is it global phenomenon of the young people; a popular culture from the internet era....is it war and violence computer games? is it idolized football hooligan culture? is it fragile emotion? is it the manifestation of social instability?,or uneasiness not to get what they want, the modern electronic gadgets popularized by advertisement and social media? discontent caused by social pressure?..... a state of social unbalance.....manifested by crowd contagion, which developed into violence.....

The psychological development is similar to Norway mass killer, but here the contagion effect was taking place, no longer a lone ranger. With the help by social media, it evolved into emotional violence of the crowds.....abuse of freedom of association....

It is not the issue of wrong time and the wrong place; it is the social problems of a nation...

It is the interaction of Generation Y and social media, a double edged swords, the speed it stir up emotion like contagion effect of Jasmine Revolution, but this is for different agenda, a negative and destructive agenda.... this is typical example of abuses of social media by Y generation. While we are excited when social media was used in Jasmine Revolution and its contagion; but we are now faced another side of social media, how it can also be used for destructive purpose.

Is it a warning sign and time bomb for the future of London?

A great problem to arise, like in Norway; for UK, and for many countries having similar problems....where family value breakdown, where religion value disappeared, where moral value declined, where human does not care about other human, where emotion is contagion and wild, where there is no reasoning,......

A global problem to come.....

Monday, August 8, 2011

Interview With Crew of the Enola Gay

Remember Nagasaki

I visited Nagasaki on 12-3-2011, one day after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake on 11-3-2011. My train to Nagasaki was canceled on 12-3-2011 due to the Tsunami as told by JR office. We were forced to take bus to Nagasaki. Nagasaki is an attractive port city on the island of Kyushu and the capital of Nagasaki Prefecture. My plan to Nagasaki was to the Peace Park, Site of the Martyrdom of the 26 Saints of Japan, and trace the journey of St Francis Xavier in Japan, and his journey to Yamaguchi,and possibly to Kyoto. This is because he was linked to our local history in Malacca and Penang. But sad to say due to the delay in changing the transport mode, I only visited Peace Park, and Urakami Cathedral, rebuilt after its destruction in the atomic bombing. Urakami Cathedral was once the largest church in Asia.

I stayed near Meganebashi (Spectacles Bridge), bridge over the Nakashima River (中島川) was built in Nagasaki in 1634 by the Chinese monk Mozi of Kofukuji Temple.It is said to be the oldest stone arch bridge in Japan.

But I still enjoyed every moment of my stay, talking with the local folks, strolling in the city, taking the trams.....it remind me of my last holiday in San Francisco, the trams, the sea, the food, and the churches...

So Nagasaki, give me many good memories, despite the earthquake and radiation fear. It is a peaceful city, friendly. I would have spent more days if I have more time. I will return one day to have more days at Nagasaki.


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On 9 August 1945, three days after the bombing of Hiroshima, a nuclear bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, killing a total of over 100,000 people. Six days later Japan surrendered, officially ending World War II. At 11:02 a.m., when the north of the city was destroyed and an estimated 40,000 people were killed by the bomb codenamed "Fat Man." According to statistics found within Nagasaki Peace Park, the death toll from the atomic bombing totaled 73,884, as well as another 74,909 injured, and another several hundred thousand diseased and dying due to fallout and other illness caused by radiation.

Part of Nagasaki was home to a major Imperial Japanese Navy base during the First Sino-Japanese War and Russo-Japanese War. Nagasaki became a center of heavy industry. Its main industry was ship-building, with the dockyards under control of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries becoming one of the prime contractors for the Imperial Japanese Navy, and with Nagasaki harbor used as an anchorage under the control of nearby Sasebo Naval District.

Note:Sasebo (佐世保市, Sasebo-shi) is a city located in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. Sasebo Naval District(佐世保鎮守府, Sasebo chinjufu), founded in 1886, became the major naval port for the Japanese navy in its operations in the First Sino-Japanese War and Russo-Japanese War, and remained a major naval base to the end of World War II. Along with the base facilities, the navy also constructed the Sasebo Naval Arsenal(佐世保海軍工廠,Sasebo Kaigun Kosho), which included major shipyards and repair facilities. After the war, part the base facilities were taken over by the United States Navy, forming U.S. Fleet Activities Sasebo. Part of the base are shared with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.The U.S. Fleet Activities continued to support ships of the U.S. Seventh Fleet. Service Force ships as well as minecraft made Sasebo their home port.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd (三菱重工業株式会社, Mitsubishi Jūkōgyō Kabushiki-kaisha), or MHI, is a Japanese company. It is one of the core companies of Mitsubishi Group.

In 1870 Yataro Iwasaki, the founder of Mitsubishi took a lease of Government-owned Nagasaki Shipyard. He named it Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works, and started the shipbuilding business on a full scale. This shipbuilding business evolved into Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., which became Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. in 1934. It was the largest private firm in Japan, manufacturing ships, heavy machinery, airplanes, and railroad cars. From its inception, the Mitsubishi Nagasaki shipyards were heavily involved in contracts for the Imperial Japanese Navy.

In 1942, the battleship, "Musashi"(1942-1944)was completed by Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard(三菱重工業長崎造船所), for the Japanese Imperial Navy in the shipyard at Nagasaki. Musashi (武蔵), named after the ancient Japanese Musashi Province, was a battleship of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II and flagship of the Japanese Combined Fleet. She was the second ship of the Yamato-class. She and her sister ship, Yamato, were the heaviest and most powerfully armed battleships ever constructed displacing 72,800 long tons (74,000 t) fully loaded, and armed with nine 46 cm (18.1 in) main guns. Constructed of Musashi was from 1938–1941 and formally commissioned in the summer of 1942, Musashi served as the flagship of Admirals Isoroku Yamamoto and Mineichi Koga in 1943. Throughout 1943, Musashi remained within the naval bases at Truk Lagoon, Kure(呉市, Kure-shi, near Hiroshima. Kure was the home naval base of the largest battleship ever built, the Yamato), and Brunei, transferring between them several times in response to American air strikes on Japanese island bases. Musashi was sunk on 24 October 1944 by American carrier aircraft during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

Major naval vessels built before World War II

1. 通報艦:最上 [I] (長崎での軍艦建造第1号)(Dispatch boat : best [I] (No. 1 warship construction in Nagasaki))

2. 防護巡洋艦 : 矢矧 [I] (Protected cruiser : Yahagi [I])
3. 戦艦 : 霧島 、 日向 、 土佐 (未成)、 武蔵 (Battleship : Kirishima , Hyuga , Tosa (unfinished), Musashi)
4. 重巡洋艦 : 古鷹 、 青葉 、 羽黒 、 鳥海 、 三隈 、 利根 、 筑摩( Heavy Cruiser : Takaful , Aoba , Haguro , Toriumi , Mikuma , Tone , Chikuma)
5. 軽巡洋艦 : 多摩 、 木曾 、 名取 、 川内 (Light Cruisers : Tama , Kiso , Natori , Kawauchi)
6.航空母艦 : 天城 、 笠置 (未成)、 隼鷹 、 海鷹 (改装工事) (Aircraft Carrier : Amagi , Kasagi (unfinished), falcon hawk , sea hawk (renovation))
7. 潜水母艦 : 迅鯨 、 長鯨 (Submarine tender : Fast Whale, Long whale)
8. 駆逐艦( Destroyer)

* 神風型 :白露 [I]、白雪 [I] 、白妙、 水無月 [I] (Kamikaze type : Bailu [I], Snow White [I],白妙, Minazuki [I])
* 秋月型 (乙型): 照月 、 涼月 、 新月 、 若月 、 霜月 (Akizuki type (type B): Haoyue , Ryo Mon , moon , Wakatsuki , Shimotsuki )

These connections with the military made Nagasaki a major target for bombing by the Allies in World War II.

Following the end of World War II, and the dissolution of the zaibatsu((財閥) MHI was divided into three entities: West Japan Heavy-Industries, Ltd., Central Japan Heavy-Industries, Ltd. and East Japan Heavy-Industries, Ltd. It was only re-consolidated in 1964 and reborn as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.(MHI), its former name before the war.

Nagasaki & Kokura

Kokura, center of Kitakyūshū,ukuoka Prefecture(福岡県, Fukuoka-ken),Japan. It had been the primary target of the nuclear weapon "Fat Man" on August 9, 1945, but on the morning of the raid, the city was obscured by clouds and smoke from an earlier fire-bombing of the neighboring city of Yahata. Since the mission commander Major Charles Sweeney had orders to only drop the bomb if the target was sighted, he was ordered to proceed to the secondary target of Nagasaki, where the weapon was dropped. Kokura had been the secondary target of the "Little Boy" bomb, which had been dropped three days earlier by the Enola Gay on Hiroshima. Kokura is lucky, and Nagasaki took over its place.

Nagasaki & Japanese Christianity

But Nagasaki was also the city of Christian churches, with the largest concentration of Japanese Christian there. Some US citizens questioned why Nagasaki?. Many of Churches and Christian Sites in Nagasaki have been proposed for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List. One of the place you must visit is Site of the Martyrdom of the 26 Saints of Japan(日本26聖人殉教者),Nihon Nijuroku Seijin or 26 Japanese Martyr, refers to a group of Christians who were executed by crucifixion on February 5, 1597 at Nagasaki.

The nearby Oka Masaharu Memorial Nagasaki Peace Museum is one of the few places in Japan where the war crimes of the Japanese army during the Second World War are documented.

Nagasaki is also the nearest port city to Asia. It was the place where Chinese culture and Western culture met in Japan. It is a cultural city.

Nagasaki is a very interesting city, sadly, it is the 2nd city after Hiroshima, and the last city in the world to experience a nuclear attack. But it is a city that saved Kokura from the atomic bomb, a heroic city....

Let the role played by Nagasaki as a naval base for Japanese Imperial Navy be the history of the past. Forgive but not forget, the lives lost in many countries under Japanese Imperial Army & Japanese Imperial Navy, and Japaneses militarism. Also remember the lives of innocent Japanese civilian lost, when the 2nd Atomic bomb dropped in Nagasaki. The recent Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant leakage and the radiation risk should remind us the ugly face of nuclear weapon and nuclear plant..... let us remember Nagasaki, and remind us on Fukushima, another atomic bomb explosion may not be from the military action, but from civilian nuclear plant...

Remember Nagasaki for the role it played for world peace after the atomic bombing. Remember people of Nagasaki for their suffering after atomic bomb destroyed their city.

Nagasaki, now a peace city for the world....





Tsutomu Yamaguchi (山口彊)

Tsutomu Yamaguchi (山口彊)

When I read about Tsutomu Yamaguchi(やまぐち つとむ), I said to myself, my God he is so lucky, no one will survive with such experience. Despite he was featured in the BBC program dated December 17, 2010, as "The Unluckiest Man in the World.". Yamaguchi in fact is the luckiest man in the world to survive the two atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, who even lived until the age of 93.

Tsutomu Yamaguchi (山口彊) (b 1916 – d 2010)

Tsutomu Yamaguchi (山口 彊) (b March 16, 1916 – d January 4, 2010), he was a Japanese national who survived both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings during World War II. Although at least 160 people are known to have been affected by both bombings, he is the only person to have been officially recognized by the government of Japan as surviving both atomic explosions.

Yamaguchi was a resident of Nagasaki, he was in Hiroshima on business for his employer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries(長崎三菱造船) when the city was bombed at 8:15am on August 6, 1945. The following day on 7-8-1945 he returned to Nagasaki and, despite his wounds, returned to work on August 9, the day of the second atomic bombing. In 1957 he was recognized as a hibakusha (explosion-affected person) of the Nagasaki bombing, but it was not until March 24, 2009 that the government of Japan officially recognized his presence in Hiroshima three days earlier. He died of stomach cancer on January 4, 2010, dying at the age of 93, a long life indeed.

With such intensive exposure of radiation, he still lived until the age of 93, a miracle, and a very blessed man. Yamaguchi lost hearing in his left ear as a result of the Hiroshima explosion. He also went bald temporarily and his daughter recalls that he was constantly swathed in bandages until she reached the age of 12. Despite this, Yamaguchi went on to lead a healthy life. However, late in his life he began to suffer from radiation-related ailments including cataracts and acute leukemia. How the radiation related ailments only manifested at advance age, merit a study, and he must be more luckier than the BBC personnel’s who may not survived longer than him…….



Types of radiation released from atomic bombs

The energy released from a nuclear weapon detonated in the troposphere can be divided into four basic categories:
* Blast—40-50% of total energy
* Thermal radiation—30-50% of total energy
* Ionizing radiation—5% of total energy (more in a neutron bomb)
* Residual radiation—5-10% of total energy

The medical effects of a nuclear blast

The medical effects of a nuclear blast upon humans can be put into four categories:
•Initial stage -- the first 1–2 weeks, in which are the greatest number of deaths, with 90% due to thermal injury and/or blast effects and 10% due to super-lethal radiation exposure
•Intermediate stage -- from 3–8 weeks. The deaths in this period are from ionization radiation in the median lethal range
•Late period -- lasting from 8–20 weeks. This period has some improvement in survivors' condition.
•Delayed period -- from 20+ weeks. Characterized by “numerous complications, mostly related to healing of thermal and mechanical injuries coupled with infertility, sub-fertility and blood disorders caused by radiation.” Also, ionizing radiation from fallout can cause genetic effects, birth defects, cancer, cataracts and other effects in organs and tissue.

Before the war

Tsutomu Yamaguchi worked as a draftsman designing oil tankers, with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries at Mitsubishi Dock Yard Nagasaki(三菱重工業長崎造船所, ながさきぞうせんじょ)since the 1930s. The actual name of the dockyard was Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki Shipyard(三菱重工業株式会社長崎造船所).

In 1942, the battleship, "Musashi"(1942-1944)was completed by Mitsubishi Dock Yard Nagasaki, for the Japanese Imperial Navy in the shipyard at Nagasaki. Musashi (武蔵), named after the ancient Japanese Musashi Province, was a battleship of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II and flagship of the Japanese Combined Fleet. She was the second ship of the Yamato-class. She and her sister ship, Yamato, were the heaviest and most powerfully armed battleships ever constructed displacing 72,800 long tons (74,000 t) fully loaded, and armed with nine 46 cm (18.1 in) main guns. Constructed of Musashi was from 1938–1941 and formally commissioned in the summer of 1942, Musashi served as the flagship of Admirals Isoroku Yamamoto and Mineichi Koga in 1943. Throughout 1943, Musashi remained within the naval bases at Truk Lagoon, Kure, and Brunei, transferring between them several times in response to American air strikes on Japanese island bases. Musashi was sunk on 24 October 1944 by American carrier aircraft during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

So Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki Shipyard was linked to Imperial Japanese Navy as military ship builder. Tsutomu Yamaguchi was on the mission to Hiroshima, possibly linked to military ship building during the war.

Bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Yamaguchi lived and worked in Nagasaki, but in the summer of 1945 he went to Hiroshima for a three month business trip. On August 6 he was preparing to leave the city with two colleagues, Akira Iwanaga and Kuniyoshi Sato, and was on his way to the station when he realized he had forgotten his hanko, and returned to his workplace to get it. At 8:15 he was walking back towards the docks when the American bomber Enola Gay dropped the Little Boy atomic bomb near the centre of the city, only 3 km away. Yamaguchi recalls seeing the bomber and two small parachutes, before there was "a great flash in the sky, and I was blown over". The explosion ruptured his eardrums, blinded him temporarily, and left him with serious burns over the left side of the top half of his body. After recovering he crawled to a shelter, and having rested he set out to find his colleagues. They had also survived and together they spent the night in an air-raid shelter before returning to Nagasaki the following day. In Nagasaki he received treatment for his wounds and, despite being heavily bandaged, he reported for work on August 9.

At 11 am on August 9, Yamaguchi was describing the blast in Hiroshima to his supervisor, when the American bomber Bockscar dropped the Fat Man atomic bomb onto Nagasaki. His workplace again put him 3 km from ground zero, but this time he was unhurt by the explosion. However, he was unable to seek treatment for his now ruined bandages, and suffered from a high fever for over a week.

After the war

After the war, he worked as a translator for the occupying American forces and then became a schoolmaster before he later returned to work for Mitsubishi.

He becomes a vocal proponent of nuclear disarmament in his later life. He said "The reason that I hate the atomic bomb is because of what it does to the dignity of human beings." Speaking through his daughter during a telephone interview he said, "I can't understand why the world cannot understand the agony of the nuclear bombs. How can they keep developing these weapons?”.

When the Japanese government officially recognized atomic bombing survivors as hibakusha in 1957, Yamaguchi's identification stated only that he had been present at Nagasaki. Yamaguchi was content with this, satisfied that he was relatively healthy, and put the experiences behind him.

As he grew older, his opinions about the use of atomic weapons began to change. In his eighties, he wrote a book about his experiences (Ikasareteiru inochi, 生かされている命) and was invited to take part in a 2006 documentary about 165 double A-bomb survivors (known as nijū hibakusha in Japan) called Twice Survived: The Doubly Atomic Bombed of Hiroshima and Nagasaki(二重被爆), which was screened at the United Nations.

At the screening he pleaded for the abolition of atomic weapons

nijū hibakusha「二重被爆者」(Double Atomic Bombs survival)

At first Yamaguchi did not feel the need to draw attention to his double survivor status. However as he aged he felt that his survival was destiny and so in January 2009 he applied for double recognition. This was accepted by the Japanese government in March 2009, making Yamaguchi the only person officially recognised as a survivor of both bombings. Speaking about the recognition Yamaguchi said, "My double radiation exposure is now an official government record. It can tell the younger generation the horrifying history of the atomic bombings even after I die."
In 2009, Yamaguchi learned that he was dying of stomach cancer. He died on January 4, 2010 in Nagasaki at the age of 93. He had victory over the radiation threat from double atomic bombing, and lived along life. He is a brave man....

(source: extract from wikipedia with some modification)



We remember Tsutomu Yamaguchi (山口彊), and pray that there will not be any nuclear plant, and nuclear bombs. From the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, it revealed that the work of Tsutomu Yamaguchi (山口彊) is still a strong message to the world on the danger of radiation.

His message becomes clearer.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Remember Hiroshima

Hiroshima is such a loving place, if you ever being to the place. I was in Hiroshima on 13-3-2011,immediately after the 2011 earthquake(11-3-2011) when many people were leaving Japan. I really enjoyed every moment of Hiroshima.


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Hiroshima (広島市, Hiroshima-shi)is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture, and the largest city in the Chūgoku region of western Honshu, the largest island of Japan. It became best known as the first city in history to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon when the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) dropped an atomic bomb on it at 8:15 A.M. on August 6, 1945, near the end of World War II.



On Monday, August 6, 1945, at 8:15 AM, the Atomic Bomb "Little Boy" was dropped on Hiroshima by an American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay,directly killing an estimated 80,000 people. By the end of the year, injury and radiation brought total casualties to 90,000–140,000. Approximately 69% of the city's buildings were completely destroyed, and about 7% severely damaged.



Today it is August 6th ,2011. Today, both Hiroshima and Nagasaki observe the 66th anniversary of the American atomic attacks at the end of World War II, the survivors are hoping that they can use their unique moral standing, as the only victims of nuclear bombings, to wean both Japan and the world from what they see as mankind’s tragedy-prone efforts to tap the atom. “Is it Japan’s fate to repeatedly serve as a warning to the world about the dangers of radiation". The message is also a call and warning to stop the nuclear plant, and avoid any radiation hazard in any part of the world ....

The moment I stand at the Hiroshima railway station on 13-3-2011, coming from Nagasaki; my heart was telling me that this is the place I have been longing to visit, the place I am looking forward to come, it is Hiroshima. I am now in Hiroshima.....

Before I went to Japan, the two cities I must visit was not Tokyo and Kyoto, it was Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

As I walked and look at the city, walking in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park (広島平和記念公園, Hiroshima heiwa kinen kōen) and pondering of why the atomic bomb was dropped there. Did USA make a mistake?. Nagasaki was bombed for the reason that, initially it was to be Fukuoka, but due to cloudy condition that day it saved the city, the pilot choose Nagasaki. The city with large concentration of Japanese churches and Christians, a place with peace loving people. Nagasaki saved Fukuoka. Henry L. Stimson, the Secretary of War at the time, who had known and admired Kyoto ever since his honeymoon there several decades earlier, saved Kyoto. But why Hiroshima? Is it another mistake? In my heart I cried for Hiroshima, the painful past, we prayed that it will not happen again.

At the time of its bombing, Hiroshima was a city of some industrial and military significance. A number of military camps were located nearby, including the headquarters of the Fifth Division and Field Marshal Shunroku Hata's 2nd General Army Headquarters, which commanded the defense of all of southern Japan. Hiroshima was a minor supply and logistics base for the Japanese military. The city was a communications center, a storage point, and an assembly area for troops. It was one of several Japanese cities left deliberately untouched by American bombing, allowing a pristine environment to measure the damage caused by the atomic bomb.

The population of Hiroshima had reached a peak of over 381,000 earlier in the war, but prior to the atomic bombing the population had steadily decreased because of a systematic evacuation ordered by the Japanese government. At the time of the attack, the population was approximately 340,000–350,000. Because official documents were burned, the exact population is uncertain.

The A-Bomb Dome, the skeletal ruins of the former Industrial Promotion Hall. The building closest to the hypocenter of the nuclear bomb that remained at least partially standing. It was left how it was after the bombing in memory of the casualties. Today The A-Bomb Dome is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Look at the actual building that left, imagine the heat intensity and the fire that destroyed the building, despite the serene surroundings, your heart will be pumping with emotion for the moment.

Walking along the canal, arrived at The Rest House of Hiroshima Peace Park, just across the road, another atomic bombed building in the park.

The members of Free Hugs Moment were there near the bridge, just in front of The Rest House of Hiroshima Peace Park. The Free Hugs Campaign is a social movement involving individuals who offer hugs to strangers in public places. As we hug each other, under the banner of Free Hugs that day, remember a friendly hug will initiate a gratitude of friendship, peace, and comfort. It is more meaningful in the Peace City of Hiroshima.

...and walk not far away is The Children's Peace Monument.

The Children's Peace Monument is a statue dedicated to the memory of the children who died as a result of the bombing. The statue is of a girl with outstretched arms with a folded paper crane rising above her. The statue is based on the true story of Sadako Sasaki (佐々木禎子, Sasaki Sadako), a young girl who died from radiation from the bomb. She believed that if she folded 1,000 paper cranes she would be cured. Many children around the world now fold cranes and send them to Hiroshima. Folded paper cranes representing prayers for peace and Sadako Sasaki.

Hours spent in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum; each chapters of history were opened for us. Every hours of the day 8:15 A.M. on August 6, 1945 appeared while we walked in the museum. You feel like the heart is heavy, and tears flow freely from your eyes, step by step you are going into the time when bombing of the city took place.

I want to tell my daughter what happen to Hiroshima, I want to let her see what happen to Hiroshima. The young generation must know Hiroshima. Looking at her face in the museum, the kid who was born at the comfort and peace in the 90s. She must be ponder, why this happen. I need to tell her, kid, never follow blindly, love of our fellow human is the prime force behind any action. God make all man the same, all man are brothers within the four seas. No killings should allow to happen anywhere. No militarism, no fanaticism, no extremism, no racism....is the message of peace deliver to her heart. I pray that she receive the message....

As we pray in silence in front the Memorial Cenotaph.

Let the Peace Flame burned continuously, and peace forever be around the world

How good if the earth is full of peace... I feel like hearing the sound of Peace Bell not far from the park, it will ring each year on 6th August, an indication the longing of peace in our heart.

Let not forget Hiroshima, let the city always remind us the message of peace.

Hiroshima is a city of peace, when remember the city and the people, pray that peace still in our heart, and always remember human lives are the universal assets we should cherish,regardless of race. That killing of any kind should never happen again.

No military killings; No 911 like in New York; No mass killings like Norway.....

A little big of love, and remember the people who died in Hiroshima.

Remember Hiroshima.....and give peace a chance...







Blowing In The Wind

Listening to the song , a long time ago in the 60s. One of the popular and favorite song. It was the era of Vietnam War....but is the song still relevant today?...

In the changing modern world of today, the song still close to heart, there are many questions, the answer is still blowing in the wind.....

Looking at the world today, the song become more meaningful; the war still going on, the extremism and terrorism, another kind of war...

What happen to Norway recently....killing of mankind still going on...

We just cannot find the answer, except the breakdown of the universal value and religion belief; that love of mankind should be the foundation for all human undertakings. But war, extremism, terrorism, ultra politic, racism, fanatic religion, environment abuses, selfish capitalism, ugly global political agenda.......we lost the will to love the mankind, to love the environment....where many still dying of hunger and famine, diseases, and living in helplessness....

The answer is still blowing in the wind....may be we need a silence prayer in our heart, God, help the world...

"Blowing in the Wind" is a song written by Bob Dylan and released on his album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan in 1963. Although it has been described as a protest song, it poses a series of questions about peace, war and freedom. The refrain "The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind" has been described as "impenetrably ambiguous: either the answer is so obvious it is right in your face, or the answer is as intangible as the wind".

In 1999, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2004, it was ranked #14 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time"





How many roads must a man walk down,
before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove fly,
before she sleeps in the sand?
And how many times must a cannon ball fly,
before they're forever banned?

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind,
the answer is blowing in the wind.

How many years can a mountain exist,
before it is washed to the sea?
How many years can some people exist,
before they're allowed to be free?
And how many times can a man turn his head,
and pretend that he just doesn't see?

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind,
the answer is blowing in the wind.

How many times must a man look up,
before he sees the sky?
And how many ears must one man have,
before he can hear people cry ?
And how many deaths will it take till we know,
that too many people have died?

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind,
the answer is blowing in the wind.

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind,
the answer is blowing in the wind.

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet and painter. He has been a major figure in music for five decades and has had immense influence on popular music. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly reluctant figurehead of social unrest. A number of his early songs such as "Blowing in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" became anthems for the US civil rights and anti-war movements. Leaving his initial base in the culture of folk music behind, Dylan proceeded to revolutionize perceptions of the limits of popular music in 1965 with the six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone".

Since 1994, Dylan has published three books of drawings and paintings, and his work has been exhibited in major art galleries. As a songwriter and musician, Dylan has received numerous awards over the years including Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Awards; he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2008, a road called the Bob Dylan Pathway was opened in the singer's honor in his birthplace of Duluth, Minnesota. The Pulitzer Prize jury in 2008 awarded him a special citation for "his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.

(extract from wikipedia)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Penang Assam Laksa(檳城亞參叻沙)

Penang Laksa ranked No 7 in the world's 50 most delicious foods. Wah, so proud. This is what they commented on Penang Laksa.

No. 7. Penang laksa, Malaysia

“Poached, flaked mackerel, tamarind, chili, mint, lemongrass, onion, pineapple … one of Malaysia’s most popular dishes is an addictive spicy-sour fish broth with noodles (especially great when fused with ginger), that’ll have your nose running before the spoon even hits your lips.”

Read more: World's 50 most delicious foods #2 | CNNGo.com http://www.cnngo.com/explorations/eat/worlds-50-most-delicious-foods-067535?page=0,1#ixzz1TaIL5ss7

Penang Laksa, the correct name should be Penang Assam Laksa(檳城亞參叻沙). Penang Assam Laksa which was developed from the original Malay Laksa, was a Peranakan or Nyonya food, a merger of Chinese and Malay food elements found in Malaysia and Singapore, and to a lesser extent Indonesia and Siamese influences. You can found many types of Laksa in Malaysia and Singapore, Asam Laksa however is uniquely Penang, and it is commonly add with the word Penang, Penang Asam Laksa to denote authentic or original.

Why call it Laksa?

The origin of the name "laksa" is unclear. Laksa in Malay is the name of the noodle specifically for laksa, Assam means sour in Malay. Penang Assam Laksa, literally means "Sour Noodle from Penang". There are many theories on the derivation of the names;

(i) One theory traces it back to Hindi/Persian lakhshah, referring to a type of vermicelli, which in turn may be derived from the Sanskrit lakshas (लकशस्) meaning "one hundred thousand" (lakh). This theory has its credit, obviously laksa cannot be Chinese food, it is high probably the food with maritime root. The theory hold ground as historical Malaya was culturally and politically under the Indian influence.

(ii)It has also been suggested that "laksa" may derive from the Chinese word lak-sa(辣沙) , meaning "spicy sand" due to the ground dried prawns which gives a sandy or gritty texture to the sauce. It is sound Cantonese, but Penang's majority population of early Penang was Fujian people, speaking Minan dialects. So the possibility is remote. However it was normally called for a curry noodle or curry mee by Chinese from Ipoh to Kuala Lumpur, which is not Penang asam laksa.

(iii)The name comes from the similar sounding word "dirty" or "lasam", in Hokkien due to its appearance, the base soup with the fish meat into fine form,coupled with the prawn paste, it has a dirty look. But do you accept the dirty name given to food, especially nyaoya food, it is not their culture.

(iv) can it be from the Penang Hokkien word, rubbish, "lapsap". "Lapsap tang" means rubbish bin or pail. Laksa is lapsap, you just throw all ingredient things to make Penang Asam Laksa. Anyhow, it stick.

Looking at the history, the Indian influence in Malaya is apparent, and it is obviously with maritime influence. Laksa Assam may be derived from Asam Pedas Ikan Soup(Malay sour fish soup)without noodle, may be found by Malay fisherman/pirates or the Indian sailors ; later some inventive Chinese nyonya may just added the noodle,to form the laksa noodle, the Laksa noodle is unique, unlike other flour noodle(normally yellow) or rice vermicelli(white color); the prawn paste or hae kor, which is uniquely typical Penang; together with the herbal leaves(called Ulam in Malay) from the Siamese influence, spices imported from Indonesia, adding more spicy and greenery, the new product formed is called Penang Assam Laksa. The Penang Assam Laksa is actually the mix of various cultures that influence the Penang island in historical days, it is the reflective of the political and cultural influences. This may possibly be the historical part of it...... and it originated from Penang.

Thus Penang Assam Laksa can be considered as heritage food of Penang with long history, fully match with the Heritage City of Penang.

Types of Laksa

There are two basic types of laksa: curry laksa and asam laksa. Curry laksa is a coconut curry soup with noodles, while asam laksa is a sour fish soup with noodles. Thick rice noodles also known as laksa noodles are most commonly used, although thin rice vermicelli (bee hoon or mee hoon) are also common and some variants use other types. Penang laksa is called Penang Asam laksa, a sour type. Some innovative Penang hawker, some time ago come up with Laksa Lemah or coconut milk curry laksa,without asam or tamarind, some called it Siam laksa(暹叻沙).

In Malaysia, there are many types of laksa, some called it Malay laksa. You have the famous Laksa Johor and Laksa Kelantan, which are laksa lemah. The sour laksa type or assam laksa, you have Kedah Laksa, Perlis laksa from Kuala Perlis, which are similar to Penang laksa, except the ingredients. Kedah laksa use rice to make noodle and served with sliced egg; Perlis laksa served with catfish and eel fish. Ipoh laksa is actually Penang laksa, but more sour without prawn paste hae kor. Kuala Kangsar Laksa is more unique, noodle is made of wheat flour (usually hand made), you can found it in tourist complex near Perak River.

But the most memorial laksa that I ever tasted outside Penang, was the Trengganu laksa sold at Kuala Trengganu chinatown, Kampong Tiong, near an ancient bridge in late 70s. The fullness of fresh fish meats make the laksa really different. The shop no longer open today.

Asam Laksa

Asam laksa is a sour fish-based soup. Asam (or asam jawa) is the Malay word for tamarind, which is commonly used to give the stock its sour flavor. It is also common to use "asam keping" also known as "asam gelugor"(this is the name where Glugor town derived), dried slices of tamarind fruit, for added sourness. Modern Malay spelling is asam, though the spelling assam is still frequently used.
The main ingredients for asam laksa include shredded fish, normally kembung fish or mackerel, and finely sliced vegetables including cucumber, onions, red chillies, pineapple, lettuce, common mint, "daun kesum" (Vietnamese mint or laksa mint) and pink bunga kantan (ginger buds). Asam laksa is normally served with either thick rice noodles or thin rice noodles (vermicelli). And topped off with "petis udang" or "hae ko" (蝦羔), a thick sweet prawn/shrimp paste. For Penang Asam Laksa, it must served with hae ko, otherwise it is not Penang Laksa.

(source: wikipedia)

Talking about Penang Asam Laksa; I still remember my days of Laksa during the childhood days. I still remember the Nyonya cake shops at Kimberley Street. The shop that sell nyonya cakes and laksa . The shop not only selling wholesale at their shop, but also retailed by a team of Indian mobile laksa sellers. The Indian hawkers will carry rattan baskets of their cakes using pole over their shoulder. This is similar to the Nasi Kandar seller in the old day. The pole is called Kandar, thus derived the name of Nasi Kandar or Kandar rice(Pole rice). Cake basket was shouldered by the seller from one end of the "kandar" pole, the other end is the boiling laksa pot or container . The basket is layered, and packed with the nyonya cakes fresh from the shop. The pot of laksa soup is make warm by charcoal stove. This was the street hawkers that walking around old Penang streets. They were selling their nyonya cakes and Penang assam laksa to the office workers and families, especially stopping at the back lane where the family neighborhood normally gathered. It normally come in the afternoon. The laksa sellers is part of the old Penang mobile street food hawkers, just like top-top mee, nasi kandar etc. They left their shop at noon, and will return in the evening.

For the neighborhood, especially the poor folks, the best time is when the hawker returned, any leftover from their daily sale need to dispose off fast as the food cannot be kept for the next day, they normally throw it away. The price after the evening will be cheaper. We always buy the laksa from the hawker for our dinner, that was our special dinner in our childhood day. It is cheap and nutritious, and moreover for the family, the laksa soup can take together with rice. We always asked for more laksa soup. That was my memory of laksa during the childhood day. But the nyonya cake shop today no longer around.

The next laksa experience was the laksa hawker at Maxwell Road infront of Li Teik Primary School. This laksa hawker stall catered for school children. Its patron included school children from Li Teik and Chung Hwa Confucious school next to Li Teik. As it was also opposing the bus station of Hin Company or blue bus, the school children arriving from schools or going to schools by bus in the afternoon , may treat it as their lunch for the day. Beside the laksa stall ,was the tang-hoon fishball stall. These two stalls were the most popular among the school children. Sometime the cinema goers nearby will patron the stalls. At the time, it is no longer for daily dinner needs, we go for pineapples and spicy ingredients. The laksa must be spicy until sweats dropped from our face, and then only it is the best laksa. Another ask is asking for fish, “ ei hu bak lah”, or pineapple…..”ei ong lai lah”… Maxwell Road no longer around, and my school building had demolished for KOMTAR project, the taste of Laksa still linger in my memory.

The most famous laksa stall is Air Itam Maket Laksa Stall. But I do not know why they always called it Kek Lok Si Laksa Stall. Is it because there was another Laksa stall at Kek Lok Si?. But this laksa stall , located just beside the entrance of Air Itam Wet Market, can be said branded laksa stall in those day. The tourists will insist to have a bowl of laksa there before they left Kek Lok Si, or Air Itam. May be there are few commercial laksa stalls at tourist area, this stall was popular with the tourist, until today. In those day, Kek Lok Si was a must visit tourist area in Penang, the stall was having very good business from the visitors to Kek Lok Si. For Penang kid, may be for our poor family, you only have the chance to try it during Chinese New Year that means once a year, as part of Chinese New Year treat. The feeling of dressing in new clothing and eating laksa at the same time, sometime until your new clothing also get wet with sweat, when the soup is hot, and the day is sunny. It was always worth the experience, as during Chinese New Year, there were always long queue.

After many years away from Penang, whenever I was in Penang, it is always Penang Asam Laksa, Char Koay Teow, Hae Mee, Chee Cheng Fun, Curry Mee……But Penang Laksa is always special personally to me. After retirement, and returning to Penang, looking for Penang laksa all over Penang island, seeking for the taste of my childhood, the taste of my school days; but sad to say it never around. At time I was crazy about Balik Pulau laksa, going there many times just for laksa. I once tried the laksa sold by an Indian hawker sellers, a retailer from the modern nyonya cake shop in the old city, but now no longer using kandar pole, their containers and baskets are now in the carriage of tricycle, but the laksa no longer taste the same, as laksa from Kimberley Street.....

Suddenly I realized my taste bud must has changed due to aging, I will never get back the taste of childhood laksa, the taste of school days’ laksa….. I can only linger in my memory, the taste of old Penang laksa.

Laksa to me, was experience of the childhood dinner; was fond memory of the school days; Laksa is always my favorite street food.

And it is now the 7th most delicious foods in the world…..



If you're away in a foreign land and missing this Penang favorite, give this recipe a try. For a full recipe go to the blog at http://assamlaksainmudgeeaustralia.blogspot.com