Special Feature: Magical Miyajima 특별 기사: 아름다운 미야지마 섬

지난 달에 일본에 여행을 갔다왔다. 이번 여행은, 나는 덜 인기있는 지역을 선택했다. 히로시마와 규슈에 갔다. 히로시마에 대해 이야기 할 때, 사람들이 에게 가장 생각하는 일은 원자 폭탄이다. 사실은 “원자 돔”은 히로시마의 상징이다.  그러나 무엇보다 잊을 수 없는 여행은 미야지마 섬이다. 20141129_123622작은 섬이지만 미야지마 섬에는 볼거리가 많다.  특히 유명한 미야지마 잇수쿠시마 신사는  제일 인상 깊었던 곳이다. 그 신사는 일본에서 다섯 손가락 안에 드는 관광 명소이다. 바다의 한가운데에 거대한 빨간 도리문은 신사의 입구입니다. 높이 약 16 미터에, 이 도리문은 1875 년에 지어졌다. 그 도리문은 썰물 때 보러 갈 수 있다. 그것은 일출 또는 일몰 때 태양에 물든 바다와 도리문의 풍경은 정말 환상적이다.

여행 중에 새로운 것을 먹어 보는 것도 하나의 커다란 즐거움을준다. 미야지마 섬에서 나는 맛있게구운 굴을 실컷 먹었다. 굴은 너무 큰 신선하고 저렴하다. 매우 부드럽고 즙이 많았다. 너무 맛있다!   LS20141129_14421720141129_153059

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Special Tribute: To The Faithfully Departed

Watching the news on Hiroshima’s 70th anniversary of the atomic bomb brings back memories of my visit here last year. In Singapore, we have been brought up to hate the Japanese because of their atrocities during World War II. I grew up on a diet of stories of Japanese soldiers’ cruelty, the Sook Ching massacre in Singapore and other war crimes, vividly told to us through documentaries, television dramas and illustrated in history textbooks. However, I bet few of us knew the horrors caused by the atomic bomb on the residents of Hiroshima. These were ordinary citizens too – men, women, children and babies.

DSC06812DSC06874If what the Japanese did to us was abominable, what the Americans did to the Japanese (in the name of ending the Pacific War) was unpardonable. I recalled the solemn atmosphere at the Peace Memorial Museum, the silent weeping of Japanese visitors as they pored through the exhibits at the Museum – remnants of children’s clothes, locks of hair, a sandal, lunch boxes, school uniforms, a tricycle, even finger nails.

Many of the dead and wounded were children. Many were drafted to work in factories because all the men had been conscripted to fight for their nation in the Pacific War. Stories of survivors fleeing the city, suffering third degree burns, and with burnt skin hanging from their limbs like melted candle wax, were displayed inside the museum.

DSC06844On 6 August 1945, Hiroshima was flattened by a uranium bomb, dropped by a US B-29 bomber, and which exploded about 600 metres above the city. Nicknamed ‘Little Boy’, the bomb unleashed a gigantic fireball (370 metres in diameter) over the city when it detonated, measuring 6,000 degrees Celsius. Thousands caught in the hypocentre of the bomb instantly vaproised. The resulting firestorm from the blast swept across Hiroshima, incinerating everything in its path. 140,000 people perished. The radiation emitted by the bomb will continue to haunt the generations after.

DSC06876DSC06875The Peace Memorial Park just outside the Museum had a dedicated section to the children who perished during the bombing. Thousands of colourful paper peace cranes, painstakingly folded and woven into Japanese kanji (or Chinese) characters symbolising Peace, dotted the Children’s Memorial Park. I stood in front of the Children’s Memorial, the statue of an angel, and said a silent prayer.

DSC06883DSC06887DSC06833DSC0689020141128_131112DSC0682720141128_132014DSC06845DSC06848DSC06849DSC06851DSC06854DSC06862DSC06871DSC06867DSC06877DSC06891DSC06893This year, Singapore celerbates 50 years of independence. On the same day 70 years ago, the Americans dropped a second atomic bomb, this time, on Nagasaki. If only you knew…   LS