Monday, August 08, 2011


The most beautiful city in the world is a twin city of Hiroshima. Therefore we have always some Japanese events going on and lots of people of all ages involved in them. So Hiroshima-Day was a big thing with stuff going on all day.
At 8 in the morning there was a commemoration in a bombed-out church which is a memorial for WWII.
The mayor of the most beautiful city in the world was there and he gave a very good speech. The Protestant church's local superintendent was there and gave a horrible, horrible speech. It was so horrible that I'm still disgusted now, two days later. Her speech didn't have a golden thread, a real beginning or a real ending. It was so horrible, that after she stepped away from the microphone, nobody clapped cuz we were all stunned in utter disbelief that she was even allowed to talk at this event. Aside from the bad style of her speech she also tried to use Japanese words, since it was a Japan-related event and she felt obligated to do so. Nevermind that the mayor had done well without it. I think I might never heard someone talk in foreign tongues who was this incapable of doing so. Speaking Japanese with German pronouciation sounds horrible enough (and ridiculous), but it was even worse than that. She talked about folding cranes with the oh-so-famous Japanese technique "Origamu".
Man, it was awful.
I doubt the mayor would have done a better job with Japanese, but I guess that's why he was so wise not to try.
Well, after her horrible speech (and some polite clapping from the confused audience), both of them rang the Hiroshima-memorial-bell three times exactly on the time when the bomb fell 66 years ago. Bong! Bong! Bong!
Such things make me shiver. The time it took them to ring the bell three times was enough time 66 years ago to make all hell break lose in Hiroshima.
Then they laid down a huge wreath with white and red flowers.
This was all supposed to be happening in silence and mostly did so if not for those three old men standing in the crowd behind me, who were talking all. the. fucking. time. Not even just talking and showing disrespect, but also exchanging business cards. Seriously guys, WHAT THE FUCK!? Why did they even come? I was about to hiss at them, but then restrained myself thinking it would show even more disrespect for the occasion to start up a fight.
Kids from a nearby summercamp from the YMCA laid down 1000 paper-cranes next to the wreath and it looked awesome! Do you know how much one thousand paper-cranes is?! It's a huge pile, huge, I tell you! What followed then was a Japanese tea ceremony, which bored me out of my skull. Yes, I'm interested in Japan. Still it doesn't mean I like everything from there. The ceremony was long and boring and just very long in general. Maybe it's because I detest green tea, so I just cannot bring myself to honour the effort to produce such a distasteful brew. Then it was over and we all went home.

During the day there were more events, but since I wasn't there, I won't tell you.

In the evening there was a Hiroshima-movie to be shown in the townhall. For the sake of being in good company, I called my friend Akane, who teaches me Japanese and I teach her German in return, if she wanted to join me. She's a very nice woman and I like her a lot. She was interested in it (she had forgotten it was Hiroshima-Day and was kinda shocked about that) and so we met there. Reaching the townhall proved to be very difficult though. The blogs in my blogroll tell me that other people are experiencing a hot, hot summer. I'm very jealous, because we didn't have summer so far. Sometimes there were a few days, which could have counted as a nice beginning for spring, but real summer remains to be unseen this year. And on this evening it rained like it will never rain again! Even though it was still supposed to be bright outside, it was dark as night. I ran through the rain with my umbrella and still got soaked. Akane had a longer way and had to wait at traffic lights and wasn't too happy either. Needless to say there were very few people at the movie.

The movie. I had tried looking the content up online, but couldn't find anything. Well, turns out that words couldn't have described what we saw. I never knew so many videos existed from the aftermath of the bomb. They showed all the cruelty and all the pain. It was really hard. Especially hard it was for Akane. For me this is still far away, but for her these are her own people. It's a town that she visited. She did not look at the screen all the time and I tried to comfort her the little I could. We were a bit relieved when the movie was over.

At the townhall we met a young woman, who was all over Japan. You know these people. Everything from Japan is great for them. The people are great! The culture is great! The food is great! The rainy season is great! I bet they even like green tea. This woman actually complained about our German rain and proceeded to talk about the wonderful rainy season in Japan. Make up your mind, girl! Do you like rain or not? She told us about her stays in Japan, her Japanese ex-boyfriend and her work in a German-Japanese exchange program. She was all agitated talking about Japan, but when I asked her questions about her life here she acted like it was all so boring and not worth talking about. Well, I bet it is!
Anyways... she was nice enough and had a camera and made cool pictures of us setting out paperlanterns after the movie at the pond behind the townhall. We promised to meet again and who knows. Maybe she has a life in Germany. I hope, she has. It's hard work to meet with people who don't have a life.

I will upload a paperlantern-picture once I receive them from her. Which I did.
Luckily the rain and wind stopped just in time for the paperlanterns and it was wonderful. Akane told us the spooky story about the lanterns: They are the souls of the dead who come to visit. Whaaa~ I'd rather not have the dead visiting me. To her, it didn't sound spooky at all though.

Hiroshima-Day made me realize again how thankful I can be. And I am indeed. I'm thankful I don't have to experience a war or an atom-bomb or hunger or wounds that don't heal. I'm thankful I live a peaceful life and that events like the Hiroshima-Day show me that my problems are so teeny. It makes me feel a lot lighter, knowing I don't have real worries. It even makes me be thankful that I can worry about little things.
So I'm also thankful that this day the rain stopped to every event outside that I attended even though the weather forecast didn't give any reason for hope.
And I'm thankful that meeting this woman had proved to me that I'm not Japan-crazy. Phew.


  1. oh, wow, what a rich post - so much in there! You know, I actually like green tea:) But I too hate the rain, and I'm trying to make sense of all the sorrows and worries that life brings. I live in a village where war and real poverty are very much living memories, and that - yes - in a sense makes me feel like my problems are small.


    This was a refreshing new view of the atomic bombing by someone who was there.