Hiroshima has always been a pain in the heart ever since I read an article about atomic bombing that appeared in one of the pioneering children’s magazines, Poombatta. That article was about the atomic bombing and its effect. Then later in the high school, our Physics teacher, Girijan Master explained the horrifying effect of the crime done to humanity by the US during the Second World War. We also had a picture of the erupting massive cloud of fire in our history book. That was what I knew about Hiroshima.
We visited Hiroshima during the Obon holidays in August. We reached at the Museum at around 8 in the morning. There was a long queue even 30 minutes before the opening time. The entrance fee is 200 JPY per adults. The entrance is free for children.
The US-born “Little Boy” killed 80,000 people on the spot was exploded with around 128,000 Newtons of force. We didn’t get an image of such a magnitude of the force. The explosion leveled approximately 13 square kilometers of Hiroshima. We saw a video of the explosion that attracted many visitors.
Somebody’s parents, somebody’s sisters, somebody’s brothers and somebody’s children…….but why I couldn’t control the tears from falling down when I saw their remains inside the museum? Is there something called Humanity? Probably No, at least to some of the homosapiens at the eastern shore of the Pacific Ocean.
It was not only me, who wanted to walk fast out of the display rooms. I could see a flock of visitors with periorbital puffiness trying to look far in the veranda that leads to the entrance hall of the museum. I joined that group as if I was waiting for our kids. Our daughters were busy in reading and understanding history.
Unknowingly, there was an internal resistance not to read the history that is written in the museum. History is written by winners, not by losers and the historical truths are not absolute. So, there was no point in reading the scripts written on the museum walls.
The museum was at a walking distance from the Crown Plaza Hotel, Nakamachi in Hiroshima city. The first day, we walked around the museum garden and saw the A-Bomb Dome. We reached on 11th August after two-days sightseeing in Osaka.
The driving distance from our apartment in Higashi Ojima to Crown Plaza Hotel was 829km. Such a distance is not really recommendable to reach by car. There are better options such as flight or Shinkansen. Flight takes around 90 minutes while cheaper shinkansen takes around 5 hours. Driving took m around 13 hours including breaks we took for lunch, coffee, dinner and the mild traffic jams in between.
The distance might be far from Tokyo, but Hiroshima is a place that every foreigner plan to visit even before they come to Japan. It took more than 10 years for us to finally decide and travel to Hiroshima.
While returning back from Hiroshima, we could see many trees standing here and there inside the mountains raising their charred branches. Whatever be the fact behind those trees, we preferred to believe that they survived the little boy’s massacre in 1945. Going further, we surprised that the Japanese authorities kept them purposely. Those trees still stand to remind the world that ‘You can kill, but can’t defeat!’