Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Atomic Bomb Museum - Nagasaki


WARNING:
There are gory and death graphic photos in this blog post.




 

1. We have long wanted to visit this Atomic Bomb Museum in Nagasaki to learn from the horrendous past history that shocked the world. We wanted to see how the shadows of the disaster was etched permanently onto the walls of a house as reported. Finally, we arrived at Nagasaki which is a pretty neat looking & tranquil city, rebuilt after Enola Gay wiped the entire place.






2. The whole vast areas of the Atomic Bomb's Museum covered several parks lined with several memorial plagues, rich lush landscapes and blooming flowers. It was like a pretty heavens on earth as I had never seen so much flowers on trees in my life. Nagasaki is beautiful.




3. This memorial piece writes "People At Peace". They have suffered enough and the painful memories lived on for many generations. We need peace to move on.




4. The citizens of this world should unite and foster the spirit to live in harmony and with caring hearts. 

My heart was sad and heavy that morning as I remembered my best Japanese friend Kasumi Esaki who was a sophomore year student at Point Park College in Pennsylvania. I met him at the college and became instant buddies for just 3 months. He was very helpful indeed &  was the first person to explain to me about this nuclear bomb in details that continued to affect the future generations. His mother survived the war but died later of advanced cancer as all the nuclear radiations were inside her body's cells. She sadly told her 2 sons that they would also die of cancer someday!




5. This is the spot where the Enola Gay plane dropped the Atomic Bomb which actually expoded fiercely before hitting the ground. All the lives came to a Zero.

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Kasumi shared this unbelievable story with me and 3 months later, he called me from Pittsburgh Mercy Hospital. He was dying from the deadly effects of the nuclear radiations which attacked his spine, lungs and everywhere! I saw him at his hospital bed and he was all swollen from head to toes like a painful balloon. All the students at Point Park College folded Japanese paper cranes and raised enough funds to help Kasumi to be air-flown back to Japan with a doctor, 2 nurses and 2 technicians in tow. He was granted his last wishes to die in his homeland.





6. When you reach the bridge, just cross it. That's what the proverb says.





7. Nagasaki's Atomic Bomb Museum





8. They hang up many lines of colourful threads to symbolize PEACE. Look closer and they are actually folded paper cranes being strung together beautifully.





9. At 11:02 a.m. on August 9, 1945, 
the explosion of an atomic bomb devastated Nagasaki. Many household clocks died and stopped ticking as a result of the huge mega explosions!




10. The museum is very big and well spaced out neatly with English/Japanese explanations for visitors to understand.



11. A replica of the deadly A-Bomb that created history.







12. A close-up of what the A-Bomb contained inside that could wipe out the population and kill the future generations!





13. I took many photographs of the exhibits but I will only share a few so that you will make a visit to this museum someday. Here all the tall green bamboo trees were burnt and melted during the explosion.





14. The huge explosions fired and grilled many people alive.




15. This is the most talked about photo that showed a man who stood by his ladder when the Atomic explosions radiated across leaving the shadows of his body and the ladder being etched to the walls. This was really scary and gave me endless goose bumps!




16. The soldier who survived with deadly scars and his uniform that was razed by the radiations.





17. The sad and painful scenes after the devastating Atomic bomb blast.






18. Thousands of survivors were disfigured badly and painfully.




19. This section was special with Japanese language headlines and captions only, for the natives to read. That made me curious to look further at the sensitive photos which triggered some unfavourable comments in the foreign reviews about the museum.To me, this museum was built to share the history and create awareness. It is not a shrine or a place for public apology. Please visit this place with open mind and heart.





20. Pretty folded paper cranes were pieced together to make this colourful Art. 
We should all live in PEACE and Say NO to NUCLEAR!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Kumamoto Castle In Spring


I always look forward to take the bullet trains in Japan & China as they are superbly fast, very spacious and comfortable! It is more relaxing than cramming up inside the planes. Here, we took a short train ride from Fukuoka to visit the famous Kumamoto Castle which was less than an hour away.



1. I took many photos along the rides around Kyushu Island. The good memories captured are very priceless to me.



 2. There were many interesting things to watch at the various train stations. 
Look at that banner of OBAMA SPA!




3. We reached the town and took a tram to reach the Kumamoto Castle. They have cute & easy trams all over the big & small towns in Japan.




 4. The tranquil roads are neat and covered with pretty Sakura petals.






 5. Most castles in Japan have long water canals flowing around their forts, making it real tough for enemies to reach them.




6. It was Spring and the Sakura trees were blooming everywhere! I loved the happy feeling to walk and admire the greens.
..... "A Thing Of Beauty Is A Joy Forever".....





7. This ancient castle has many high stone walls and sharp corners for the armies to shoot the arrows down!





8. The entrance to the magnificent Kumamoto Castle. You need to pay to enter.




9. I saw 3 wedding couples during my trip to Japan. I love their traditional outfits. I wore the same too when I got married.




10. There was a stall selling Bentos and Cakes outside the souvenir shop just beside the castle.
Everything looked so colourful and tempting.




11. We had to try this Sakura Mochi which came with a real Sakura flower on top! It tasted very fresh & yummilicious.





12. A kinky pose of excitement like SK's Signature "Running Away From Life's Problems".








13. Kumamoto Castle is a hilltop Japanese castle located in Chūō-ku, Kumamoto in Kumamoto Prefecture. It is a very large and extremely well fortified castle which was built with huge wooden structures and big rocky forts.




14. It was built by the famous warrior, Kiyomasa Kato around the year 1467.  The 3 most famous castles in Japan are Kumamoto Castle, Osaka Castle and Nagoya Castle. You must see all and they are not the same in size and layout.







15. The Main Tower was rebuilt in 1960 and houses a collection of weapons, armor and furnitures of the Edo Era.





16. The prominent entrance to walk inside the Kumamoto Castle.




17. There are hundreds of displays and artifacts inside but this piece of architectural model of the castle truly captured my attention to study its details. Simply beautiful and meticulous.






18. They also neatly displayed thousands of names on the wooden tablets.





19. They framed up 40 famous castles in Japan but there are actually over 100 castles being located all over Japan.




20. I climbed up the stairs to the highest level to admire the panoramic  North, South & West views of the Kumamoto City.



 


21. Hope you enjoyed the quick tour.



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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Farewell My Boss

My heart sank when I heard that he was being diagnosed with lung cancer which spread from other organs quickly. It was so sudden and he left us barely 2 months after being admitted to hospital. I will miss all his sarcasm jokes hurled at me. He was always humble towards me as I had to run his complicated errands which no one else could handle in the office. He would always clasp his hands in prayers to beg me to get his urgent tasks done and I never failed him. 
I shall miss him now. 




                                                                    




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