Friday, March 2, 2012

Adventures in Japan! Part 2: Hiroshima

(Samurai armor displayed at Hiroshima castle)

Our adventure continues as Zer07 and I got on a plane to Hiroshima. Our first visit was to the Peace Memorial Museum located in Hiroshima's Peace Park. I recommend everyone who visits Japan to check out this museum. It chronicles the progression of events leading up to WWII and the fateful dropping of the atomic bomb. There are firsthand accounts of what it was like for the many victims of the blast, and models of the city show the shocking before and after images.

Outside the museum, There is a beautiful statue of Sasaki Sadako, one of the atomic bomb's younger victims. Sasaki Sadako was two years old when the bomb dropped. She survived and went on to be a strong and healthy young girl, but at the age of 11, she developed leukemia as a result of radiation exposure. Her best friend encouraged her to fold 1000 paper origamai cranes, which would allow her to make a wish to the gods to be cured. (In Japanese mythology, the crane is said to live 1000 years.) Sadako wasn't able to complete all of the 1000 origami cranes, so her classmates folded the rest for her after her death. Today, the statue of Sasaki Sadako is a tribute to her life and stands as a wish for peace.

(Sadako holding a large paper crane.)

(A man rings a bell for peace.)

(People from all around the world send paper cranes to Sadako's statue.)

Walking away from the Peace Park, you can see the A-Bomb Dome, a building that was just feet from the hypocenter of the blast and one of the only structures to barely survive. It has been maintained in its exact condition to show the atomic bomb's devastation.

As we continued to explore Hiroshima, we stumbled upon a cool looking castle! This is Hiroshima castle.

(Moat outside of castle.)

This castle was actually destroyed during the bomb, but was rebuilt to completely resemble its original. Inside, the castle is now a modern looking museum, with many artifacts from feudal Japan like samurai armor and weapons. No photography was allowed inside, so I tried to sketch a picture of some cool samurai armor.

Our adventure continues as Zer07 and I ride the shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto...

Other Adventures in Japan :
Part 1

1 comment:

  1. Such a great idea to do sketches of things you see on your trip! I think I'll do that too. Such a sad story that she couldn't finish the origami cranes. Thanks for sharing this historical story! Great to see your characters sightseeing! Hehe..