Also I am adding another haiku and photo to remember Hiroshima. I first visited the Peace Park and Museum in 1990 with Jill and brought each of my school groups here. Our students would make 1000 peace cranes with their sister school hosts in Osaka and leave them at the Sadako memorial in the Peace Park. A vist to the Peace Museum is a chilling reminder of the horror of nuclear weapons and the stupidity of war.
The three wise monkeys of Nikko Japan sum it all up. I had them high on my bucket list of what to see in Japan and was lucky to fulfill that wish in 1994. I was leading my first school trip to Japan and with one of my colleagues abandoned the students and other teachers in Tokyo Disneyland and took off to Nikko for the day. We definately had the better deal although the sacred white horse, a gift from New Zealand needed some cheering up in his tiny stable. A good chat in New Zealand accent made him very happy.
A trust everyone reading this haiku and connecting the image can understand my political satire arising from the act of sedition in Washington D.C. yesterday.
I do recommend visiting Nikko if you plan to travel to Japan, (when you can) in the future.
The Hiroshima Prefectural Building stands today as a memorial to the futility of war and the insane, incomprehensible, destructivness of nuclear weapons. This was one of few concrete buildings in Hiroshima on the morning of August 6th 1945 and one of a small number of buildings to remain in structure after the explosion and fires that ravaged the entire city, even though what we see today is a concrete shell only. The survivors of Hiroshima left the building to stand as a visual memorial of that morning. All tourists to Japan should visit either one or preferably both the the Peace Parks and memorial museums at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Three times I led groups of students and teachers on trips to Japan visiting our sister school in Osaka but also spending time at the Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum. On each occasion when my group gathered in the park after experiencing the museum there were few dry eyes, no one spoke, the silence was all consuming.
This Torii gate is the entrance to Itsukushima Shrine, a 16th century Shinto shrine built over the water from the shore of Miyajima Island just across from Hiroshima on Honshu in Japan. This great Torii is the boundary between the spirit and human worlds and with the shrine has long been one of the most significant Shinto Pilgrimage sites in Japan. The entire shrine complex is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. To stay at least 1 night on Miyajima Island and wander around the Shrine at night is one of the most peaceful experiences one can have. I have visited Japan four times and always planned a night on Miyajima.