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16 May 2018

My Dark Tourism

Have you heard of the term "Dark Tourism"? 

This is the tour to spots in which historically or even recently terrible incidents happened. It is not a travel to have fun. Rather it is for travelers to study the past and present for the better future.

I recently found I have done that many times for many years. Actually I've written about some of such trips on this blog. 

But here I present photos and name of sites, year I visited. 

Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, the site the Japanese military attacked on US Naval Force on 7 of December 1941

history

Nanjing China September 2004, the site of Rape of Nanjing in 1937, where the Japanese Imperial Army mass-murdered hundreds of thousands of Chinese including civilians. 

history

Auschwitz, Poland 2008, Holocaust Death Camp established by Nazi-Germany during the second world war

history

Hacksaw Ridge, in Okinawa, July 2017, A steep cliff, a big battle site between Japan and US during the second world war, where US forces climbed up to the Japanese Imperial Army Base  

This incident was adapted to the 2016 film "Hacksaw Ridge." 

history

 (Another site in Okinawa, will be posted later)

 

This year's March, 

Execution site of 26 Christians in Nagasaki, late 16th century, 

history

Half blown Torii Gate by the Atomic Bomb dropped on 9 of August 1945

history

A-Bombing dome in Hiroshima, near Ground Zero of the atomic bomb dropped on 6 of August, 1945

There I met a survivor of the bomb and a German tourist and had local specialty food Okonomiyaki together at a restaurant nearby. I would like to write a mock-documentary script based on that experience. 

history

As for the recent matter, gate of Evacuation zone of Crippled Fukushima Nuclear Power Plants that was destroyed by the earthquake and Tsunami in March 2011. I visited there last year's March. Radiation Measure indicated twice higher level than normal. It is like another tour to Chernobyl. 

history

Some claim, visiting those places should not be regarded as Tourism. But I believe this is something we all have to do. Because we are living in a world such things can happen again anytime. 

Later I want to show another type of Tourism, which I call "Hot Tourism." Another Study Tour but what you see is currently happening and can join the incidents if you like. 

16 August 2017

Trump is the very American President

The world is shocked by white supremacists' march and subsequent terror attack to its counterprotestors in Charlottesville, Virginia, and President Trump's response to the incident.

To me, it was the same day I participated in a peace march protected by the police force and met with nationalist counterprotestors on the sidewalk. Prior to the march, the police blockaded the roads so no nationalist would not enter the march route. The peace activists protest the Yasukuni Shrine ideology (justifying Japan's invasion of Asian neighbors) and its enshrinement of the war dead in WW II. Just like General Lee Statue of the Confederate Army.

racism, history, okinawa, Trump,

racism, history, okinawa, Trump,What happened in Charlottesville is reverse. The marchers were nationalists.

 

Donald Trump has been criticized for his not naming white supremacists or Neo-Nazis as offenders, instead he blamed "many sides" or "both sides" for the incident.

He claimed that if they wanted to remove General Lee statue because of slavery related history, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson should be removed as well because they were slave owners.

Yes, he made points. America is founded on slavery, and massacre of Native Americans.

Liberals and mainstream media have harshly criticized Trump's statements, which seemed to condone white supremacists' action. More and more people join counterprotest to the rise of white nationalist movement. But it is the fact that some portion, not very small portion of the population supports white nationalist views. That is why he was elected.

America is in fact, European immigrants nation. Majority should be white. In coming decades, white will not be majority but fall into minority, less than half. Currently still more than 60%. Silent white majority now feels threatened because true American identity may be lost. Trump exposed true nature of America.

America, as melting pot, salad ball, mosaic is in fact, illusion. The reality is white dominated Christian base society. If other people want to join, they have to compromise to be second-class citizen. That is the same everywhere in the world. It is very, very difficult to change the society. Tradition and core demography cannot be changed easily whether it is good or evil. Obama, as Black president was exceptional. That is why such whitelash is happening.

To me as Japanese, if America is not white majority nation, it is not America I know. Most of Hollywood film actors are white. So it is the time we, Japanese and other people in the world to change the view of America.

America is no longer or has not traditionally, free and democratic and friendly nation that respects diversity and dignity of other people than whites. They were really good at advertising good images but the truth is not how they portrayed themselves to the world.

Good example is Guam in US Pacific territory and Okinawa, Japan.

Guam people have no rights to elect US President. Guam is small islands but one-third of the areas is occupied by US military bases. Locals have no rights to change the situation just like a colony.

In Okinawa, there has been anti-US military base movement led by Okinawa prefectural governor, Onaga. Majority of prefectural residents want US military, especially Marines out of their land. But the U.S. persists in stationing there in the name of defense of Japan, which in fact, they do not so.

racism, history, okinawa, Trump,

Good thing about Trump is he insists on removal of US forces from Japan because US no longer wants to defend foreign nations but prioritise domestic issues. Other US Presidents look politer but still want to keep hegemony of the world. Trump is destroying his nation's reputation so that US cannot lead the world any longer. More and more people stop treating America as the world leader or a role model of the democracy.

Trump looks crazy but may try to normalise his nation and the world. 

06 July 2017

Life means killing time until death

Recently I have come to believe life means killing time until death. Cultivating such thinking is particularly liberating when you are in grips of depression, with seemingly never ending suffering.

The notion that it is imperative to accomplish great feat is often at the root of all suffering. I believe that enjoying the simple pleasure at a moment, without obessesing with accomplishing greate deeds, without setting goals is one way of living a life.

 

What do you think?   

23:49 Posted in Blog, Health | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: philosophy, life

25 May 2017

Film "Race" Surprising facts in 1936 Olympic game

The film "Race" features life of Jessie Owens, an Afro-American truck and field athlete who won 4 gold medals in 1936 Berlin Olympic game. It was a time that segregation was legal in US and Nazis ruled Germany.

What surprised me was at that time, there was a boycott movement for joining the game. Jessie Owens was asked to boycott the game by NAACP, prominent advocate group for Black people.

But he went to Berlin to participate in the game along with two Jewish athletes, whom Nazis were reluctant to welcome. AOC, American Olympic Committee decided to let US team participate in although opinion among committee members were split. The film implies it was due to the committee leader who collaborated with Nazi-Germany in exchange of big business deal.

Then in the game, two notorious events occurred. In the long jump competition, Owens fouled the jumping in first two of the 3 tries in qualification match. But his German competitior, Luz Long advised him to step back a foot behind the measurement start point. The he did and passed the qualification to the final. Then he won the gold medal marking the Olympic record. After the awarding ceremony, Owens and Long walked on the truck together holding arms looking like good friends. It was very much anti-Nazis action. A white man and a Black man holding arms together walking. Long stood on the podium raising his right hand in the form of Hitler salute. In addition, in that competition, in the third place, bronze medalist was Japanese, Tajima. Actually Japan had medalists in truck and field competition in 1930's. That is far different from what Japanese truck and field society has been lately.

The other thing was two Jewish American athletes in relay competition was removed from the team just in advance of actual competition. It was due to Nazis demand to promote their anti-semitism ideology in the game. AOC leader who collaborated with Nazis was blackmailed to do so, otherwise, the collaboration would be exposed to the public.

Then Owens became a replacement for one of the two atheletes. Then his team won the relay competition.  

After he got home, he was welcomed in a parade by a million of people on the street in New York. But he was not allowed to enter to a hotel in which a celebration party was held, so he had to go through back door of the hotel.

Kind of surprising stories in that era. 3 years after the Olympic game, Germany started the 2nd world war. Japan became an ally with Germany. 3 years after the war started, Long, who became Owens' friend died in the war, leaving the message to Owen that he wanted Owen to take care of his son.

How dramatic the stories were! How ugly and beautiful the things were!

 

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