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30 December 2006

Short Novel: The Flight to Tokyo, Chapter 1

A story of a B-29 pilot who time-travels from the war-time Tokyo to present-time.

At midnight of March 10, 1945, James Austin was flying over the enemy's capital, Tokyo.

He was in US Air Force's bomber aircraft, B29. The mission was to bomb the city to give the enemy shock and owe. This is important mission to end the war.

Austin was 21 year old pilot, from Conneticut. Over there his parents, Tom, Jane and 10 year-old sister who had been suffering from asthma live. His parents told him his sister would die before he would come back home. That was what the docter told them. So he had to survive in the war. He would be the only child in his family.

Grisping control gear, he was thinkng of his sister, whom he called Katie. She had had problems with her health since she was born. He and his parents had known that she wouldn't live long.
He gave her a present before he joined the army. It was a doll. Very pretty doll like Katie. Katie named the doll "Clara."
He remembered Katie said "Jim, please come back alive. I will live too." Then he promised he would live and when he comes back he would give her another doll as the sisiter for Clara. Katie said she would be excited to meet Clara's sister. Katie told Jim Clara needs something common with her sister. That means Jim had to buy a doll that fits the condition for Clara's sister, which Katie requested. But there is no hope for Katie to meet Clara's sister.

No hope to live. The same words should be delivered to the people beneath him. He and his colleagues in the army called them "Japs." His plane was going to drop firebombs onto their residents. Wooden houses that are easily burned down. Women and children are part of the target. But for the army, they are enemy Japs who do not deserve their lives.
Jime never thought it was cruel thing to do. Jim read the newspaper articles which describes how brutaly Japanese army slaughtered Chinese civilians including women and children by bombing from the air and on the ground. Bombing of Chongqing, and Rape of Nanking. Japanese army have done such terrible things. Japan attacked Pearl Harbour. It was a sneak attack. They killed thousands of American soldiers. 

Now none of the people below him should be considered non-combat personels.

"Open the hatch. It is show-time." The captain said. The plane was in the formation of air-raid with hundreds of planes dropping the bombs. As co-pilot of the plane, Jim pulled the lever to open the hatch. But he found something is strange. The plane is not dropping the bombs.
The hatch is not open. He pushed back the lever and tried pulling it again. But it didn't work.
"What is wrong?" said the captain.
"The hatch is not open. It cannot work, sir." Jim replied.
"Ok. maybe we should lower the altitude, then that should work when the hatch is a little more strained."
"But sir, we shouldn't get away from the formation. And it is dangerous. It would be easier for the enemy to hit us by their ground fires." Jime felt fear.
"Are you saying we should go back home with heavy bombs loaded while others fly back with empty stomach?"
"We are soldiers, we should accomplish this honorable mission. We cannot get away from it."
"All right, Captain." said Jim. He agreed with Captain's words. Totally. The whole crews should risk their lives for the cause. To end the war and bring the victory for the United States of America.  
The plane with 11 crews including co-pilot, Jim, Captain and other members lowered the altitude. Of course they turned off from the formation so that the plane wouldn't be hit by the bombs coming from the above.
They confirmed they were in the right position. What they saw above through the ceiling window was only dark sky. What they saw beneath through the floor window was burning city. A lot of houses and building seemed to be on fire. Jim wondered if they should drop any more bombs onto the ground when the city had got already enough damage.
Jim pulled the gear. He heard the big sound. The sound of hatch opening and bombs dropping.
The whole crew were relieved to hear the sound. They have accomplished the mission.
Then it was the time to go back to where they came from.
But suddenly they heard another big sound, Bang. Then they felt the plane was shaking and smelled the fire. Right after that, they felt the heat. They found their plane was burning.
Jim realized the sound was made by ground fire hit on the plane.
The plane lost the balance. Soon the fire surrounded Jim and Captain.
"Oh, my god." said the Captain. "We got hit."
Jim saw the captain burning beside himself. Then he realized fire was covering on him.
He pressed the bottom as he learned at Air Force Academy. It was what a pilot should do to evacuate the plane. Then he did.
He escaped from the plane. Soon he found himself floating in the air by the parachute.
He was going down slowly. He saw the plane that he was in falling down burning. Of course it was dropping very quickly because it had no parachute with it.
He had no idea of what to do next. Where he would land was the enemy line. The enemy's capitol. After he would land on the ground, he would be caught or shot by the enemy, Japs.

He saw what was beneath his feet. Fires. Very hot he felt. It was getting hotter and hotter.
He thought he would be dead before the enemy would find him.
The worse thing happened. The leashes of the parachute were suddenly cut off.
He fell down with no parachute. But strangely he did not fall not as quickly as the gravity pulls.
He felt something was trying to absorb him. He did not know what it was.
He felt he was going to land with no harm.
Then he landed. He was alive with no injuries. He bent his knees putting his hands on the ground, actually it was wooden floor. He found himself in a house. He then found himself surrounded by the fire. He felt very very hot.
"Oh, no, I am in the burning house. The house of Japs." He shouted in his mind.
He stood up and trying to find a way to get out of the house.
Fire and smoke were the only thngs he could see.
"Tasukete, tasukete." A voice of woman was heard to his ears. He couldn't understand what she was saying but he easily assumed it was a cry for help.
He looked around. He saw a woman lying just a few steps from him. Then he also saw the doorway to get out of the house. He wanted to run away as soon as possible. There is no time to take care of a woman, especially the enemy's woman.
But he realized he had to because he was a gentleman. He held up a woman with his arms. He then ran to the doorway.
He suddenly got out of the house and the fire. The outside was much cooler. He felt winter air.
He got on the road. He then found himself surrounded by the people looking at him very seriously.
"Oh my god, Japs are looking at me." He said to himself in his mind.

He thought that he was going to die. Then he fainted. A woman on his arms was dropped. Jim lied down beside her on the road.

To be continued to Chapter 2.

The story is updated monthly, basically. Sometimes delayed.

This novel is copyright of author of this blog, Masagata.

04 February 2006

No more beef

I decided not to eat beef in my life. I do not eat steak or sukiyaki any more.

Beef are delicious but also very dangerous these days because of mad cow disease.

US beef imports to Japan is currently suspended now.

Actually, mad cow disease is not the only reason I stopped eating it. Raising cattles for meat consumes so much energey and burdens our planet's environment.  Cutting forest trees, Grazing the filed. Raise cattles only for milk! Let them eat only grass, not their own meat to cut cost.

Americans should eat less beef and eat more fish like we do!



05 January 2006

"Memoirs of a Geisha" from Japanese perspective

I went to see the movie "Memoirs of a Geisha." Here in Japan the title was changed to "SAYURI."

The movie was kind of strange but also very interesting.

The characters in the movie speak in English. The hairstyle of the Geishas were appearently different from real Geishas walking on the streets in Kyoto.

The story was good in first half but the latter half was kind of difficult to understand. I actually did not like the story.

Some of Japanese argue Japan portrayed in that film was too strange to see. But how many of Japanese know the old time Japan, especially the life of Geisha? How many of us know how to wear traditional kimono?

So in that sense Hollywood made the best of their efforts.

One thing I find they are better than Japanese films is the scenes of the evening party. Usually those scenes are very bright like today's party room with fluor lamps on the ceiling. That never happened in 1930's. But in the movie "Memoirs of a Geisha," the room was not very bright and the Geisha's face was lit by orange paper lantern. That should be real scenes of those days, I think.

The thing I was kind of disturbed by was the main character was played by Chinese actress, Zhi Zhang. She is a great actress, but the point is the character she played might aggravate Chinese people. The story took place in 1930's Japan. It was a time Japan was invading China. The Geisha fell in love with Japanese rich man who once fought in Manchuria. Then after the war she helped him with reconstructing his business sleeping with American military man.

Today is the time the relationship between China and Japan has become worst in post-war time. It is due to our stupid prime minister and his uneducated conservative supporters.   

As one of Japanese citizen who is very aware of how apologetic Japan should be to China, I could not enjoy this movie although the Chinese actress did played that role as Hollywood actress.

08 March 2005

I like Mr. Colin Powell.

Mr. Colin Powell is one of my favorite politicians.

Although he was born in poor immigrant family, he worked hard and made brilliant accomplishments in his career, he became the first Black Secretary of State in US history. This is what the 60’s movie “Guess, who’s coming to dinner?” predicted.

Although, he was Republican, he was pro-choice of abortion issue, against forcible praying at public schools, against CA proposition 209 that bans affirmative action.

He was not only a great politician, but a cool war strategist, that is why he successfully led the Gulf war. That is why he was against the Iraq war.

The most memorable thing to me was the comment he made to 3 Japanese hostages captive in Iraq, April last year. They were kidnapped near Fallujah and the insurgents’ demand was pullout of Japanese forces dispatched in Iraq. One of them was human aid worker. The other 2 were journalists. The human-aid worker was helping street children in Baghdad. She was on her way to meet the children.

8 days later, they were released, but at the time they were released, they became the scapegoat of hysterica of Japanese politicians and society. The hostages’ travel to Iraq was very much criticized because the government released the warning of not to go there. Their respectable activities as human-aid worker and journalists were ignored.

The Prime Minister of Japan was so angry with the human aid worker’s comment that she wanted to continue her activity in Iraq although she had a hard time being kidnapped. He said “How dare she could say that, many people worked hard not sleeping and eating to rescue her.” The PM just gave up his duty as leader of Japanese government. Some politicians even ask them to pay the expense to rescue them.

Mr. Powell’s comment was totally opposite.
“I am pleased that Japanese citizens were willing to take risk to do better thing. Japanese people should be very proud that they have citizens who are willing to do this. Very proud of soldiers in Iraq. If nobody takes the risk you can’t move the world forward. You take the risk, you are captured, it is your fault. No. We still have obligation to do everything we can to recover them safely. They are the citizens and our neighbors.”

He knows the duty as politician unlike our PM.

He is in fact the great human asset of dynamic American society, isn't he.

I want to receive his message as given to me "If nobody takes the risk, you can't move the world forward."