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World War II: Hiroshima

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World War II: Hiroshima

Postby Hiroshi » Tue 04.10.2007 6:46 pm

I think this is the right board to put this...
Anyway, in my school, I'm doing a project about the ethical and moral conflicts regarding America dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima (Aug.6, 1945) in World War II. I've done research regarding the mentality of the American politicians in dropping the bomb, but lots of what I've read has had an American bias. I was wondering how this issue was viewed from a Japanese perspective? How was this view in the past and how is it viewed in modern-day Japanese culture? I hope this isn't insensitive or offensive to anyone. Thanks
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RE: World War II: Hiroshima

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 04.10.2007 7:16 pm

No offense to the poster, but I would suggest that admins watch this carefully and lock this at the first sign of trouble in respect to the "no politics" rule. I have never seen a discussion about Hiroshima not result in bad feelings all around at the end.

That being said, my impression is that the bombing is disconnected from the US. When you see it spoken of, it's almost as if it were a natural disaster like a typhoon or earthquake. People tend to ignore it overall, though, from what I saw. I would imagine the opinions differ just as they do in the US.
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RE: World War II: Hiroshima

Postby Hiroshi » Tue 04.10.2007 7:38 pm

Thank you for your response, and once again, I have no intentions of causing trouble. I merely wish to research a historical event and get information from both perspectives as opposed to biased or slanted opinions.
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RE: World War II: Hiroshima

Postby zengargoyle » Tue 04.10.2007 8:18 pm

i'll probably keep watching this thread, it interests me also...

i don't know of any sources directly related to Japanese views... the closest i can come are a few movies: Rhapsody in August (八月の狂詩曲, Hachigatsu no kyōshikyoku) by Akira Kurasawa, and a more recent film Original Child Bomb.

both were somehow rather moving... i have a big "i like Kurasawa movies" spot in my brain, and i really enjoyed 「八月の狂詩曲」, Richard Gere not withstanding... :) whether or not the movie gives a true sense of 'Japanese view of Hiroshima/Nagasaki'... i don't have much of a clue. and Original Child Bomb had a lot of new "Top Secret" pictures of the aftermath, and a lot of interviews with survivors, i can't remember how many of the interviews dealt with 'feelings' vs 'experience', but somehow i think there was a bit of Japanese Perspective in there somewhere...

i can't separate these two movies from various other Discovery/History Channel programs about Hiroshima/Nagasaki, so i don't really know how helpful they may be.

i also would be interested in finding some other web-based translated sources that give the general Japanese Perspective on the matter...
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RE: World War II: Hiroshima

Postby Mike Cash » Wed 04.11.2007 8:21 am

Leaving aside the moral arguments and the arguments about whether the use of the bombs was necessary or not and merely answering the question about how the Japanese perceive it:

It turned out to be the greatest possible disservice to neighboring nations which suffered at the hands of the Japanese military, in that it immediately gave Japan a "Get Out of Remorse Free" card by allowing them to take on the mantle of Ultimate Moral Victim status, something they have been wallowing in for 60+ years.
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RE: World War II: Hiroshima

Postby keatonatron » Wed 04.11.2007 8:43 am

Many people I have spoken to have said that Japan was very wrong about siding with Germany and taking part in the war, and have said things along the line of "the Japanese people were so bad". I haven't actually talked to anyone about the bombing, but it almost seems like a lot of people have been conditioned to believe they deserved it (whether they did or not is up to your personal opinions).

Maybe that relates to Mike's post.
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RE: World War II: Hiroshima

Postby PsychoSP » Wed 04.11.2007 10:42 am

It varies from person to person, but the Japanese who think they deserved it aren't the same people who hold the GORF card. I think Mike's talking about people who bring up the 原爆 instinctively and immediately upon hearing phrases like "wartime sex slaves" and "Nanking Massacre."

Most of the Japanese I talked to were outwardly forgiving, penitent, and even sometimes grateful. But not forgetful. I noticed an uncanny tendency to draw ties between the A-bomb and the Iraq War.

And that's all I have to say about that.
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RE: World War II: Hiroshima

Postby clay » Wed 04.11.2007 11:14 am

Without an anti-US political response, how is the bomb in any way related to Iraq?

A lot of Japanese that I have talked with have a strong affinity for MacArthur. I guess lessons were learned after WWI.
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RE: World War II: Hiroshima

Postby PsychoSP » Wed 04.11.2007 11:24 am

clay wrote:
Without an anti-US political response, how is the bomb in any way related to Iraq?

I had a lot of trouble figuring that out too. Violent American aggressiveness, I suppose. I just know that I've talked to some, 老人 in particular, who couldn't mention one without the other.
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RE: World War II: Hiroshima

Postby Kagemaru » Wed 04.11.2007 11:32 am

What war?
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RE: World War II: Hiroshima

Postby hiwa » Wed 04.11.2007 8:46 pm

There might be milder measure that could bring Japan to the instant unconditional surrender. But I doubt it. Horrendous is war itself, not a particular element of it. If Hiroshima and Nagasaki were safe, other people at other places would have continued terrible suffering for more months or even years.
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RE: World War II: Hiroshima

Postby prep_girl_Nessa » Wed 04.11.2007 10:57 pm

Ok, real question - What does the Hiroshima of today look like? Because I kind of just assumed it didn't exist anymore, but then when I was thinking of studying abroad, I noticed one of the field trips was to Hiroshima.

I'd kind of like to visit it, if I could. I'd probably cry, though.

I guess it was probably rebuilt. Does it look like a typical Japanese city now? (Not that I really know what a 'typical Japanese' city really looks like anyways >.<)
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RE: World War II: Hiroshima

Postby flammable hippo » Wed 04.11.2007 11:01 pm

Last edited by flammable hippo on Wed 04.11.2007 11:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: World War II: Hiroshima

Postby prep_girl_Nessa » Wed 04.11.2007 11:36 pm



Wikipedia... why did I totally forget I could wikipedia that? I mean, Google would have returned a lot of nothing, I think, but wikipedia I should have known. Sorry, finals week at my school has me all confused (Teachers not allowing me to use wikipedia and what-not >.<)

Anyways, thanks for the link!

So it's like a normal city now? I'm glad.
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RE: World War II: Hiroshima

Postby Infidel » Thu 04.12.2007 12:35 am

the quality of google hits depends on the quality effort spent determining the proper search terms.

"hiroshima of today" for example gives time.com as the first hit. The article is interesting and the first link goes directly to http://www.cityofhiroshima.jp

even better than wiki.
Last edited by Infidel on Thu 04.12.2007 12:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
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