The ghost of the dead

There was something inside me that felt a trip to Japan without a trip to Hiroshima would have been disrespectful.

As we sat in the cable car to the top of Mt Misen on Miyajima Island there were skeletons of trees that had died from acid rain. Silent sentinels of horror surrounded by so much beauty the polarity was difficult to hold.

The A-Bomb Dome in central Hiroshima brought its audience to silence. One of the only buildings left half standing because it happened to be directly under the blast of the bomb. The bomb was detonated above ground to create maximum damage.

The statue of the small girl in Peace  Park, a child who lost her life to radiation. She was known before her death for creating thousands of paper cranes. Bus loads of school children stand at her feet and gift her memory thousands of hand made paper canes. Every day, this ritual repeated. 

A mound of grass, stark in its simplicity, the final home for over 70,000 people cremated without being identified.

The Peace Park Bell – shown in todays picture. The public are invited to ring it to hold the prayer for peace. 

And then, far from the Peace Park, which was the area completely obliterated by the bomb, we walked Shukkeien Garden, a beautiful place created in the 1600s. One of the many bridges we walked over survived the blast as the garden was obliterated. Bodies of people who died from the radiation are buried in the grounds.

Hiroshima is a place where the ghost of the dead can be felt everywhere. The Pattern Integrity of Hiroshima after its incineration is a call to peace. A felt sense of longing for a world that says no forever to any weapons of such destruction. There is a beauty in this longing. The people here know as few others do.

Walking the land of Hiroshima as the world insists on killing, genocide and horror for some false god of rights over others in the name of ownership and power, I wonder if we will ever get the lesson without the experience that the people of Hiroshima had.

I pray we do. I am not certain that we will.

Photo Taken November 16th 2023