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Friday, August 06, 2004

What do you feel about the WAR?

Some of you may know yesterday (correctly, 6th of August in Japan Standard Time) is the day when the US dropped first atomic bomb in Hiroshima, Japan in 1945.

Now the USA is familiar for many Japanese people. But you should know most Japanese people never forgive this old tragedy. (We just think most of current American people and society is different from the US army at that time just like we are not same as old Japanese army in World War II.)

Watching recent government policy and society reaction in the USA, many foreign people feel that American people have different (and seriously dangerous) impression about war. I think one of the reason is the land of the USA has never become the battlefields since 19th century. Every war is not sacred. War is not only for soldiers. There is no justice in the war. Many citizens became sacrifice and died in the battlefield. This is far from "GI Joe" or "Combat" in TV. This is even far from the movie, "Platoon" or "Private Ryan".

Actually and fortunately, I have no experience about real war. But all of Japanese children learn the tragic history of World War II (off course, including the reflection about inappropriate action of Japanese government and military at that time). Moreover, I read the good comic described about the life of a child who lived in Hiroshima at World War II. The name of this comic is "Barefoot Gen".

"Barefoot Gen" is not only the story of tragedy of Hiroshima and atomic bomb. It is also written about the atmosphere under the war. People could not talk as they like. Many life styles were restricted under the name of "War". Many people died without reasons and justice.

Some of you may know now some of Japanese people think they should change the current constitution and provide stronger army system (though I cannot agree that). But I still don’t know anybody can criticize and deny this comic whichever the person is liberal or conservative.

Recently I heard the news that whole story of "Barefoot Gen" has been translated for English language completely. (Part of them (from volume 1 to 4 in ten volumes) had been already published in the USA.) I hope all children whose age is about ten years old of all over the world read this comic. Then, in the near future nobody would want to start the war. Someone might say that is a kind of brainwashing. But this is much better than that some children study such tragedy in the real war.

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