by Sweet Willie
Des Plaines, Illinois
February 10, 2003
We then toured Peace Memorial Park. In the park is the A-Bomb Memorial Mound, where the ashes of 70,000 unidentified people are buried. There is also the statue of the A-Bomb Children. This statue is based on a true story of a young girl who believed that if she could fold 1,000 paper cranes that she would become well again and not suffer the effects of radiation. She folded over 1,300 cranes and still died. Today, there are tens of thousands of paper cranes around this memorial and others in the park.
There is also the Centograph for Korean Victims of the blast. Approximately 20,000 Koreans were killed in the blast. They were brought to Japan as forced laborers.
For 29 years, the monument was outside the park, until finally in 1999 when it was moved to Peace Memorial Park. For those not aware, unlike Germany, Japan has not apologized or taken responsibility for its actions/atrocities in WWII. Every day while we were in Japan, we read stories in the papers on how countries who suffered at the hands of the Japanese (Korea, China, Singapore, Malaysia, and others) are upset the very whitewashed version of WWII that is portrayed in Japanese school textbooks. Also, the prime minister of Japan was thinking of visiting a shrine where known war criminals are buried on the anniversary of Japan's surrender in WWII. To most of the Asian countries, this is perceived as Japan pouring salt in their wounds.
The museums at Peace Memorial Park should not be missed. One portrays why Hiroshima was targeted and has the actual footage of the bomb blast.
From journal Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Miyajima Island, & Mt. Fu