Tuesday, August 23, 2016

PM's Wife Visits Pearl Harbor

If there are two lingering issues between Japan and the United States that still stir up deep feelings about the war, they are Hiroshima and Pearl Harbor. And while they say time heals most wounds, there are still people in the United States who still hold onto strong feelings of anger of which many were not even born when these tragic events took place. Over the years we have talked about Veterans and Hibakusha who have long made peace, it has only been in recent times that moves to heal such lingering wounds on the part of politicians in both countries made significant gains. In this year we have seen Japan apologize to Korea for the final time and President Obama lay a wreath at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima. Now Mrs. Akie Abe who is the wife of Japan's Prime Minster Shinzo Abe has made the historic first of visiting the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. While many see this as a precursor to a visit by the PM himself, others as noted in the Japan Times see this as an important counter balance to her husbands polices.
While this can be seen as being political, Mrs. Abe considers this to be a personal gesture of peace and offered prayers. She is quoted in the Japan Times as saying: "I understand that there are various debates and stances on Pearl Harbor, but I think that we have to pass on the memory to the next generation, transcending the feelings of hate and anger. I offered my condolences to the victims and gave my prayer of gratitude for the peace that we have enjoyed and to establish the peace going forward."

Monday, August 22, 2016

一日の画像 - Picture of the Day

Seen here in this unlikely photo is Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Last night he made his appearance at the Closing Ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games as Super Mario of the Nintendo Video Games. Love it or hate it the camp of it, you have to appreciate the humor in this! The next Olympics will be held in Tokyo 2020. See you then!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Momotaro Re-Imagined!

For those who are familiar with the Japanese tale of Momotaro (aka Peach Boy), you will love this bold new re-imagined telling of the timeless classic of the boy hero who grows up to defeat the beast of Demon Island. With no dialog and two minutes to encapsulate the entire tale, actor Jude Law gives an intense yet brief portrayal of the tormented man who was banished to live in the caves and later emerged as a demon who Momotaro will have to fight. What is special is that we see the back story of the villainous demon's one time humanity lost. While this whole thing is really to sell you a liter of Pepsi Cola, this stylish commercial encourages you to embrace a more powerful message of courage to be like Momotaro and defeat those stronger than you. It's pretty bad ass if you ask me so please enjoy!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Hiroshima-Nagasaki Hibakusha @ 71

This past weekend marked the 71st Anniversary of the dropping of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima. As done for the last 30 years, The Koyasan Buddhist Temple in Little Tokyo hosted the annual Commemorative Service in conjunction with the ASA (Atomic Survivors Association) and the JACCC. As per tradition, this years well attended service was held on the first Sunday in August to comemorate the twin tragedies and hear from guest speakers and our resident Hibakusha (Survivors). How fortunate they are still alive to speak with us.
Over the years we have come to know Ms. Kazu Suyeishi and were pleased to see she was more vibrant than in recent years past. She was 14 years old when the attack came and recalled how she could actually see the Enola Gay as it appeared in the crystal blue sky that morning of August 6th, 1945. Part of her story became an inspired component of our illustrated Children's book Ichiro Dreams in Color. Another poignant survivor who attends every year is former ASA President Mr. Junji Sarashina. Still alive and happy to see all who come to this ceremony. Both survivors now in their twilight years bear no grudge for the loss of their families or the scars they have borne. They come every year to speak on the horrors of nuclear weapons and share their annual message of Peace. Candles, Sutras, and Goeika are annually offered each year before the Hiroshima Flame that was originally brought here 40 some years ago from Hiroshima with the intention of remaining a lit until that last nuclear weapon is no more. While this may sound like a lofty and unrealistic aspiration, it's intention is a peaceful one to inspire hope for an age where there are no more wars of this sort and no more future Hibakusha. We do not know how many more years we have with Ms. Suyeishi or Mr. Sarashina, but we cherish each encounter with them and in one sense feel blessed by them. For people who have suffered so much at the hands of others, their faith in mankind and love of this country is one to be learned from. As stated by the guest speaker Dr. Dr. Gloria R. Montebruno Sadler PHD reminded us, "The Americans did not know at the time about the effects of radioactive fallout. No one could have envisioned what consequences would come of such a weapon at that time." Thus, it is perhaps President Truman who authorized the weapons use in Japan forbid General MacArthur from using it five years later in Korea. As we write about this let us reiterate one thing before anyone comments is that the debate over why the bomb was dropped is irrelevant. We look at this as a wartime tragedy that changed the world and luckily has not been repeated. That is the whole point of remembering those lost and those left to tell the tale. We at American Mishima have in the past and will continue to wish all those connected by this chapter in our human history continued peace and hope one day this one solemn flame can be extinguished in peace for all mankind.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

US Deploys B-1B Lancers to the Pacific

In a move that is bound to draw the ire of both Beijing and Pyongyang, the United States Air Force is sending the battle tested B-1B Lancer to Guam. The supersonic swept wing bomber capable to flying at Mach 1.2 is expected to arrive at Andersen Air Force Base this Saturday to bolster the Pacific. With recent tensions in the South China Seas worsening and repeated threats combined with missile launches from North Korea, these bombers of the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron who had most recently flew combat sorties over Syria, Iraq, & Afghanistan will assure our allies in the region of American Resolve to ensure freedom of navigation and stability in the region.