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September 16th: A Trip to Nagasaki; Day 2 – Sightseeing in Nagasaki

September 16th: A Trip to Nagasaki; Day 2 – Sightseeing in Nagasaki

Our first destination was at the site of the twenty-six catholic martyrs who were crucified on a hill in Nagasaki 410 years ago after Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the ruler of Japan, outlawed Christianity and closed Japan to the outside world. When Japan began to open up again in the middle of the 19th century the ban on Christianity was lifted. It transpired that for the intervening three centuries a form of Christianity had been secretly preserved by communities of “hidden Christians”…

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September 15th: A Trip to Nagasaki; Day 1 – Peace Park

September 15th: A Trip to Nagasaki; Day 1 – Peace Park

How sensible of us was it, we wondered, to have chosen Nagasaki for our late summer holiday, right in the middle of the typhoon season. Nagasaki is famous for its rain and Kyushu, the island on which Nagasaki is located, is often hit by typhoons in September as they head up from the South Pacific. Just a few days before our trip we heard that a typhoon was indeed brewing and it looked as if we would be rushed headlong…

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White Light/Black Rain – A-Bomb Survivors Speak

White Light/Black Rain – A-Bomb Survivors Speak

Steven Okazaki’s film White Light/Black Rain: the Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki could well be the most gruelling documentary I have ever had to sit through. I attended the August 5th screening of the film (in English) at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Halfway through the screening and the sheer unplumbable depths of suffering that the survivors had gone through… no, are still going through every day of their lives, seemed to billow out of the screen like ectoplasm and…

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