In a discussion about the case, someone raised an objection to "someone who was not a party to the incident, who was not from Nagasaki, and who was not from Hiroshima, complaining about it. Seeing that opinion made me aware of my position, so I will say what I must say.
In Nagasaki, children grow up hearing stories about the atomic bombing. We were made to sit in the gymnasium of an elementary school in the middle of summer, where there was not even an air conditioner or a fan, and for nearly an hour we were made to listen to stories about the atomic bombing. It was hard for me anyway.
I think it was even more painful for the elderly people who told the stories. But I don't think an elementary school kid could have imagined that. I, too, have forgotten most of the stories I was told. I can only remember one or two at most.
There was one photo that I just couldn't face as an elementary school student. It was a picture of Taniguchi Sumiteru(谷口稜曄). If you search for it, you can find it. It is a shocking picture, but I would still like you to see it.
My grandfather was not a child then. But of course there were elementary school children who did the same thing he did. I am not speculating that there were. There were. I heard the story from him, and I still remember it.
A young brother and sister found their father's corpse in the ruins of the fire and burned it themselves. They didn't have enough wood to burn him alive, and when they saw his brain spilling out, they ran away, and that was the last time they ever saw him again.
I know how it feels to think that I am the only one. Still, I hope that you will not shut your mouth. I know that I have closed my mouth because I thought I shouldn't talk about it, and that is the result.
I have seen some posts asking if they should talk about "the case" even though they were not involved in it and were not born in Nagasaki or Hiroshima, and I am a bit aware of it, so I have to say what I have to say. I say this because I was born in Nagasaki, am a third generation atomic bomb survivor, and grew up hearing the stories of those who experienced the atomic bombing firsthand. I know it's a little bit too much for me, but I'm going to say this because there are very few survivors left.
In Nagasaki, children grow up hearing stories about the atomic bombing. They were stuffed into sushi for nearly an hour in the gymnasium of an elementary school in the middle of summer, with no air conditioner or fan, and told stories about the atomic bombing. That was a hard time for me. I think it must have been even harder for the old people who told the stories, but there was no way an elementary school kid could imagine such a thing, and I had forgotten most of the stories I had been told for a long time. I have forgotten most of the stories I was told. I can only remember one or two at most. There is one more hard thing. Every year around this time, a row of grotesque images that would drive the PTA crazy in other areas are prominently displayed in the hallways. These days, I hear that the atomic bomb museum has been bleached out and many of the radical and horrifying exhibits that traumatized visitors have been taken down. I don't know if they are still there, but they were there when I was in elementary school.
There was one photo that I just couldn't face when I was in elementary school. It is a picture of Sumiteru Taniguchi. If you search for it, you can find it. It is a shocking picture, but I would like you to take a look at it. I couldn't pass through the hallway where the photo was posted, so I always took the long way around to another floor of the school building to avoid seeing the photo.
Now I'm thinking that my grandfather, who headed into the burnt ruins to look for his sister, couldn't have turned away or taken a different path. There would have been a mountain of people still alive and moaning, not just pictures, and a mountain more who would have given up at the end of their suffering. He walked for miles and miles, towing his handcart through the narrow streets of rubble-strewn Nagasaki in search of his sister. My grandfather was not a child at the time, but of course there were children who did similar things. Not that there wouldn't have been. There were. I heard the story from him, and I still remember it. A young brother and sister found their father's body in the ruins of a fire and they burned it. They didn't have enough wood to burn his body, and when they saw the raw brain that spilled out, they ran away and that was the last time they ever saw him anymore.
I can never forget the story I heard when I was a kid, and even now it is painful and painful, my hands are shaking and I am crying. I keep wondering how the old man who escaped from that father's brain could have been able to unravel the most horrible trauma imaginable and expose it to the public with scars that will never heal.
The reason I can't help but talk about my grandfather and that old man, even if I have to rehash my own trauma, is that this level of suffering is nothing compared to the fact that their words will be forgotten. My hands shaking, my heart palpitating and dizzy, my nose running with tears, it's nothing compared to the tremendous suffering that was once there and will be forgotten.
My grandfather, who went through an unimaginable hell, lived to see his grandchildren born, and met his sister's death in the ruins of the fire. In other words, my grandfather was one of the happiest people in the ruins of the fire. My grandfather and that old man were, after all, just people wading in the depths of hell. I think that the suffering that even people who had experienced unimaginable pain could not imagine was lying like pebbles in Nagasaki 78 years ago, and no one paid any attention to it. Their suffering, which I can't even imagine, is nothing compared to the countless, tremendous suffering they witnessed, which they pretend never happened.
Memories fade inexorably every time people talk about them. The memories that those people could not allow to be forgotten are now largely forgotten; the tremendous suffering of 78 years ago is mostly gone, never to be recounted again. Those who suffered the most from the atomic bombing died rotting in the ruins of the fire, unable to tell anyone about it. Many of those who saw it with their own eyes kept their mouths shut and took it with them to their graves. Most of those who spoke a few words are now under the grave.
Compared to the words of the old men, my own words are so light. I would rather keep my mouth shut than speak in such light words. But still, someone has to take over. I realize that even my words, which are so light, are only the top of the voices that are left in this world to carry on the story of the atomic bombing. I know how it feels to wonder if someone like myself is allowed to speak about this. Still, I hope that you will not shut your mouth. This is the result of our silence.
Sometimes I almost choose to stop imagining the unimaginable suffering and live my life consuming other people's suffering for the fun of it. I am writing this while I still have some imagination of the suffering of the old people whose voices, faces, and even words I can no longer recall.
Translator's note: The original post in Japanese is a response to a post by a Japanese contributor who wondered if he was qualified to speak out on the subject of the A-bomb when he was not from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but still spoke out about Barbie and the A-bomb. I translated it here because I think it deserves to be read by the world.
Death with dignity!
・ ahmad arif 29 https://www.youtube.com/@ahmadarif29
The Sacrament—and the Sacrifice
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
I pray for your faith and prayers that my utterances will be received and understood “by the Spirit of truth” and that my expressions will be given “by the Spirit of truth” so that we might all be “edified and rejoice together.” (See D&C 50:21–22.)
Six months ago at the April general conference, I was excused from speaking as I was convalescing from a serious operation. My life has been spared, and I now have the pleasant opportunity of acknowledging the blessings, comfort, and ready aid of my Brethren in the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, and other wonderful associates and friends to whom I owe so much and who surrounded my dear wife, Ruby, and my family with their time, attention, and prayers. For the inspired doctors and thoughtful nurses I express my deepest gratitude, and for the thoughtful letters and messages of faith and hope received from many places in the world, many expressing, “You have been in our prayers” or “We have been asking our Heavenly Father to spare your life.” Your prayers and mine, thankfully, have been answered.
One unusual card caused me to ponder upon the majesty of it all. It is an original painting by Arta Romney Ballif of the heavens at night with its myriad golden stars. Her caption, taken from Psalms, reads:
“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
As I lay in the hospital bed, I meditated on all that had happened to me and studied the contemplative painting by President Marion G. Romney’s sister and the lines from Psalms: “He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.” I was then—and continue to be—awed by the goodness and majesty of the Creator, who knows not only the names of the stars but knows your name and my name—each of us as His sons and daughters.
The evening of my health crisis, I knew something very serious had happened to me. Events happened so swiftly—the pain striking with such intensity, my dear Ruby phoning the doctor and our family, and I on my knees leaning over the bathtub for support and some comfort and hoped relief from the pain. I was pleading to my Heavenly Father to spare my life a while longer to give me a little more time to do His work, if it was His will.
The terrible pain and commotion of people ceased. I was now in a calm, peaceful setting; all was serene and quiet. I was conscious of two persons in the distance on a hillside, one standing on a higher level than the other. Detailed features were not discernible. The person on the higher level was pointing to something I could not see.
I heard no voices but was conscious of being in a holy presence and atmosphere. During the hours and days that followed, there was impressed again and again upon my mind the eternal mission and exalted position of the Son of Man. I witness to you that He is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, Savior to all, Redeemer of all mankind, Bestower of infinite love, mercy, and forgiveness, the Light and Life of the world. I knew this truth before—I had never doubted nor wondered. But now I knew, because of the impressions of the Spirit upon my heart and soul, these divine truths in a most unusual way.
I was shown a panoramic view of His earthly ministry: His baptism, His teaching, His healing the sick and lame, the mock trial, His crucifixion, His resurrection and ascension. There followed scenes of His earthly ministry to my mind in impressive detail, confirming scriptural eyewitness accounts. I was being taught, and the eyes of my understanding were opened by the Holy Spirit of God so as to behold many things.
The first scene was of the Savior and His Apostles in the upper chamber on the eve of His betrayal. Following the Passover supper, He instructed and prepared the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper for His dearest friends as a remembrance of His coming sacrifice. It was so impressively portrayed to me—the overwhelming love of the Savior for each. I witnessed His thoughtful concern for significant details—the washing of the dusty feet of each Apostle, His breaking and blessing of the loaf of dark bread and blessing of the wine, then His dreadful disclosure that one would betray Him.
Then followed the Savior’s solemn discourse when He said to the Eleven: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33.)
Jesus then reverently added:
When they had sung a hymn, Jesus and the Eleven went out to the Mount of Olives. There, in the garden, in some manner beyond our comprehension, the Savior took upon Himself the burden of the sins of mankind from Adam to the end of the world. His agony in the garden, Luke tells us, was so intense “his sweat was as … great drops of blood falling … to the ground.” (Luke 22:44.) He suffered an agony and a burden the like of which no human person would be able to bear. In that hour of anguish our Savior overcame all the power of Satan.
During those days of unconsciousness I was given, by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, a more perfect knowledge of His mission. I was also given a more complete understanding of what it means to exercise, in His name, the authority to unlock the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven for the salvation of all who are faithful. My soul was taught over and over again the events of the betrayal, the mock trial, the scourging of the flesh of even one of the Godhead. I witnessed His struggling up the hill in His weakened condition carrying the cross and His being stretched upon it as it lay on the ground, that the crude spikes could be driven with a mallet into His hands and wrists and feet to secure His body as it hung on the cross for public display.
Crucifixion—the horrible and painful death which He suffered—was chosen from the beginning. By that excruciating death, He descended below all things, as is recorded, that through His resurrection He would ascend above all things. (See D&C 88:6.)
Jesus Christ died in the literal sense in which we will all die. His body lay in the tomb. The immortal spirit of Jesus, chosen as the Savior of mankind, went to those myriads of spirits who had departed mortal life with varying degrees of righteousness to God’s laws. He taught them the “glorious tidings of redemption from the bondage of death, and of possible salvation, … [which was] part of [our] Savior’s foreappointed and unique service to the human family.” (James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977, p. 671.)
I cannot begin to convey to you the deep impact that these scenes have confirmed upon my soul. I sense their eternal meaning and realize that “nothing in the entire plan of salvation compares in any way in importance with that most transcendent of all events, the atoning sacrifice of our Lord. It is the most important single thing that has ever occurred in the entire history of created things; it is the rock foundation upon which the gospel and all other things rest,” as has been declared. (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966, p. 60.)
“Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.
Our most valuable worship experience in the sacrament meeting is the sacred ordinance of the sacrament, for it provides the opportunity to focus our minds and hearts upon the Savior and His sacrifice.
Worthy partakers of the sacrament are in harmony with the Lord and put themselves under covenant with Him to always remember His sacrifice for the sins of the world, to take upon them the name of Christ and to always remember Him, and to keep His commandments. The Savior covenants that we who do so shall have His spirit to be with us and that, if faithful to the end, we may inherit eternal life.
Our Lord revealed to Joseph Smith that “there is no gift greater than the gift of salvation,” which plan includes the ordinance of the sacrament as a continuous reminder of the Savior’s atoning sacrifice. He gave instructions that “it is expedient that the church meet together often to partake of bread and wine in the remembrance of the Lord Jesus.” (D&C 6:13; D&C 20:75.)
I testify to all of you that our Heavenly Father does answer our righteous pleadings. The added knowledge which has come to me has made a great impact upon my life. The gift of the Holy Ghost is a priceless possession and opens the door to our ongoing knowledge of God and eternal joy. Of this I bear witness, in the holy name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Prologue: Whispers of a Stranger
The year was 1579. The shores of Kyoto were caressed by the gentle waves of the Sea of Japan, as a strange vessel approached. Aboard the ship, a tall, dark-skinned man with the bearing of a warrior stood, gazing upon the foreign land that would soon become his home. His name was Yasuke, and he had been brought to Japan by the Jesuit missionaries, sold into servitude and torn from his African homeland.
Chapter 1: Nobunaga's Curiosity
Yasuke's arrival in Kyoto was met with awe and fascination. His ebony skin, unlike anything the Japanese had ever seen, drew the attention of the powerful daimyo Oda Nobunaga. Intrigued by the foreigner's strength and demeanor, Nobunaga requested a meeting with Yasuke. The two men found a mutual respect for each other's warrior spirit, and thus, Yasuke was granted a position in Nobunaga's service.
As Yasuke adapted to his new life, he faced many challenges. He struggled to learn the language and customs, as well as the intricacies of the samurai code, Bushido. Despite the adversity, his determination to prove himself to Nobunaga and the other samurai never wavered. Gradually, Yasuke honed his skills in swordsmanship and strategy, earning the respect of his peers and the title of samurai.
Chapter 3: A Warrior's Bond
Yasuke's service to Nobunaga brought him into contact with many prominent figures of the time, including Mitsuhide Akechi, a cunning and ambitious samurai lord. While their friendship was built on mutual admiration and shared experiences on the battlefield, a lingering mistrust lingered beneath the surface. Yasuke could not shake the feeling that Mitsuhide's ambitions would one day prove to be a grave threat to Nobunaga and his empire.
Chapter 4: The Taste of Betrayal
The year was 1582. The air hung heavy with tension as Yasuke rode beside Nobunaga to the Honno-ji temple in Kyoto. Unbeknownst to them, Mitsuhide Akechi had orchestrated a coup against Nobunaga, his forces surrounding the temple and setting it ablaze. Trapped within the inferno, Nobunaga chose to commit seppuku, entrusting Yasuke with his sword and his final words.
Chapter 5: The Black Samurai's Vengeance
As the flames consumed the temple, Yasuke vowed to avenge Nobunaga's death. He fought his way out of the burning temple, cutting down Mitsuhide's men with the ferocity of a wounded tiger. In a final confrontation with Mitsuhide, Yasuke's loyalty and honor as a samurai shone through, but he was ultimately captured and spared by Mitsuhide, who could not bring himself to kill the man he had once called a friend.
Epilogue: The Legend Endures