Oyashirazu (親知らず), the Japanese word for wisdom teeth, is an etymological gem. The word roughly translates to ‘without the parents knowing’, and nobody’s quite sure why, although it’s probably because your wisdom teeth emerge after you move out of your family home. It’s such an elegant, lyrical word.
At 8:15 AM on August 6th, 1945, the world’s first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, killing 80,000 people in minutes and levelling the city. I won’t bore you with a treatise on the morality or otherwise of the decision, but I will share an eye-opening revelation- before the bomb was dropped, Stalin had planned to occupy Hokkaido after the war. Whether America’s attack was primarily intended to intimidate the Soviet Union is still hotly debated.
Today is the remembrance day for the atomic bomb, which was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945. I’ll attend the ceremony later and will probably be blogging about the event, peace and pacifism in Japan at some point this week. However, today’s post is about the floods and responses to them.
When I arrived in Hiroshima, I was a day late and it was pouring with rain- the aftereffects of a typhoon. Dangerous weather conditions had forced the Shinkansen to cease operations the day before.
As a result, I had watched the reports of devastation in Onomichi, Kurashiki and other coastal towns, where flooding had destroyed houses, roads and train lines. The full scale of the damage would not become apparent for several more days.
So here I am, three weeks into my adventure. I’ll probably write about an aspect of teaching sometime soon, as I’ve been in the job for long enough to share a few thoughts. But this week, I’m just going to talk about exploring the local area.