with many thanks to Kazuhiko, whom I spoke to at Hiroshima Social Book Cafe, Dohashicho (near Dobashi streetcar station). Continue reading “A Survivor’s Story”
Was that a good week or a terrible one? I think it was a good one, even if it did start with me missing my shift, dashing manically to work, buying some ill-fitting shoes and then getting fined for my sins. True story. Along the way, it took in my first Shinnenkai (Japanese party to celebrate the nascent year), where I tried horse sashimi with fiery wasabi and soy sauce. On Wednesday, I talked hip hop and Paul Simon with a colleague from Okayama and the owner of our favourite bar, and on Sunday, I went bouldering, an activity I’m determined to master one of these days. Continue reading “Poison Island”
‘I apologised for human sinfulness, to nobody in particular’– Shinsaku Koguchi, A-bomb survivor (account of August 6th, 1945)
You probably haven’t heard of Paul Tibbets, but you’ve heard of his plane. Growing up in the Midwest, he moved out to Florida, where he flew regularly as a teenager and became a Lieutenant-Colonel in the US Air Corps. He articulated an uncomplicated view of American exceptionalism, and of his mission: ‘well my thought was, the damn thing worked’.
He was matter-of fact, unapologetic, even cold in interviews; little trace shows of the tenderness which led him to name his plane after his mother, Enola Gay Haggard. He defended his actions to the last: and even advocated using nuclear weapons against al-Qaeda: ‘I wouldn’t hesitate if I had the choice. I’d wipe ‘em out’.