Search This Blog

Saturday, April 14, 2012

hard to believe: he did it twice

In the August of 1945, two atomic bombs were dropped in Japan August 6th in Hiroshima, 9th in Nagasaki. The total of 210,000 were killed. There were victims who were effected by both of the bombings. 

Remarkably, a group of perhaps 200 Japanese were present for both atomic bombings. 
However, he also suffered through the deaths of his wife and son from the after-effects of the bombings.
Yamaguchi (Guardian news), who is the only hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor) to be recognized by the Japanese Government for having suffered through both bombings, testified before the United Nations to advocate against the use of nuclear arms or even nuclear power. "The bottom line is, there shouldn't be nuclear in our world," he stated.
He also explained that his motto is "One for All, All for One" and felt he had done his duty when he extracted a commitment from famed movie director James Cameron to create a feature film about the atomic bomb survivors.

  Early life
Yamaguchi "never thought Japan should start a war". He continued his work with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. As the war ground on, so despondent was he over the state of the country that he considered killing his family with an overdose of sleeping pills in the event that Japan lost.

   Hiroshima bombing
Yamaguchi lived and worked in Nagasaki, but in the summer of 1945 he went to Hiroshima for a three month business trip. On August 6, he was preparing to leave the city with two colleagues, Akira Iwanaga and Kuniyoshi Sato, and was on his way to the station when he realised he had forgotten soothing, and returned to his workplace to get it. At 8:15, he was walking back towards the docks when the Americans dropped the first atomic bomb to citizens ever near the centre of the city, only 3 km away. Yamaguchi recalls seeing the bomber and two small parachutes, before there was "a great flash in the sky, and I was blown over". The explosion ruptured his eardrums, blinded him temporarily, and left him with serious burns over the left side of the top half of his body. After recovering, he crawled to a shelter, and having rested, he set out to find his colleagues. They had also survived and together they spent the night in a refuge before returning to Nagasaki the following day. In Nagasaki, he received treatment for his wounds, and despite being heavily bandaged, he reported for work on August 9.

   Nagasaki bombing
At 11 am on August 9, Yamaguchi was describing the blast in Hiroshima to his supervisor, when the American bomber  dropped another  atomic bomb onto Nagasaki. His workplace again put him 3 km from ground zero, but this time, he was unhurt by the explosion.However, he was unable to seek replacement for his now ruined bandages, and he suffered from a high fever for over a week.

   Later life
After the war, Yamaguchi worked as a translator for the occupying American forces and then became a schoolmaster. When the Japanese government officially recognized atomic bombing survivors as hibakusha in 1957, Yamaguchi's identification stated only that he had been present at Nagasaki. It entitled him and other 260,000 survivors to monthly allowances, free medical dheckups and funeral expenses.
Yamaguchi was content with this, satisfied that he was relatively healthy, and put the experiences behind him.As he grew older, his opinions about the use of atomic weapons began to change.


Tsutomu Yamaguchi is one of those 200 or so people who were bombed twice, and survived twice. His hope towards the abolition of nuclear bombs brought 90-year-old Yamaguchi to make his appearance on this film. Along with Yamaguchi, seven other twice-bombed twice-survived people talk about their experience.

August 6th and August 9th are days to contemplate the awful possibilities of mankind, and resolve ourselves to do better.  Pandora's box of horrors was smashed on these days, and again many times in our gruesome history of war this last century

Violet Constance Jessop: the luck of the Irish nurse

One of the most amazing stories of any nautical  survivors:  Violet Constance Jessop. It could have been worse!

She managed to get through three whipwrecks, where she was working as a nurse:
1911 with the RMS Olympic
1912 with the RMS Titanic
1916  with the His Majesty’s Hospital Ship Britannic
If her parent had been middle class, they wouldn't have emigrated.
If she hadn't had tuberculosis, her doctors wouldn't been worried for her life.
If her 3 brothers had survived, her childhood would have been happier.
If her father hadn't died, she wouldn't have gone to London.

If she hadn't collided with another ship, her Olympic ship wouldn't  have sank. 
If she hadn't stroke a deathly icetrap, her Titanic voyage wouldn't  have ended in tragedy. 
If she hadn't stroke hit a mine, the Britannic  wouldn't  have sank. 

To read more: 
Her life had not been easy. Born to Irish emigrants living near Bahia Blanca, Argentina, Violet was the first of nine children, six of whom survived. Violet herself almost died after contracting tuberculosis at an early age and survived despite doctor’s predictions. After her father died, Violet and her family moved to Great Britain where she attended school.
1911 with the RMS Olympic when it nearly sank after colliding with the naval cruise the HMS Hawke (see picture). On the bridge during this incident was Captain Edward J.Smith.

1912 with the RMS Titanic (you already know the ending, but you perhaps forgot that E. J. Smith was its captain). After watching people being loaded into the lifeboats, she was ordered into lifeboat 16 and as the boat was being lowered, she was given a baby to look after. According to Jessop, while she was aboard the Carpathia, a woman grabbed the baby she was holding and ran off without saying a word.

When the Britannic struck a mine and sank in the Greek waters. While the ship was sinking  she jumped out of a

lifeboat in order to avoid being sucked into the Britannic’s propellers. She was sucked underwater and struck her head on the ship’s keel before being rescued by another lifeboat. 

Britannic sinks after hitting a mine as depicted in the film 

EPILOGUE: to be contrasted with Yamaguchi whose atomic mishap penetrated flesh and bones entirely.

One of the most amazing stories of any Titanic survivors, Violet Constance Jessop was an ocean liner stewardess and a nurse.   According to Violet, she made sure to grab her toothbrush before leaving her cabin on the Britannic and saying that it was the one thing she missed  most immediately after following the sinking of the Titanic.

Citizen help! or nailing the citizen whereas they are servicing you

Kafka alive in a country something like ours! 
On the westernmost corner of the peninsula of our Euroasiatic continent
                   A real story Mr  R. C. (14/04/2012)

 Over a year ago I bought  a mixer blender which cost me over 800 euros in a store in P______ .Within a few months, making a puree, it broke the inner blade, probably due to a manufacturing defect. I went to the store with my certificate of guarantee. 

(not the real brand)
After contacting the supplier, and as always, this happened to be the only part NOT covered by warranty. The blade costs 200 euros which must be paid in advance. Obviously the range of price is expensive and if I don't want to throw the device, I accept this piece is worth 25 percent of total value.

I fill out the questionnaire with all relevant details and I place it, in June 2011, at the offices of District Council in my county, C_____. I  reveived a copy of the form.  Six months after having filled in the complaint, I am still having no news. I keep on phoning and somehow cannot reach the manager. Luckily, in the end,  I managed to talk to him. He assured me that my file was already sent to the distric capital, G_______ city.

In February, I get news from G________ saying that they had returned the case to P________. Can you believe it? Back to square one! Great achievement indeed! 
In March I managed to talk to the head of the office in P________ who told me that he had personally brought it back to G_________. I called them and there, a very friendly lady informs me that my complaint has not been processed because they deal with complaints issued  by individuals, not  by companies. 
To sum up, ten months needed to learn that my complaint channel was not right. I've given up. I have no extra time to spare, or enough staff to waste their time with such a complaint. Little had I doubted that our Administration was there to help us.  
Not anymore. I quit.

Indeed, it looks a country something like ours!
C_________ stands for Cerdanya,
P_________ stands for Puigcerdà
G_________ stands for Girona
 Mr  R. C. from Llivia.