Today’s MMA recognizes Tsutomu Yamaguchi, a man who survived the blast at Hiroshima, then went home to Nagasaki just in time to catch then next A-bomb!
It’s interesting to me that a victim meme has sprung up in Japan about this. I guess it all fits in with anti-American sentiments–oh, we’re so horrible because we’re the only ones to have used an atomic bomb in war–but it doesn’t seem exactly Bushido to bitch about being slapped by the guy you picked a fight with.
But then, Japan wasn’t acting very “Bushido” during that time period, anyway. I’ve heard that they don’t really study WWII that way. That is they don’t study their attack on China, and the atrocities there, or their sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. As if WWII “just happened”.
I don’t know if that’s true. But it is kind of weird that the whole giant rubber-suited monster genre of movie–Godzilla (Gojira)–begins with an atomic blast, just from a symbolic level. If you’ve never seen the original Godzilla, I recommend it, too: The obvious parallels to Hiroshima and Nagasaki are a little surreal. Just that mix: Now you’re watching footage that looks like a documentary of a true horror, now there’s that goofy looking rubber suit.
Japan had its Apocalypse back in 1945 (though its roots go way farther back, obviously) and emerged a peaceful powerhouse, something I think few would have predicted.
As always, a reminder that while civilization is fragile, dedicated work can bring it back stronger than ever.