Without running into anyone I knew, I was eating Champon in the cafeteria. And I asked for more pepper.
Then I walked up the long slope to the Oura Cathedral, the harbor breeze blowing in my body.
I inhaled and exhaled the midday air, paying more attention to the composition of my photos than usual.
It was all for the sake of the beautiful church.
The Oura Cathedral was built in 1865 as a church for foreigners.
On March 17, 1865, the secret Christians who had kept their faith under the ban confessed
their faith to Father Petitjean at the church and became well known in the world.
Oh, Maria, I thought.
The church is real.
I wish I could become a priest at one time.
But where was the priest?
I was only a musician.
I spent a winter morning on a streetcar.
What I still remember as a good memory is a passenger next to me.
I was startled.
I was surprised because the passenger was wearing a kimono in the morning.
I only drink coffee in the morning.
Just this morning, I was looking out the window at the city.
Snow was piled up on the roof tiles of the houses.
The winter sky is white and beautiful.
It’s just that
I feel like something good will come out of it.
Isn’t there such a time?
First I sang this song.
With a renewed pledge for peace
I fold a scarlet crane
And with a pure and noble heart
I fold a fresh white crane
And then I fold a bright red crane,
burning with emotion.
Renewed pledge of peace…
I try to say it out loud a couple of times. Then I thought about the deterrence of nuclear weapons, read a pledge for peace written by an A-bomb survivor, and saw the news about the increase in the toll on the Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway.
Then I wished my friend a Happy New Year.
A week after Christmas, I went to Nagasaki Station.
The city seemed to need a boost.
I ate a French multi-grain baguette at home and thought,
“Oh, the world is going to end up with coronavirus.”
I am writing this memory now, on the eleventh day after the photo was taken. I am remembering the view from the observatory of Kazagashira Park.
How wonderful the view was! The bridge in the distance was very small.
When I first decided to write this story, I imagined that my readers would say, “Have you seen the bronze statue of Ryoma Sakamoto?” The answer is yes.
That doesn’t mean anything to me.
In 2021, at the end of the year, I rented a car and drove from Nagasaki Peace Park to Sanno Shrine, a drive of only two kilometers.
The left half of the torii gate of the shrine was blown off by the atomic bombing on August 9, 1945. And the left half was lying nearby.
This shrine is located about 800 meters southeast of the hypocenter.
I took my camera out of my pocket. And then I thought.
We should be wary of any business that can’t make it without nuclear power.
I was traveling in Nagasaki, Japan on New Year’s Eve, 2021. I departed from Nagasaki Airport. My purpose was to visit the areas affected by the atomic bombing. I was learning from the book Now It Can Be Told: The Story of Manhattan Project by Leslie Groves.
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum was closed that day, so I visited only Nagasaki Peace Park and Nagasaki Hypocenter, and I arrived at Urakami Cathedral.
I remember thinking at the time, “If the atomic bomb had not fallen, I would not have come to this land. I came to a place that I have almost no connection to, traveling and taking pictures.
But when I think back on it, I wanted to see the A-bombed area, and I didn’t want to end up regretting that I didn’t go there when I was dying.
A plutonium atomic bomb (nicknamed “Fatman”) dropped by the American B29 bomber “Bockscar” exploded in the air about 500 meters over this site at 11:02 a.m., August 9, 1945, causing approximately 150,000 deaths or injuries.
Then I look up at the sky over Nagasaki, about 500 meters in the air.
I’ll tell the Americans someday.
What do I think of President Truman?
I’m angry for real.
If I meet an American somewhere again someday, I’ll tell him face to face.
Well, now you know.
Hey, it’s the first time I’ve ever seen a lucky taxi in such a place!
You see, it’s here. Look at it. It is here!
Then pick up a taxi and head south.