Can we just like…. acknowledge that today is when dumbass America dropped the bomb on Hiroshima.
I remember reading a book about 6 different people who survived the bomb and it’s honestly heartbreaking.
America had NO RIGHT to drop the bomb. For one Japan was close to surrendering. And two, and most importantly, America bombed a city of innocent citizens only to prove a point, and people are still living with the after effects of the bomb.
Hiroshima also wasn’t the only city that was attacked. Nagasaki was also bombed the same day, yet we speak of that even less.
America never warned Japan of the bombing
Because they feared that the Japanese would try to shoot down the planes.
The Atomic Bomb on Film: Remembering Hiroshima By Kim Luperi
Filmmakers take a position in the way they showcase their subject, especially when confronting the horrors of war and national tragedy. One such event that Japanese cinema has grappled with for decades is the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in August 1945, which, along with the bombing of Nagasaki three days later, took the lives of over 200,000 people and hastened the end of WWII.
Two of the first Japanese films to show the attack on Hiroshima and its aftermath were CHILDREN OF HIROSHIMA (’52) and HIROSHIMA (’53), and I was intrigued that both pictures were commissioned by the Japanese Teachers’ Union (JTU), based upon the same book and produced in quick succession. But how come it took seven years for filmmakers to address the bombing? Well, following Japan’s surrender in 1945 came the American occupation, which shifted the Japanese film industry from wartime propaganda to occupied propaganda. Among the suppressed subjects were the atomic bomb and nuclear warfare, partly for fear that showing the Japanese people the real destruction and suffering the bombs caused “would sway public opinion against the U.S.,” Matthew Edwards explained in The Atomic Bomb in Japanese Cinema: Critical Essays. Only when the occupied forces left Japan in April 1952 were filmmakers free to explore defining wartime events through a cinematic lens.
The story of these two adaptations begins with the JTU’s insistence that the bombing of Hiroshima be documented and shared widely. As explored in Kazu Watanabe’s illuminating Criterion.com article “A Tale of Two Hiroshimas,” one reason the JTU ardently pushed the subject was because many teachers felt complicit in disseminating a wartime philosophy that led students to their deaths. That awakening gave way to the slogan, “Never send our students to the battlefield again.”
With that, the JTU contacted director Kaneto Shindô, a Hiroshima native, to adapt Children of the Atom Bomb, Arata Osada’s 1951 collection of essays by young bombing survivors. Cameras began rolling on the adaptation, CHILDREN OF HIROSHIMA, a mere month after the occupation ended. The movie centers around a schoolteacher, Takako Ishikawa (Nobuko Otowa), who returns to Hiroshima years after her mother, father and sister died in the bombing. There she visits with former students and witnesses many of the enduring hardships citizens live with daily.
CHILDREN OF HIROSHIMA combines documentary-style realism and melodramatic flourishes that frame the survivors’ palpable sense of grief, determination and precarious hopefulness. In choosing a protagonist who is a victim herself but also detached from the reality of day-to-day life in Hiroshima, Shindô provides survivors and outsiders a window into which they can identify with the painful effects of this horrific event.
Despite a positive reception internationally that included a screening at the Cannes Film Festival and peace-related awards from the likes of the British Film Academy, the film was “promptly dismissed” by the JTU “as largely ineffectual,” according to Mick Broderick and Junko Hatori’s essay in The Atomic Bomb in Japanese Cinema. In the preface for Children of the Atom Bomb, Arata described the kids’ stories as “outrage against the war that took their beloved family members from them; and a heart-rending prayer and call for peace,” and though CHILDREN OF HIROSHIMA embraced that sentiment, it was much quieter with its convictions.
Thus, the JTU commissioned a second adaptation of Arata’s anthology for a broader denouncement of war and a more unflinching depiction of the bombing and its fallout. As with CHILDREN OF HIROSHIMA, Hideo Sekigawa’s HIROSHIMA mixes a realistic quality with dramatic touches, though the tone is more fervently anti-war. In contrast with Shindô’s film, HIROSHIMA bluntly calls a number of issues out: It insinuates American racism against the Japanese, details discrimination faced by survivors, shows the terrible effects of radiation poisoning and critiques American AND Japanese forces and government. The picture also features less of a narrative structure, as scenes of pre-atomic city life, the bomb dropping and the agonizing aftermath are intermixed with storylines following an orphaned survivor who turns to gambling and a family reunification. I found sequences displaying injured survivors particularly haunting, with a symphony of distressed children yelling “mother” in Japanese echoing in my head long after the final frame.
While HIROSHIMA’s tone satisfied the JTU, the film’s distributor found the content too anti-American and requested cuts the JTU didn’t want to comply with. Without edits, no major Japanese studio would release HIROSHIMA, prompting the JTU to self-distribute it. The film arrived stateside in 1955, and despite being a modified version, its message resounded, with The New York Times writing “the material is extraordinary – nightmarish, agonizing and insane” and Variety calling it a powerful “propaganda weapon.” (CHILDREN OF HIROSHIMA didn’t make it to the US until 1962, so HIROSHIMA provided most American viewers their first glimpse of the bomb’s devastation.)
An estimated 90,000 residents appeared as extras in HIROSHIMA, including some victims who brought personal possessions from the bombing as props. Survivor Yuriko Hayashi participated in the filming because, as she noted years later, "I thought I should say what I had to as someone who was in Hiroshima at the time.” The stories and courageous participation from those who experienced this trauma make both pictures compelling historical commentaries and harrowing reminders of the shattering human cost of warfare.
Seventy-five years ago today, the American military dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, Japan. An estimated 90,000- 120,000 people died by December of that year alone from the initial explosion, resulting fires, or later effects from radiation exposure. Today, the victims are remembered in memorial ceremonies in Hiroshima and around the world which honor the deceased and reinforce the hope for a peaceful world where such devastation will never be unleashed again.
Image Credit: US Department of State on Flickr. In the background is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, a former exhibition hall and the only building at the explosion’s hypocenter that was left standing.
📌Ok first of all these photos were taken during an interview in Freddie’s suite at Hotel Okura in Japan in 1985.
📌Freddie was there while Queen was on The Works Tour but this interview has nothing to do with Queen music. Freddie has just released his solo album Mr Bad Guy only days ago and that’s why he is being interviewed to talk about his solo album.
📌That is why Freddie’s showing a video of “I Was Born To Love You” to these Japanese journalists 😏🎬
📌In the 5th photo that’s Joe Fanelli (his gourmet chef, his longtime friend and nurse in the end, and his American ex-boyfriend back in the days) by his side ❤