What you must see about “survivors” of the A-bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki. What you can do to promote peace and end war!

If you – and your elected officials – need another convincing reason to do everything possible to prevent another nuclear bombing, read Melinda Clarke’s book, Waymakers for Peace and if possible, go to her free talk on Saturday, August 4, 2018 at 1:30p.m. at the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center campus in Kahului, Maui.  Call  808  244-6862 to make reservations or for more information.

Now a resident of Maui, Melinda Clarke first went to Japan in 1964 and then returned for many years.  She saw her mission was to record what most people – especially in the U.S. – don’t really want to know.  In her book of interviews, Waymakers for Peace, and in her talks, Clarke gives a  a clear understanding of the devastation and suffering caused by a nuclear weapon (much less powerful  than the ones we have today).     Clarke also suggests what citizens can do to promote peace and end war.

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Melinda Clarke taught English in Japan for many years – and interviewed A-bomb “survivors”

In one of the interview from her book Waymakers for Peace, Melinda Clarke reports on the experience of a Japanese civilian, a young woman at the time who became a hospital head nurse,  Taira says,
“I was just eighteen at the time . . .
I didn’t get to the hospital until three days after the bombing in Nagasaki, but when I did, I was overwhelmed.  So many of the patients couldn’t walk, so they crawled down the wooden halls, and even though I was inside the classrooms attending to patients, I could hear their bones, bare bone with flesh torn off them, hitting on the wooden floor.
Patients came in and their bodies were swollen.  If one place on the skin was broken, the maggots got under the skin.  The summer was very hot and the smell of all those dead bodies rotting and blood from wounds brought swarms of flies.  One fly can give many, many maggots.
Maggots not only entered the body through cuts, but also through the nose and ears of patients.  Once inside, they ate.
Days after the bombing a healthy-looking person would suddenly start to bleed profusely from the mouth or nose for instance and then die.  If we opened the body, we would find intestines infested with maggots or some vital organ that the maggots were feasting on.
As horrible as it sounds, the maggots helped us in one way because they ate all the rotten parts of the body.  They ate all the disease and infections, but we had to take them off soon or else they would eat everything.
Another thing I remember is seeing babies sucking milk from their mothers’ breasts even after the mothers were dead . . .
A day doesn’t go by that I don’t remember or see a result of that brief moment. In just a flash at 11:02 a.m., [August 9, 1945] in my city [Nagasaki], so many of my friends were just erased from the earth.  Those who were left lay on the ground looking like worms.
Today, most people still don’t realize how horrible the A-bomb was.  Somehow people must be made aware, then those who make bombs from the government to the taxpayer will never use it.  If they do, after knowing the misery, hell and brutality, then they are not human beings.  They are animals. . . . “
Besides other such vivid interviews in her book, Melinda includes a list of groups actively working for peace.  Check them out – and take action now:
– WorldBeyondWar.org  https://worldbeyondwar.org/
– Veterans for Peace https://www.veteransforpeace.org/
– Global Conference in Toronto 9/21-9/22#NoWar2018 https://worldbeyondwar.org/nowar2018/
– International Committee to Abolish War  http://www.icanw.org/
Harpers Magazine, February 2018 “War No More” – for subscribers only on line, but go to your library
– Physicians for Social Responsibility – “We must prevent what we cannot heal: Mobilizing health professionals on issues that represent the gravest dangers to human  health.”  https://www.psr.org/
– RootsAction.org  “For secure elections and true national security” RootsAction.org
In our world of leaders trading treats and treating others as threats, the rest of us must take action to move toward peace.
Melinda Clarke first went to Japan in 1964 as a tourist and fell in love with the culture and the people.  As a student of the ’60s, she has been an activist, but it it was while protesting the Three Mile Island nuclear plant accident in 1979 in Pennsylvania that she knew she must do more.
She felt a calling to return to Japan and interview hibakusha, or atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Surely the reports of the Japanese “survivors” –   of suffering, destruction, and death would make the world realize that nuclear war could not be a choice.
Clarke, bringing her two young children, returned to Japan in the 1980s where she taught English on and off for about 10 years and conducted interviews with as many “survivors” as she could find.  Her interviews with the hibakusha shifted her worldview: she has become an avid advocate for peace.
Her book is a compilation of some of those hibakusha stories.  Clarke wants to preserve their voices that can serve as a way toward peace.  If the world’s people really knew the suffering that nuclear weapons cause, there would have to be nuclear disarmament.  The hibakusha, she sees, can lead us toward peace.
You can order Waymakers for Peace by contacting Melinda at her email: mepoclarke@gmail.  She hopes to have a Website soon for the book, but in the meantime, the book is by donation (please include shipping costs).
Today, she tries to inspire others to live a life of peace and purpose.
Clarke recently walked the Japanese Shikoku Pilgrimage of 900 miles and 88 temples!
This Fall, Clarke  plans to deliver Waymakers for Peace in person to all U.S. Congressional members – 535 elected officials!
On August 4, 2018, here on Maui, Melinda Clarke is presenting a free talk that begins at 1:30 p.m. at the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center as part of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Remembrance Days.
She will show the documentary Lost Generation with actual U.S. military footage of the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
Clarke  was gifted those films while conducting interviews of hibakusha.   The film is part of documents made public after 30 years under the Freedom of Information Act and purchased with funds provided by  the Japanese “10 Feet Movement.”
According to a recent Maui News article, Melinda Clarke’s “talk Journey Toward Peace will touch upon her interviews with hibakusha survivors and what citizens can do to promote peace and end war. The event will take place at the Oceanview Maui Adult Day Care Center on the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center campus in Kahului.The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required due to space limitations. The movie includes some graphic wartime footage and viewer discretion is advised.To make reservations or for more information, call 244-6862 or email deidre@ nvmc.org.”See the full article at <http://www.mauinews.com/news/local-news/2018/07/hiroshima-bombing-documentary-talk-by-author-aug-4/>

 

On August 11, 2018, The Maui News featured an article by Lee Imada about Melinda Clarke and her experiences and mission.  Go to http://www.mauinews.com/news/local-news/2018/08/maui-woman-tells-stories-of-atomic-bombing-at-hiroshima/

Clarke’s website can be found at http://www.worldaloha.net.

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Clips of the original photographs (very troubling) We must work to make sure this never happens again.  “Lost Generation” can be viewed at .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUv-wBK00eM&app=desktop

Let the voices of those who experienced the Hiroshima & Nagasaki bombings lead us on the way toward peace.
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Image released 30 years after the dropping of the A-bomb.  From Melinda’s presentation

Become an instrument of peace – for peace.  We all must know — and act.
Aloha – in light and love, Renée

 

 

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About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

3 responses to “What you must see about “survivors” of the A-bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki. What you can do to promote peace and end war!”

  1. Rosita says :

    I must agree, tho. I wonder why do bombs and guns still exist nowadays… they don’t do otherwise than promote suffering of innocents and feed wars as well as disgrace 😞 may those survivors spread their peace and forgiveness messages across whole world 🙏🏼 We still have much to learn from past errors to no repeat them anymore. Also, u has Gmail?
    With love,
    R.

    • reneeriley says :

      Hi Rosita: It seems that guns, bombs, violence do work — at least for the short term — and they make lots of money and give power to some few people. 😦 I agree that we can – and must – learn from our past mistakes – and speak up.

      As for gmail, I do have an account but I use my hotmail.com much more, and I don’t think it wise to give the address out here.

      I hope all is well with you and your family. Aloha, Renée

      • Rosita says :

        mhmm. I must agree, tho ❤️ I do use Gmail, and I’d suggest u to install Google Hangouts for chatting, but I didn’t put mine there for obvious reasons too 😅 while most of ur followers seems to be well intentioned ppl, it’s internet and we never know… it’s why I did ask if u has InstaGram, ‘cause u don’t share personal info at all there [I particularly don’t consider username to be personal at all], but it’s up to u which social medias to have or nah 😘😘😘
        with love,
        R.

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