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.
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:
– 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.
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.
Become an instrument of peace – for peace. We all must know — and act.
Aloha – in light and love, Renée
Image released 30 years after the dropping of the A-bomb. From Melinda’s presentation