My Wife's Grandparents Were Hiroshima Survivors

Discussion in 'History' started by Mad Scientist, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. Mad Scientist
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    Mad Scientist Deplorable Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Mr. Seikitchi Uehara and Mrs. Matsu Uehara shown here with my wife at the nursing home in Okinawa where Grandma spent her last days as the effects of Dementia set in.

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    Grandpa was an Engineer who was, believe it or not, too small to serve in The Emperors Army so put his Engineer degree to work designing Aircraft for the Army. He said he helped design a few Kamikaze planes but wouldn't ever elaborate and even though I'm an Airplane Nut, I never pushed the subject. He did say, and I agreed, that it was the F6F Hellcat that turned the tide of the War in the Pacific.

    [​IMG]

    He and his wife were in Hiroshima to attend a work related meeting of sorts. As fate would have it, on August 6th he wasn't feeling so good so he decided to take the day off and stay in their small apartment on the outskirts of Hiroshima.

    That morning Grandma saw the B-29 fly over and witnessed the ensuing mushroom cloud. The next day Grandpa walked into the city and witnessed the devastation first hand. He said it was "Hell on Earth".

    He never complained about anything that happened during the war or the nuclear bombs. He just said "It had to happen. Japan was never going to give up".

    Both He and his Wife were designated Living National Treasures by the Gov't of Japan and were interviewed numerous times by various agencies and publications over the years. They both lived into their 90's in spite of the radiation effects of the bombing.

    Here we are in the house that he built in Okinawa using Japanese Joinery Techniques where not as single nail was used!

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Warrior102
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    Warrior102 Gold Member

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    Nice.
    I loved living in Japan.
    Taught English there part-time. One of my student, an older gentleman, was a fire-bomb survivor (Nagasaki) and he told me stories he remembered about American bombings way back when.
     
  3. whitehall
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    whitehall Gold Member

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    It's interesting to note that there really was little or no media coverage of the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki radiation sickness. There is an interesting book by Pulitzer Prize winner George Weller called "First into Nagasaki". The book was compiled after Weller's death by his son who found the carbon copies of his accounts in Nagasaki shortly after the Japanese Surrender. Weller was working for the A.P. at the time and all his stories had to go through MacArthur's staff for approval before being sent to the A.P. Weller didn't even know it at the time but Mac's people spiked every single story and nothing got out. MacArthur had a little kingdom going in Japan and he was the de-facto Japanese ruler.
     
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  4. Douger
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    " Had to happen".
    He was right. They allowed idiots to run the show.
    So did Germany.
    Some day murkins will say the same thing once their empire gets put in it's place.
     
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  5. Truthmatters
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    Truthmatters BANNED

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    Handsome family there OP.

    what interesting history your family has
     
  6. MikeK
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    MikeK Gold Member

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    I recently posted a message concerning how persistent and potent the anti-Japanese propaganda was during WW-II. I should mention that I was no less affected by that propaganda than was any other American and the residual effect of it lingered with me well into the 1950s. And I was not alone in that effect.

    I'm recalling a conversation with a buck sergeant on the ship going to Japan in 1957. That sergeant had done one tour in Japan and had recenly re-enlisted specifically to return there. During that conversation he seemed to detect some residual hostility toward the Japanese, especially from one fellow whose father had been killed on Tinian, and he spent some time assuring us that it wouldn't be long before our feelings toward the Japanese people would change once we were exposed to them and got to know them. And he was right.

    I was stationed at a base called South Camp Fuji, which was situated at the base of Mount Fuji, a very beautiful, peaceful place. I clearly remember on my first day of liberty how taken I was with the Japanese children walking in well-behaved groups in their school uniforms, how they would nod politely when they saw I was looking at them as we passed. I later observed them to be generally well-mannered and very bright -- obviously very well raised by caring and intelligent parents.

    The subliminal orientation I'd acquired from War-years propaganda quickly fell away. I quickly came to like and respect the Japanese people whom I found to be very pleasant, hospitable, clean, honorable, and generally decent human beings. And I came to deeply regret the need to use those two bombs.

    After six months the entire 3rd Division was moved from Japan to Okinawa, which was similar but not quite the same as Japan. When my 18 month tour ended and I stood on the dock at Naha waiting to board the homebound ship I recall being torn between eagerness to get home and a compelling wave of sadness that I was leaving that place. And when the ship sailed that evening I noticed I wasn't the only one who was contemplatively quiet.

    For a few days I searched around the ship looking for the buck sergeant who spoke with us on the inbound trip. I wanted to tell him how clearly I understood what he tried to tell us and how right he was.

    While I can't speak for today I can tell you that Sayonara was a very sad word back in the fifties.
     
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  7. MikeK
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    MikeK Gold Member

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    Ditto.
     
  8. bobcollum
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  9. Mad Scientist
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    Mad Scientist Deplorable Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Bump!
     
  10. Ravi
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    Ravi Diamond Member

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    I heard this morning that the Japanese don't even teach what happened in WW2 in school so most of their citizens don't know what atrocities they committed.
     

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