Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ueno Shrine

This shrine was very sobering to me as an American, and certainly as a person who holds this to be "recent history." In Ueno, Tokyo, some friends of mine and I stumbled across a shrine that was dedicated to those that perished in the atomic attacks of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The legend I was told is that a man who came to visit a relative in Hiroshima found the city flattened and burning in nuclear aftermath. A flame was taken from a burning ember there and preserved until this day, where it rests protected at the Hiroshima Memorial for Peace, and will burn there until all nuclear weapons have been abolished and mankind is not threatened by nuclear war any longer. My fear is, that it will burn forever.

That flame is used to light other flames in commemoration across Japan. This is one such flame, and it's purity (combined with a little guilt, perhaps) and the sheer loss of human life did make me tear up. I only managed to take one or two pictures of this shrine before I could not hold my camera steady any longer. :'(

1 comment:

  1. it's amazing what one spark or flame can produce...both great and small