Gather Ye Round For I Be Having A Japanese Tale To Tell

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Gather Ye Round For I Be Having A Japanese Tale To Tell

Postby poohbcarrot » Sun May 17, 2009 1:42 pm

I've just been "walkabout" for a few days and thought I'd like to tell you the following tale;

Hideyoshi Nobunaga was worried about the spread of Christianity in Japan, so in 1597 he had 26 Christians (6 Spanish priests and 20 Japanese)crucified on this site.

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Shortly after, Japan isolated itself from the rest of the world for the next 250 years and Christianity was banned.

In 1868 the Meiji Restoration began and Japan began to open up to the rest of the world. In the city where the 26 "Saints" were crucified, they started to build a massive cathedral. Urakami cathedral was finished in 1914 and was the largest and finest cathedral in the whole of Asia. This cathedral was going to last for centuries as a testament to the resillience of Christianity.

Unfortunately, on August 9 1945, USAF Bock's Car flew to Japan. It's primary target was Kokuro. Usually in Japan in August the skies are blue and cloudless. As weather is part of God's remit, he must have been involved, because due to cloud cover, Bock's Car passed over Kokuro 3 times but was unable to locate the massive munitions factory there.

Bock's Car then flew south and at 11:02 dropped "Fat Man" which exploded exactly 500 metres above this "2001 Space Oddity-type" monolith.

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Everything and everybody in a radius of 1 km was completely and utterly destroyed. Urakami cathedral was 850 metres away.

75,000 people died instantly and a further 75,000 died from injuries and illness caused by this Nagasaki bomb.

The combined destructive power of the Nagasaki bomb PLUS the Hiroshima bomb is approximately 1,000th that of one of the nuclear weapons we are so "lucky" to possess today.

Makes you wonder, doesn't it?
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Postby Tonyblack » Sun May 17, 2009 3:41 pm

It certainly does! Nukes were designed as bombs never to be used and the US and USSR developed stronger and more powerful bombs to make even more certain they wouldn't be used.

Makes you think - they could have saved a fortune if they'd only pretended to make them. :lol:
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun May 17, 2009 3:55 pm

:cry:
Pointless thermo-nuclear? If only the scientists had stuck to splitting hairs instead of the atom?

On the other hand it's not all about bombs - were would we have been without Pterry working in PR for Central Electricity Generating Board and having all that free time to work out how his own world might hobble along energy-wise? Or all that priceless material on how the human mind doesn't work too well sometimes... :twisted:
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Postby Who's Wee Dug » Sun May 17, 2009 5:03 pm

I did see the replica of the Fat Bob bomb in the Hiroshima peace museum, and the pictures of the aftermath were quite horrifying of the devastation it caused.
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Postby Stultus Saxum » Mon May 18, 2009 12:47 pm

Certainly does make you think...

I then thought of Robert Oppenheimer and, with the obvious link to where I am currently posting, Leonard of Quirm.

On the matter of man's destruction of man, try a web search for Pugwash. I don't mean the cartoon captain, either.
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Re: Gather Ye Round For I Be Having A Japanese Tale To Tell

Postby swreader » Mon May 18, 2009 5:13 pm

poohbcarrot wrote:I've just been "walkabout" for a few days and thought I'd like to tell you the following tale;


Unfortunately, on August 9 1945, USAF Bock's Car flew to Japan. It's primary target was Kokuro. Usually in Japan in August the skies are blue and cloudless. As weather is part of God's remit, he must have been involved, because due to cloud cover, Bock's Car passed over Kokuro 3 times but was unable to locate the massive munitions factory there.

Bock's Car then flew south, and finally at 11:02 dropped "Fat Man" ...

Everything and everybody in a radius of 1 km was completely and utterly destroyed.
75,000 people died instantly and a further 75,000 died from injuries and illness caused by this Nagasaki bomb.


Sorry to argue with you--and your figures about the number of deaths caused are accurate in the long run, but not--immediately. The bomb hit almost exactly between the Mitshubshi Steel & Arms Works and the Mitshubishi Torpedo plant. The number of initial deaths were far less than an Hiroshima.

"The best estimate is 40,000 people died initially, with 60,000 more injured. By January 1946, the number of deaths probably approached 70,000, with perhaps ultimately twice that number dead total within five years. For those areas of Nagasaki affected by the explosion, the death rate was comparable to that at Hiroshima. " For further details see
here.

This sounds a bit picky, but I'm a bit tired ofthe US being blamed for "unnecessary" deaths from using atomic weapons. The Hiroshima bombing was done only after numerous warnings, and the Nagasaki bombing after a 3 day delay. Only then did the Emperor overrule the military and order the Japanese army to surrender.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Mon May 18, 2009 5:49 pm

swreader wrote:The best estimate is 40,000 people died initially, with 60,000 more injured. By January 1946, the number of deaths probably approached 70,000, with perhaps ultimately twice that number dead total within five years. For those areas of Nagasaki affected by the explosion, the death rate was comparable to that at Hiroshima.


Isn't 40,000 people dying in a few minutes enough in anyone's book? :cry: If you start on stats for wasted dead in wars then WW1 probably beats all - and we were ALL in the wrong there if it makes anyone feel better for being the 'finger on the button'

Which country dropped the bomb is not really the point being made here is it? The genie was out of the bottle in the previous decade when the potential for nuclear fision/fusion was demonstrated and the one undisputable fact is that some government, for whatever you want to call the misguided or evil or aggressive or scared shitless reason on this pitiful excuse for a civilised world, was going to make those bombs and demand their military forces to drop them where they were going to do as much physical and political damage as possible...

It could have been the USSR or the Germans if it comes to it - ask the people of Chernobyl what they think of it now. The one 'good' thing in this calamitous strategic strike is that it completely and utterly shocked everyone - the whole world - and it ended WW2 absolutely and unconditionally.

The enormity of what was done - for whatever reason and however you cut it - appalled a generation globally as well as in Japan and the USA and although the research and development carried on, some sane sense of self-preservation kicked in and these awful weapons, though made and stockpiled were never used again with prejudice (I omit here the UK's own shockingly inept and cavalier 'testing' of H bombs in Australia and the Pacific which is another case in point of the 'efficiency' and consonance of Scienctists holding hands with the Military...).

I only wish the rest of the world had followed Japan in their understandable rejection of the civilian products of nuclear science being used in their country, but we're just not as clever or cautious a species to take that on board so why should I be surprised if my kettle boils a lot faster using nuclear power.... :shock:
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Postby poohbcarrot » Mon May 18, 2009 10:28 pm

swreader

I was NOT picking on the USA for dropping a bomb on Nagasaki. I was highlighting the difficulty in being a Christian in Nagasaki because the Japanese, the biggest Christian country in the world and even God himself seemed to me to be against them.

Just out of interest, why should I believe the site you quoted to be the definitive version of events? It seems to carry contradictary information to wikipedia.

"Six days after the detonation over Nagasaki, on August 15, Japan announced its surrender to the Allied Powers" - wikipedia

"The day after the attack on Nagasaki, the emperor of Japan (right) overruled the military leaders of Japan and forced them to offer to surrender (almost) unconditionally." - US Dept of energy

How many civillian casualties have there been in Iraq? Should the US army figures be believed or should the Lancet figures be believed?

History is written by the winners.
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Postby Tonyblack » Mon May 18, 2009 10:45 pm

I sometimes wonder what would have happened if the bombs hadn't been dropped. :? We know from the Pacific islands that the Japanese soldiers were prepared to fight to the last man - it's likely that an Allied invasion of the Japanese mainland would have met with such determined resistance.

And it seems to me (in a bizarre way) that if the nukes hadn't been dropped on Japan and the horrific results were witnessed, then they would have been more likely to have been used after WW2 and that may have lead to a nuclear exchange. That really doesn't bear thinking about.

It's really the horror of the Japanese bombs that kept the peace for so long during the Cold War. At least that's what I think.
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Re: Gather Ye Round For I Be Having A Japanese Tale To Tell

Postby poohbcarrot » Mon May 18, 2009 11:22 pm

...and you stated;

"By January 1946, the number of deaths probably approached 70,000, with perhaps ultimately twice that number dead total within five years."

Your figure for total deaths is 140,000, but implies that there were no bomb-related deaths AFTER 1950.

My figure for total deaths is 150,000 which also includes all those who died after 1950. There are still people suffering today from the bomb.

If you had a choice of dying instantly and knowing nothing about it, or dying very painfully a year or two later having witnessed your family being wiped out, I'm sure a lot of people would choose the former. So my figure of 75,000 instant deaths was being NICE to the USA.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue May 19, 2009 12:13 am

What is it they say? Shit happens... and no amount of 'what if's' will change a single thing. :(

It is done and everything said on here (apart from the head count - they're horrendous of course they are! - but I think most decent people would agree that after a couple of thousand it really doesn't matter how many died when most of them were civilians?) isa all too painfully true. The point here as pooh was trying to say is not politics or revenge (for Pearl Harbour for instance?) or even hatred. It certainly was not about principles either.

What happened in Nagasaki and in Hiroshima was unprecedented and no one knew how much horror was going to be unleashed. The point here which I'm sure everyone will agree on is that the result of the decision to drop those bombs (which was undoubtedly taken as a deliberate act of war and in extremis), was too much for everyone, for the whole world.

What is the greater 'crime against humanity'? - Systematically gassing 6 million Jews, Gypsies, and other 'unacceptable non-human' minorities? - Pretending to look for weapons of mass destruction when there's no proof they were there at all? Or snuffing out X thousands of lives in a few seconds and cause many thousands more to die slowly in pain and grief - it's all wrong isn't it? All appalling. All disgusting.

We don't learn is the point. We keep on doing this.

But in Japan, for not one but two brilliant, hateful, destructive, poisonous moments, the world's view of war deaths shifted and changed forever. We terrifed ourselves with that amount of sheer power and tragedy. The world over. When the pictures came out and the absolute destruction became known people, all people were terrified of what had happened. And we drew back from the precipice, realising that we had the power and now the potential to eliminate ourselves from existence. And Hirohito surrendered and peace was won but at far too high a price and we actually learned that one lesson and the two ravaged cities became monuments to the ultimate cost of war and desparation.

It didn't last but it taught us that there were limits and the price to be paid for taking war to it's logical, filthy and ruinous conclusion. We found other less quick and pervasive ways to kill each other - but we did not use nuclear weapons again because it was too terrible. That is the point.

Let's hope we never do use them... :(
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Postby Catch-up » Tue May 19, 2009 12:39 am

Thanks Pooh, that was interesting! I had no idea that Christianity was the reason that Japan isolated itself. Actually, I thought it had always been that way, not just for a 250 year stretch. I don't know much about Japanese history. I did actually take Japanese language for two semesters in college, but I let it drop completely. :oops:
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Postby Tonyblack » Tue May 19, 2009 12:59 am

Catch-up wrote:Thanks Pooh, that was interesting! I had no idea that Christianity was the reason that Japan isolated itself. Actually, I thought it had always been that way, not just for a 250 year stretch. I don't know much about Japanese history. I did actually take Japanese language for two semesters in college, but I let it drop completely. :oops:


Susanne, if you want a really good read and to gain a bit more knowledge of that period before isolation (albeit in a novel) you might enjoy Shogun by James Clavell. It is loosely based on a true story. :)
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Postby Catch-up » Tue May 19, 2009 1:00 am

Thanks Tony I'll put that on my list. :D I just have to shake that horrible image of Tom Cruise as the Last Samurai. And I didn't even see the movie! :shock:
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Postby Tonyblack » Tue May 19, 2009 1:10 am

Catch-up wrote:Thanks Tony I'll put that on my list. :D I just have to shake that horrible image of Tom Cruise as the Last Samurai. And I didn't even see the movie! :shock:
Actually, although I dislike Tom Cruise, I thought the movie was pretty good - although Billy Connelly (a Glaswegian) trying to do an Irish accent was odd in the extreme. :lol:
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