Hiroshima,Nagasaki and Korea

Chika Sekine

18th April,1999
My name is Chika Sekine. I was born in Sasebo city - one of the US naval basis in Japan - of Nagasaki prefecture, an A-bombed prefecture along with Hiroshima.

In my elementary school trip in the fifth grade,I visited A-Bomb Museum in Nagasaki city. I witnessed a body of baby completely charred except the fragment of toe fingers at the end of its extruding leg. The fragment was only the clue to identify what the charred object was.

Sasebo has many faces: A repatriate port from China a half century ago, a town of US naval base , a kind of concession in which many foreigners live. I have been playing with those foreigners since my childhood. Mutsu, a nuclear-powered experimental boat, had once made the city as the home port. I was accustomed to think about nuclear power.

Soon after I entered IBM Japan,I had a chance to work with a DB researcher of Almaden Research Center. One day, I guided him around Tokyo. Through our friendly conversation, he asked me "Where are you from?" I simply answered "Nagasaki."

A few seconds of silence made me wonder and turn back to him. I found him in sobbing, "Wasn't anybody of your families hurt by the A-bomb? I feel very ashamed as a scientist and as a human being." He suddenly burst into tears.

Judging from his age, he couldn't be involved in Manhattan Project, of course. I realized that those people who are involved in science and technology should be responsible to history. This confidence made me what I am today.

Since then, I visited Hiroshima. I learned that many Koreans were exposed to the A-bomb as well. When I first visited Korea, I strongly asked to one of my Korean friends to take me to a special place: The Independence Hall.
"Very few Japanese tourists venture to visit there."
"That is why I ask you to take me there, because I am not brave enough to enter the Museum by alone."

It was not easy to witness the history of Japanese frequent invasions in the relationship of the both countries spanning for more than 2,000 years. I think all Japanese must, however, visit the Museum at least once to learn the historical facts. It is just the same for us to visit the Southern Battle Site of Okinawa. In both places, I couldn't eat anything for a while after I visited them.

Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Okinawa, Korea, and Auschwitz remind me that all of the tragedies were triggered by us, humankind, including me. Both assailants and victims are the parts of humankind.

I believe everybody is responsible to human society and its history. I will continue to accept, to think, and to hand down the history.