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A rude awakening...

Kjeld Duits, Saturday, July 30, 2005 Posted: 05:12 PM JST

(by Phil) - I was pleased with my newly chosen home and job in Otawara, a small town in the countryside of Tochigi Prefecture, about 150 km north of Tokyo. There seemed to be many more foreign faces than is usual in rural Japan, due to the presence of some large companies. People seemed friendly to me as a Canadian, and my son did not suffer the usual taunts of "gaijin, gaijin" when he enrolled in a local public elementary school.

Then one morning in July 2005, as I was drinking my coffee and reading the international news on the website of the BBC in London, I was surprised to see the name of Otawara.


Cool Sites : Hiroshima

Kjeld Duits, Monday, July 25, 2005 Posted: 12:48 PM JST

On August 6 it will be exactly 60 years ago that the city of Hiroshima was devastated by a nuclear bomb, the first one to be used against humans. A small selection of the many excellent sites about this event:

Atomic Bombings Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Extremely comprehensive site on the number of casualties, the aftermath and types of long-term injuries suffered from the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (ENG)

Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb, The
Documents and speeches from the Truman administration, organized by dates and topics, focusing on the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. (ENG)

Hiroshima Archive
On-going project by the Japanese photographer Hiromi Tsuchida to capture the aftermath of the bomb in Hiroshima. (ENG)

Hiroshima City
Information on war memorials and peace declarations in the city of Hiroshima, including civic organizations, museums and town development guides. (ENG JPN)

Hiroshima Live Project
Multimedia presentation of the 50th Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony. (ENG)

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony
Every year the City of Hiroshima holds the Peace Memorial Ceremony to console the souls of atomic bombing victims, and to pray for everlasting world peace. Features program, date and location. (ENG)

Hiroshima Peace Site
The official site of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum pays tribute to the city and its victims. Features resources for the abolition of nuclear weapons and educational materials for children. (ENG JPN)

Voice of Hibakusha
Eyewitness accounts of the bombing of Hiroshima. (ENG)

Hiroshima Photo Essay
Hiroshima photo essay on the site of Time magazine on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb. (ENG)

Pray from Peace City, Hiroshima
Visual history of the bombing and aftermath in Hiroshima. (ENG JPN)

Radiation Effects Research Foundation
Studies the health effects of radiation in the survivors of atomic bombs. RERF (formerly the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission) was established in April 1975 as a private nonprofit Japanese foundation. (ENG JPN)

Joseph Papalia Collection
Large collection of photos related to members of the 509th Composite Group, comprising the crew that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. (ENG)

Manhattan Project Heritage Preservation Association
The Manhattan Project Heritage Preservation Association, Inc. (MPHPA) aims to preserve, exhibit, interpret and teach the history of the Manhattan Project. (ENG)

A-Bomb WWW Museum ~ June, 1995
Virtual museum with exhibits depicting the results of the bombing of Hiroshima in photographs, survivors stories, monuments and historical objects. Features interesting reactions from readers. (ENG)

Hiroshima: Was It Necessary?
Why the atomic bombings were probably not necessary to win WWII without a mainland invasion of Japan. Extensive bibliography. (ENG)

Find more sites related to Japan at Japan Links. Special section for Hiroshima.

Keywords: cool_sites

On Racism in Japan

Kjeld Duits, Friday, July 22, 2005 Posted: 04:49 PM JST

American born Japanese activist Arudo Debito last Sunday published an excellent review of racism in Japan and his hopes for a policy to protect all residents in Japan, "regardless of nationality and appearance".


Japan's Super Cool Phones

Kjeld Duits, Monday, July 11, 2005 Posted: 09:38 AM JST

Photos of Japan by Kjeld DuitsLast February I was in Australia and had to select a mobile phone. I was quite shocked by the limited selection I was offered. At the same time the people there loved the Japanese mobile phone I happened to have on me. This gave me the idea to start photographing the mobile phones young trendy Japanese carry. Many have individualized their phones, and all of them attach the most amazing characters and straps to them, making it even more fun to look at. Discover the ever increasing photographs of Japanese mobile phones.

Keywords: culture_news trends_lifestyle


iKjeld.com Contributors - A List

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, July 6, 2005 Posted: 01:25 PM JST

A growing number of people have been contributing to iKjeld.com. We are extremely grateful for their input and cooperation. We also thank organizations like the Kansai International Public Relations Promotion Office and Japan Focus who have occasionally allowed us to republish their articles. It makes iKjeld.com a much richer place to visit.


Kansai's Unique Approach to Politics and Ambiguity

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, July 6, 2005 Posted: 09:24 AM JST

(by Moritatsu Tawara) - Secretary General of the Kansai Press Club Moritatsu Tawara describes the unique approach to politics by people living in the Kansai area, the area around Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. It differs immensely from the "monolithic" Tokyo, argues Tawara. He calls it "cool and detached", like that of an "onlooker".


The Edo Period had an Ecological Society

Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, July 5, 2005 Posted: 09:47 PM JST

Musashino Art University lecturer and writer Eisuke Ishikawa specializes in environmental and ecological issues during the Edo period (1603-1867). In his books he introduces the wisdom of people living during the Edo Period for sustainable living. He touches on technology, energy, resource management, and recycling systems. In 2000, Kodansha published his “The Edo Period had an Ecological Society” ("O-edo ecology jijo"). Japan for Sustainability recently finished the complete English translation of "The Edo Period" and put it online. We show a short extract here.


Cool Sites : Japan in WWII

Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, July 5, 2005 Posted: 06:11 PM JST

Since several months Japan is remembering the end of the war in the Pacific. The Japanese Emperor has visited Saipan, there have been solemn ceremonies in Okinawa, and in August Hiroshima and Nagasaki will remember their horrific fates. It is 60 years since the end of the war, so these ceremonies will be the last ones still attended by a large number of survivors. Some excellent sites with background information:

Allied Occupation of Japan, 1948-1951
Doing Photography and Social Research in the Allied Occupation of Japan, 1948-1951. A Personal and Professional Memoir by John W. Bennett. (ENG)

Final Months of the War With Japan
Monograph from the CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence about the planning for invasion, alternative scenarios, intelligence data, etc. (ENG)

Center for Research and Documentation on Japan's War Responsibility (JWRC) (ENG JPN)

Memories of War
The Second World War and Japanese historical memory in comparative perspective. Edited by Takashi Inoguchi and Lyn Jackson. Recommended. (ENG)

Prisoner of War Camp #1
Detailed information about the Prisoner of War camp located in Fukuoka during World War II. (ENG)

Shortlist of War Apologies by Japan
A list of war apologies by Japanese leaders. (ENG)

Slips of the Tongue
Political outcomes of slips of the tongue of Japanese Ministers in regards to WWII. A Hiroshima Peace Science paper. PDF file. (ENG)

Voice of Hibakusha
Eyewitness accounts of the bombing of Hiroshima. (ENG)

Tokyo Fire Raids
Terribly sobering eyewitness account, by French journalist Robert Guillain who was stuck in Tokyo, of the firebombing of that city. Recommended. (ENG)

The Alliance for Preserving the Truth of Sino-Japanese War (APTSJW) is dedicated to the truth about the Sino-Japanese War (1931-1945). (ENG)

The Biochemical Warfare Unit 731
In depth research into biological and chemical weapons produced by the Japanese army during WWII. (ENG)

Shortlist of War Apologies by Japan
A list of war apologies by Japanese leaders. (ENG)

Find more sites related to Japan at Japan Links. Special section for WWII.

Keywords: cool_sites

Court Battle over Secret US-Japan Pact

Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, July 5, 2005 Posted: 05:51 PM JST

Kyodo reports that the Tokyo District Court today held the first hearing over illegally indicted Mainichi Shimbun reporter Takichi Nishiyama (73). Nishiyama was arrested and indicted in 1972 after he reported on a secret agreement between Japan and the United States over the 1972 reversion of Okinawa to Japan.


The Forgotten Grief of Okinawa

Kjeld Duits, Saturday, July 2, 2005 Posted: 03:08 PM JST

Photos of Japan by Kjeld DuitsHiroshima has become the symbol of the stupidity, horror and senselessness of war. Of the terrible price that the unarmed civilian pays in modern warfare. Hiroshima was in great part a direct result of events in Okinawa some months earlier. Sixty years ago a terrible battle was fought for 82 continuous days on this Japanese island. Now Okinawa battles again. Against being forgotten.


Global Samurai

Kjeld Duits, Friday, July 1, 2005 Posted: 04:33 PM JST

(by Annie Manion) - When asked what the first three things are that come to mind when they think of Japan, 42% of Dr. Berger’s 100-level Japanese history course (at at USC) wrote ‘samurai’ as one of their answers. The image of the samurai has long been recognized as a representation of traditional Japan. However, while on the one hand samurai can be thought of as representing something uniquely Japanese, on the other hand, it can be argued that they have come to represent a set of behavior and ideas that though rooted in a vague sense of “Japaneseness” are now available for people of any nationality, ethnicity or cultural background to adopt.


Mobile Phone Manners and 'Visual Haiku' in Japan

Kjeld Duits, Friday, July 1, 2005 Posted: 08:56 AM JST

Photos of Japan by Kjeld DuitsA few days a go I spent several days touring through Japan with a journalist from the Netherlands. She was amazed at how well-behaved most Japanese are when it comes to using their mobile phone in public places. During the four days we travelled together we observed many hundreds of people, but saw only person making a phone call that everybody could follow, on a train about an urgent business problem. And he received it, he did not initiate it.


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The now legendary Sir Ernest Mason Satow (1843-1929) was a member of the British legation in Tokyo for twenty-one years. This classic book is based on the author's detailed diary, personal encounters, and keen memory. In it, Satow records the history of the critical years of social and political upheaval that accompanied Japan's first encounters with the West around the time of the Meiji Restoration. Fascinating.
Stone Bridge Press

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