Today is the anniversary of the dropping of the first nuclear bomb on Japan. Tonight, there was an HBO program called "white light/black rain" about the survivors of the nuclear bombs.
I was saddened by the retelling of personal experiences from the bombing. The children who watched their parents and siblings melt or die in agony. I was horrified at the elderly people who still wear the scars of their burns or the crippling effects of their flesh that was eaten away.
But, I was struck by one man stating that the survivors must keep their status under wraps because they would be denied jobs or unable to marry or have children. In their culture, they shun the victims. Such a difference from American culture - where claiming victim status is something of a sport amongst some. I know from work done with Jewish holocaust survivors, simply surviving doesn't mean that a person is necessarily good or bad. I find it interesting that the Japanese are so distant from the victims in their midst.
Also, I was struck by the utter lack of a grudge against Americans. If you look at the fashions of the Japanese - it seems they embrace all things American. However, there are still folks in our country who have not yet let go of Pearl Harbor or the cold war and I suspect a generation into the future, there will still be pretty wide spread distrust of anyone even appearing to look middle-eastern.
Most of all, I'm reminded that war really sucks and ought to be avoided whenever possible.