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Sunday, December 9, 2012


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Before continuing my "bare bones book outline", I wish to say that I have some years ago written a rather detailed essay of my two nights in Nagasaki.  I do not wish to repeat that essay here;  rather, I wish to share the barest of facts as I recall them...some 59 years later.

I wish also to  refer to wikipedia dissertation regarding the atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the aftermath.  I visited Kokura and Nagasaki 8 years after the bombs fell...came to know residents of both cities. 

KOKURA was the "secondary" target for the ENOLA GAY B-29 raid on Hiroshima; 

KOKURA was the "primary" target for the BOCKSCAR B-29 raid on Nagasaki.

KOKURA was / is the home of Keiko (I know not if Keiko still lives).  I consider myself honored to have been loved by and accepted into Keiko's home.

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Setting out from the bus station, I hope to search the streets of Nagasaki...alas, there are no streets. I walk for some hours...dressed in my soiled wrinkled uniform...the uniform of the men who so recently wrecked disaster upon Nagasaki.  Still, as I stumble through open avenues of dirt piles...of huge ditches...of many foundations and basic framing of buildings, I am met with smiles, kindly bows, words I do not understand.  No businesses exist in the construction areas ... and, everywhere I walk is construction area. 

Not a single discernable road or street is found.  I have become hopelessly lost.

It is becoming twighlight...I am becoming nervous and hungry.  One large new building appears far in the distance on the opposite side of the deep ditch I am following...two girls watch as I approach.  One girl asks...Oh, Soldier...please come to my mother's hotel - gesturing at the new building now just across the ditch - .  I nod yes, my hand taken in hers; I am led across a wooden plank across the ditch to mother's hotel.

The girl, maybe 16 years old, leads me into the building.  Two days later, my uniform cleaned and shined, I am escorted by the girl and her two teary-eyed cousins, to the bus station... I take the bus back to Kokura.

Keiko meets me as I step off the bus...we walk home together.  I must quickly return to Korea...before I go, Keiko and I talk for many hours.  She is indentured to her protector to age 21.  We walk together to the hotel...the little man welcoming us.  Yes, Keiko must fulfill her obligation to age 21...or, produce equal measure of payment.

I return to mind overwhelmed.  I know my Uncle Bud - Dad's brother, came home from World War II with a Japanese bride...I liked her well enough, but others gave her a very bad time. 

Marriage is not in my mind...impossible in any event on the $72.00 per month I receive...but, Keiko being indentured burns into my soul.

 I must find a way to free her...

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