長崎観光その２ Nagasaki Sightseeing Part Two
The second day started with heavy rain. Aunt H and her family live in Nagasaki. Things had been arranged that Aunt H and her two daughters-in-law would pick us up at the hotel and drive to the Atomic Bomb Museum. So there we were without getting wet. I was amazed that the museum, rebuilt in 1996, had been considerably upgraded. Although it was not the tourist season, the museum was almost full and, to my surprise, most visitors were foreigners.
The replica of the front part of the bombed Urakami Cathedral was the first thing to come into sight. Among various displays were a metal helmet with melted human skull bones attached to it, a piece of wooden wall that had the shadows of a human and a ladder printed on it by the bomb flash, a curved metal structure, a wall clock that had stopped at 11:02, exact time of the the bombing, an atomic bomb model called “Fat Man,” etc. Different from a regular museum, things there made me feel like turning my eyes away. However, I told myself that I had to burn them into my memory. Although people around us were vigorously taking pictures of the displays, I didn’t feel like taking pictures at all. This visit clearly reminded me that this horror of the atomic bomb should never be forgotten even 100 or 200 years later.
In the rain, we moved to a Japanese restaurant for lunch. Typically for Nagasaki, down the stairs at the far end of a narrow alley stood a Japanese style building with atmosphere. We enjoyed our reuniting after years over delicious Japanese cuisine. With the two sons of Aunt H, (that is, my cousins), I used to play every summer in my childhood. We didn’t get to see them this time but it somehow made me smile to imagine the two boys, now grown up to be trustworthy dads with pretty wives. (^_^)
We split after lunch. My mother and Aunt H went back to the hotel. Surely they needed some time alone to catch up with each other. Dragon and I headed for Koshi-Byo (Confucian Shrine), which was built in 1893 by Chinese residents in Nagasaki. Vivid colors of yellow and red, life-size stone statues, and a number of weapons just like the ones dragon has. I felt like being in a Kung Fu movie myself. The best thing about the place was the museum shop. Was it fun or not!? There were so many things I wanted to buy, including Bruce Lee goods. Staying there quite a while, we ended up buying a lot of souvenirs and other things. Dragon, using the money he had earned from working in Goto, bought small figures of the characters from “Records of Three Kingdoms” and those of a pair of legendary creatures of China, Ki and Rin. The lady at the shop liked dragon so much she said to him, “Come back again.” (^_^;)
We then went to “Dejima.” During the self-imposed isolation time of Japan, Nagasaki was the only port open to foreign trade. “Dejima” was a small man-made island built in 1634. The main purpose was to have Portugese merchants live there in order to prevent the colonization and the spread of Chiristianity. Now that Dejima is surrounded with land that has been gradually reclaimed later, it was hard to recognize it once used to be an island. The reconstruction and reproduction of the town took place. Actually I had never been there before. We liked this seemingly out-of-place but interesting scene; the western-style dining set sitting in a tatami room. It rained on and off all day but we enjoyed the relaxing sightseeing.
At night we had a pleasant surprise that one of Aunt H’s daughter-in-laws came to the hotel with her daughter. Isn’t it amazing that these two are also related by blood?
by danceofdragon | 2010-10-08 00:42