The Japanese and Their Emblematic Fate

The ending of WWII in the Pacific came to Japan, as the enemy of the United States experienced two horrendous events, the monstrous devastation of two cities and their — I would say “innocent”, but the fact that they were the target belies their innocence — oblivious populations, so unimaginable, so final, so instant, so unprecedented in the world history of warfare, so- so- so- so- so- unavoidable, given the social madness preceding, so- so-, deserved, earned, for atrocities perpetrated, so- so- coldly and deliberately delivered by one vehicle of a higher power far up in the skies, dropping one metal capsule holding inside a roiling hydrogen substance that surpassed all other implements devised by the hummin bean in the world history of making war, a new, more devastating means of killing and creating ruins. Dropped through an open bay into the dark of a morning by a crew of American men sitting in the vehicle’s cabin in awe of the task they are about to perform, to put a period on the end of a sentence passed by a tribunal a third of a world away against the enemy, the whole fanatical nation of Japan.

Hiroshima, a port city on the southwestern coast of Honshu in Japan; on August 6, 1945 Hiroshima was almost completely destroyed by the first atomic bomb dropped on a populated area.

Nagasaki, a city in southern Japan on Kyushu; a leading port and shipbuilding center; on August 9, 1945 Nagasaki became the second populated area to receive an atomic bomb.

The impression of those events HAD to be DEEP, scarring that nation’s people horribly. One evident manifestation of that damage came out in the Japanese fiction of the monster, Godzilla, a sort of prehistoric creature, who first appeared and attacked Japan at the beginning of the atomic warfare, as an emblem of the sudden transformation of Japan to a defeated and thoroughly chastised people. More than that, the Godzilla form expresses a mutation due to atomic radiation and is presented as an explanation for his size and powers, his atomic breath as a powerful heat ray of fire from his mouth. But he also is depicted as being resistant to damage thanks to a tough hide and an advanced healing factor. Might those characteristics also bespeak a character trait proclaimed for the Japanese people?

With the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki still fresh in the Japanese consciousness, Godzilla was conceived as a monster created by nuclear detonations and a metaphor for nuclear weapons in general, but became transformed into an expression of the character of the Japanese people. Perhaps? I only speculate.

Is there another Godzilla-like character that might now emerge after the present, and second nuclear disaster the Japanese have suffered?

They have made their lives on an island, and that island is slowly being consumed by the waters surrounding it and the tectonic movements below the surface. Is there a tsunami monster that will arise as a second emblem of the Japanese fate?


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