Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Senso no drama (War drama)

Its August and so in Japan that means two things: 1) lots of headlines about Hiroshima and Nagasaki and as the days countdown to August 15, TV shows about the War on Japanese TV. Last year they ran a drama about a family in Okinawa during World War II. This year it is about an elementary school on one of the outlying Islands during the war. It's actually pretty good programming, and it shows life "on the other side". This years program is called nijyuyon no hitome (二十の人目、24 sets of eyes......) . The S.O. had to explain a lot to me, but it was still very interesting. It was not on NHK , but on another channel.

Meanwhile on NHK they have:

Documentaries that underline the value of peaceThis year, we will mark the 60th summer since the end of Second World War. Those with personal experience of
war are now advanced in age. NHK will present intensive peace-related programming on an unprecedented scale during the coming summer.
On General TV, NHK Special observes the anniversary with an intensive series starting on Saturday, August 6. NHK Hiroshima prepares a documentary titled A-Bomb Survivors’ Record of Life for airing on August 6, meanwhile Zone: Nuclear
Weapons and Mankind on August 7 will delve into the meaning of nuclear weapons.
NHK Nagasaki produces Burned Backs: A Couple who Still Bear Marks of the A-bomb, which will be aired on August 9. A documentary feature on August 8, Inquiry:
Nuclear Weapon on the Black Market (tentative title), will investigate the smuggling of nuclear weapon. This is How Japan Was Reduced to Ashes on August 13 examines indiscriminate bombing from a global point of view. Neighbors at War: Truths Revealed Six Years After, on August 14, focuses on the current conditions
in Kosovo Province of the former Yugoslavia.

Its important to remember that August 15 is known as "shusen kinenbi", the anniversary of the end of the war. It is a solemn and somber occasion when many Japanese question whether there was any positive meaning to their loved ones' deaths and the nation's suffering. Many express contrition about the millions of lives squandered among Japanese, among the conquered nations of Asia, and their Western adversaries, and vow never again to embark on aggressive war. In Japan's collective discourse on the war, there is no equivalent to the victorious Allied nations' heroic narrative of perseverance and self-sacrifice producing a positive outcome. In the new millennium, however, such views clash with those of Japanese neonationalists who proclaim the "positive" aspect of Japan's war and press for a more aggressive Japanese foreign policy as seen, for example, in the dispatch of Self-Defense Forces to Iraq in 2004.

Try telling that to the commies over in China.........


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