At some point in the middle of this trip, I thought I couldn’t go to Hiroshima as we had planned. I thought it would just be too emotionally overwhelming. I told K squared as much and they accepted this.

A couple days ago, K said we should really go to Hiroshima and I realized he was right.

As a Jew, I’ve always associated World War II with what happened to my people – the Holocaust. But another gigantic horror happened to the Japanese – the bombing atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Today was our first rainy day in Japan, so the weather suited the occasion.

I learned a lot about Hiroshima, like how the hypocenter of the bombing was on the arts center of the city. As an artist, that little fact effected me. As a human being I know that all the victims equally deserve my sympathy.

I also didn’t know that some survivors were very close to the hypocenter, and although it’s a miracle they survived, they saw their entire families and home and happiness taken from them in a split second. Which is too horrible to contemplate, and also a gruesome reminder to remember how incredibly lucky I am.

At one point I sat down in a resting area, in a comfortable sky-blue leather seat facing out the window towards the greenery of the park. I literally sat with my feelings. I started crying without warning, but after a deep breath and deeper sigh, continued my tour of the museum.

There were many great sculptures outside the Peace Memorial Museum, so as horrifying as many things are in the museum, when you return to the world there is a lovely fountain, and sculptures of peace and hope.

When we returned to Kyoto, there was another anti-nuclear power demonstration, the second we’ve seen near Kyoto station. The protesters were mostly older people, people who grew up in the shadow of nuclear devastation if not survivors themselves. They know the horrors.

There are two things I fucking hate with my entire being: cancer and war. It was hard to spend time looking closely at something that interlaces these two monstrosities, war being something I find especially disgusting. But I did it, to honor the people of this land I’ve come to love, and in the name of peace.

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