Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Twist of Fate vol.1 ~This is my grandfather's story~

This post will be very long and serious. There won't be too much joking going on, therefore if you wish, you're more than welcome to abort, but if you choose to keep reading, I thank you first for giving me this chance to share my story. So, here goes...

I was born in Hiroshima, Japan, where the first ever Atomic bomb was dropped on human soil. My grandfather (my mom's dad) M.K was a photographer for the Army during World War II operating out of his photo studio.

On the morning of August 6, my grandpa opened his photo studio in the Hondori shopping district around 7:00 a.m., just as usual. Then realizing he had ran out of cigarettes he closed the studio and decided to go to the store to pick up a pack or two. This store just happened to be a Japanese Army depot in a underground shelter. When he walked down stairs and began to say hello to the people he knew, suddenly, they heard a very large and very loud noise the ground started shaking.The people in the shelter didn't know what was happening, but everybody knew to stay put because, something terrible had just happened.

After several hours had passed the people in the shelter decided to go outside, and what they saw was indiscribable the total devastation of Hiroshima. Everything was gone. My grandfather decided to go back to his photo studio and once he got there, all he saw was a burned out building he had once called his studio.

Then he realized, he had to do something; to help injured people. People were screaming and crying out for help. It was Hell. After a while, my grandpa heard this tiny voice calling his name. "Mr. K., Mr K..," the girl said. He looked around and started walking towards where the voice was coming from. There, he saw a young lady in the emergency water tank whispering my grandpa's name. He ran up to her, but her face was severely burned.

My grandpa asked, "I'm so sorry, but do I know you?," then the girl replied, "It's me, Mr. K, you took my arrangement marriage photos several months ago...."

My grandfather's heart sunk, then he knew exactly who it was, not many people were getting married due to the war.

The girl begged my grandfather to take her back to her parents house which was many miles away. "I want to see my dad.. I want to see my mom.. Can you please take me back?" the girl asked. My grandfather decided to carry her on his back and started walking. My grandfather told her stories, and told her to hang in there because he'd bring her home to her parents. But soon the girl had died on my grandpa's back. He walked the entire day and arrived to her house late at night.

The girl's parents heard about the news that something horrible happened in the city and they were really concerned about their daughter. They were devastated for the loss of their daughter, but they were truly grateful to my grandfaher for returning her to them even though she had passed. The father of the girl told my grandpa to stay over night and the family fed my grandfather dinner and bunch of 'sake' (Japanese rice wine) to remember her life.

Many people who were in the city of Hiroshima at the time of the bombing or who later came to help the injured developed the symptoms of radiation sickness and many had died or had suffered for a long time. My grandfather was there near the epi-center, trying to help people, but had only minor symptom of diarrhea and loss of hair. It was miracle that he didn't develop luekemia or other type of cancer. He used to say the sake might have cleansed his body or maybe the girl was watching over for him.

My grandmother and mother who was only 6 month old were evacuated to the country side (town called Kake) several month earlier. My grandma heard about the horrible news, but there was no way to communicate with my grandfather or anybody in the city, so she feared the worst. Several days had passed, when my grandfather had showed up at their door, my grandmother was overwhelmed with happiness and joy.

Being a photographer (or Japanese. LOL), my grandfather always carried his favorite camera and he took many photos of the aftermath. Some of which are in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. (I added one photo to this post below.)

Because of my grandfather and what other innocent people had gone through during the WWII, I have strong feelings towards world peace and always want to do my part to spread the message.

Tomorrow, I am going to talk about the second installment of "A Twist of Fate ~And then we meet~".

Domo Arigato "thank you"

This is one of my grandfather's photo

Hiroshima A-bomb Dome; a symbol of Hiroshima


Franco said...

i HAVE no words, don't know but to say but WOW!
that's a truly Amzing story!
YouR grandpa sounds like a really good man!

colbymarshall said...

Wow...that story is incredible. What a wonderful man your grandfather must be, and what a powerful story that shows the harm other humans can bring to others. Thanks for sharing this.

Dorkys R. said...

Wow Maki, your grandfather is simply incredible. Stories like these (and the ones from 9/11) just goes to show the absolute worst and absolute best in people. We can cause such atrocities and we can also go above and beyond to help others when needed.

I'm so happy to hear your grandfather survived the attack and cannot wait to read part 2!

MJ said...

Such a compelling story. It does sound like someone must have been watching over your grandfather.

Savvy Mode SG said...

wow thank you for sharing your story.

Savvy Mode SG said...

ps. i got ahead of myself. the tag is for 11 things about you for today.... : )

Sarah said...

What an amazing story! I can't wait to hear the next installment. Thanks for sharing!

WendyB said...

What an astonishing story. A tremendous stroke of luck that your grandfather's smoking habit happened to take him to a shelter just at the right moment. I can't imagine the shock that people felt when they emerged from the shelter to see what had happened all around them.

Bayjb said...

Wow that story is amazing. I cannot believe it. I think it' so great that you shared this because so many people should read it.

Alev said...

Wow, what your grandfather had been through and had done is just amazing.. Thanks for sharing this. :)

BakerGirl said...

Maki, your grandfathers story is amazing. The pictures are monumental. I wish all of the people on this planet would strive to be more like your grandfather. Your grandfather is a very lucky man and you are very lucky to know that you come from such good people!

Thanks for the comment on my blog this week, btw. I really appreciate your feedback and responses! I wish I could photograph your girls for you, they look adorable!

Maki said...

franco: yes, 'cross fingers' to world peace!! we really need to pray for it.

colby: Thank you for reading the story. I really appreciate it.

dorky: You're so right! Stories like these teach you what we're capable of; be it bad or good! Thank you!!

mj: I do believe someone was watching over my grandpa :)

savvy: Thank you!! And I will get to your tag as soon as I finish the second installment :

sarah: Thanks so much! I hope you'll like the second story as well.

wendyb: Wow, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving me the comment! My hubs often jokes about it: smokes and alcohol saved my granpa's life:)

bayjb: Thank you so much for your kind words. I hope, too that many people get to read this.

alev: No, thank you for reading it!!

bakergirl: Aww thank you so much for your comment. You're a photographer, so I was hoping you'd like the story. Maybe someday you get to take my girls' photos - that would be awesome!! Maegan said...

wow. what a truly amazing story. and what a truly amazing man.

Recently I watched a new documentary about the survivors of the horrible tragedy and I couldn't stop crying ...but it was so compelling I had to watch the entire thing.

Maki said...

Maegan: You have such a tender heart.. I do watch all those WWII documentaries. It's hard to watch sometimes, but it's so important I think to learn about it. Now we'll have Afghan and Iraq wars.. So sad:(

Laura said...

Thanks for sharing that story. He was a very lucky man!

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