Changes In Japanese Culture Essay

998 words - 4 pages

Throughout “Hiroshima” by John Heresy, the readers are gradually exposed to Japanese culture through each of the six survivors, regardless of the survivors' nationality, as they stitch their lives back together after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 9, 1945. Japanese-style hospitals are quite different in comparison to other hospitals, gradually reforming through the book. As a Japanese, you were happy to die for your Emperor and country as shown in Tanimoto's letter to an American and in the survivors. Japanese had a resistance toward foreigners due to the war, however, after the bombing, the Japanese accepted those they rejected. Through these Japanese customs, the audience gains further understanding of the influence the atomic bombing had on Japan and their customs and traditions.

Needles. Drugs. X-rays. Machinery. No beds. Room enough for you and your family. Not your typical hospital these days. The Japanese-style hospitals were for patients' mental and physical health. In Dr. Masakazu Fuji's hospital, there were “thirty rooms for thirty patients and their kinsfolk,” so the families could reassure and strengthen the ill patients. It's believed that if a ill patient was confined from loved ones, then the “patient would be miserable indeed.” In addition, Dr. Terufumi Sasaki worked in a more modern hospital with rooms only enough for patients. After the bombing took place, hospitals were in shambles with no electricity or running water. As survivors flooded hospitals with radiation sickness and time went on, hospitals began to redevelop to please economy and society. Dr. Sasaki begins to practice in his wife's home, eventually building an add-on and running a hospital for the elderly. Dr. Fuji built a new clinic “on the site of the one that had been ruined by the bomb”, which only held “half a dozen bedrooms for in-patients.” In comparison to his last clinic, which was quite large in order to accommodate for thirty patients and their family, this clinic was small and modernized. This could be due to the fact that Japan and the Japanese people have changed after the bombing.

The Emperor in Japan is “the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people,” which the Japanese give their obligation to as seen in Kiyoshi Tanimoto’s letter to an American and in the six survivors despite their nationality. When the bomb was dropped onto Hiroshima, many perished in the ruins created by the bomb. When Dr Y. Hiraiwa and his son were trapped under rubbles of their burning “two-story house,” they decided that they could do nothing but devote their lives to their country. The father and son chanted “Tenno-heika, Banzai, Banzai, Bazai,” encouraging the emperor to live long. This chanting allows the father to feel at peace and contented that he was able to taste “a beautiful spirit,” which in context is when he “decided to die for” the Emperor. Kayoko Nobutoki was walking home from school with her classmates. They...

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