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Watching the first half of the biography of Japanese architect Kenzo Tange who designed Hiroshima Peace Memorial on Watashi no Rirekisho (My Curriculum Vitae), a documentary series narrated by Hiroki Hasegawa and produced by Nihon Keizai Shinbun (Japanese Economy Journal), prompted me to recollect my visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum with my husband a few years ago. It was a powerfully sobering experience to see the Atomic Dome soaring behind the arch-shaped Memorial Monument. It was a reminder that the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Park complex carries a very heavy historical burden, teaching us the inhumanity of nuclear weapons as well as the danger of nuclear power. It is said that the father of the atomic bomb Julius Oppenheimer was momentarily arrested by the sudden feeling of terror, when he witnessed the first experimental detonation of an atomic bomb in New Mexico, because of the tremendous heat the explosion created. Later, he said that the experience reminded him of words from a Sanskrit text Bhagavad Gita, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” Later, though Oppenheimer lobbied for international control of nuclear power to stop nuclear proliferation, obviously his and others’ efforts did not work at all. Currently, 14 states are believed to possess nuclear arms, and Iran is said to be developing nuclear arms. At this rate, indeed the world, the earth could be destroyed hundred times over. This realization makes me incredibly sad.

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