Japanese WWII Vet Sees Trouble on the Horizon

This is an excellent post…something that we should all think about, and be mindful of.

Pacific Paratrooper

04zero1-master1050 Kaname Harada, 98, holding a picture of himself when he was a fighter pilot

NAGANO, Japan — Kaname Harada was once a feared samurai of the sky, shooting down 19 Allied aircraft as a pilot of Japan’s legendary Zero fighter plane during World War II. Now 98 years old and in failing health, the former ace is on what he calls his final mission: using his wartime experiences to warn Japan against ever going to war again.
This has become a timely issue in Japan, as the conservative Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has called for revising Japan’s pacifist Constitution. On a recent afternoon in this alpine city near his home, Mr. Harada was invited to address a ballroom filled with some 200 tax accountants and their business clients.
After slowly ascending the stage with the help of his daughter, he stopped to hang up hand-drawn war maps and a sepia-toned photo of himself…

View original post 901 more words

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Vive les chats!
    Oct 07, 2016 @ 15:59:01

    Very moving. Thank you for sharing

    • sepultura13
      Oct 07, 2016 @ 17:03:21

      We must remember history, so that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past…and that reminder seems to be needed now, more than ever.

  2. Vive les chats!
    Oct 07, 2016 @ 17:57:57

    I do think that part of the problem is how History is taught in schools. It is very insular. It is a big world out there and parents should be encouraging their children to read as much as they can about History of that big World.
    Did you know that British young women and young men today do not know what the Battle of Britain was about? I find that absolutely incomprehensible.

    • sepultura13
      Oct 07, 2016 @ 18:04:00

      That’s amazing, but not surprising. It’s similar to how people here in America don’t know what the Civil War was about, and are taught selectively about how the country was founded. Many don’t even know the real history of the Pilgrims and why they came to America in the first place, and the myth about Thanksgiving has been swallowed hook, line, and sinker.

      History is improperly taught…widely, it appears!

  3. GP Cox
    Oct 08, 2016 @ 02:28:12

    Thank you for retelling this story, it is a serious subject that is needed to be heard.

  4. Paul
    Oct 08, 2016 @ 11:34:41

    Some of my students in the 90s thought that Vietnam was fought before WW II.

    But on the Japanese WW II vet post. It is so amazing. Thank your for posting!

    My wife’s father, who died two years ago, was a zero fighter pilot, at the age of 15. I saw a picture of him with his Kamikaze arm wrap in place. The war ended before he could end his own life. Most Americans have no idea what Japanese sailors and soldiers and civilians endured during those last two hellish years of war. I’m not saying American soldiers didn’t suffer as well. It’s not a contest. But as you mentioned above, our young folk don’t have a clue. I think every American ought to be forced to read the Japanese novel BLACK RAIN that chronicles the Hiroshima bombing.

    But it’s a pet peeve of mine. We as a nation, a culture, as do other nations other cultures, do forget. We all forget and slowly over the pace of a few generations we start the absurd climb back into the war mood. I think that is what may be happening in Japan right now. The threat from North Korea is real and extremely frightening. And Japanese aren’t so sure (and I can’t say that I blame them) that they can trust America for protection. Hell, I don’t trust the government one bit. Why should they? Unfortunately the desire for defense in time morphs into a lust for offense–a process of which this country is a prime example.

    • sepultura13
      Oct 08, 2016 @ 11:41:43

      So very true…the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki can’t be swept under the rug. Yes, Americans died in Pearl Harbor – but the devastation of two cities, and the aftermath still felt decades afterwards, are things that people think of as the distant past…and they really aren’t that distant.

      Black Rain is an excellent novel – it’s been years since I read it in my high school library, but I think I’ll purchase a copy to own.

      Another excellent film that I recommend, even though it’s an anime film, is called Grave of the Fireflies. I think that kids should see it in school, just like I saw Animal Farm and The Diary of Miss Jane Pittman.

      Adults seem to want to treat kids with ‘kid gloves’ when it comes to education – and its the kids who suffer for lack of knowledge.

      • Paul
        Oct 08, 2016 @ 12:07:58

        Every word you say is absolutely true. And I agree with Grave of the Fireflies. I saw that some years ago and have never forgotten it.

      • sepultura13
        Oct 08, 2016 @ 14:55:59

        So few people have seen Grave of the Fireflies…I’m glad to talk with someone who has!

        I watched it with my son when he was only six – he’s never forgotten it, either.
        My dad is a WWII vet who turned 92 this year…my mom turned 62 in September. They both have lived through historic moments, and speak of them often. Things that aren’t talked about in American History classes.

        Sometimes, what families have lived through hold much more depth than dry words in dusty tomes…words written by the ‘victors.’ Numbers tattooed on skin speak volumes, for example – yet, there are many who claim that the Middle Passage, or slavery, or the Holocaust, or the Trail of Tears aren’t real…it’s sad and sickening, to me.

        Ignoring the myriad facets of history, simply because of the discomfort caused, is a travesty. Being selective about history serves no good purpose. It is what built this country, and many others – good, bad, ugly and / or indifferent – and it all needs to be known.

      • Paul
        Oct 10, 2016 @ 06:58:01

        I’m beginning to believe that our techno in your face culture has a built-in bias against history–against anything that is over a week old. As I mentioned in my about page, I taught at Alcorn State, and HBCU in Mississippi for MANY years. I loved the job and I love the school. My best friend was an older black man named Newtie Boyd. If a white guy and a black man could be brothers we would be it. At any rate, he taught me so much. He told me how if his family in the fifties wanted to drive from Jackson Mississippi to say, Memphis, they had to set up what families they would stay with on the way. There were no hotels for them. Even though he and I were close friends he confided in me that if Alcorn ever got a white president, he would never trust him. It would be impossible, because he felt that white folks could only believe in causes that benefited them and them only.
        It was listening to Newtie and other African Americans, especially those that lived through the forties and fifties, that I became truly human. Now I can look at my white family, and understand them even better. My step-father, like your dad was a WW II vet, he flew in the Army Air Force. My biological father died when I was five, he worked at an aircraft factory during the war. I had one uncle who was a medic’s aid during the Normandy invasion. Now, here’s the kicker…that uncle, the medic’s aid, was a great favorite of mine. His daughters were our best little friends. Everything changed, when I got my job at Alcorn, I remember one evening I had driven up to Tennessee for Christmas or something. I had been at Alcorn for two or three years. Mama and I visited with Uncle Archie. He all but attacked me with a club.

        Was I a member of that EN Double A Cee Pee?

        No Uncle Archie I’m not a member…

        You sound like it. Yeah! You’re even talking like em!

        Oh, he kept it up. Finally yelling out the N word, then spelling it letter by letter at the top of his voice.

        I knew then, I had changed forever. I didn’t hate my uncle. I didn’t suffer because of my uncle, but I sure as hell understood him and the South a lot better. I saw what I could have become had it not been for Alcorn. And because of that teaching experience, I can better understand the evils of racism, sexism, and jingoism. I was fortunate.

        sorry for being so long-winded.

      • sepultura13
        Oct 10, 2016 @ 08:22:04

        No worries about being long-winded – I appreciate you sharing your story! People’s experiences definitely shape their perception and perspective…and, it’s sad that some people are so determined to hate others that they refuse to acknowledge other’s humanity due to difference of religion, culture, and / or skin colour.

        My dad lived in Tennessee and Louisiana during the 20s…he has some amazing stories about what it was like at the time.

        You’re absolutely correct – anything that’s more than a week old, or not related to some celebrity ‘scandal’ is considered non-important to many. It’s that techno-driven, instant gratification, 140-characters or less mindset, I’d say. More people seem to be concerned over the Kardashian’s latest crap than actually paying attention to political issues!

%d bloggers like this: