Hiroshima (Japan). A young Japanese singer plays her guitar in front of the A-Bomb dome.
Hiroshima (Japan). Today it’s the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, that destroyed more than two thirds of the city killing 70,000 people instantly, with an unknown final death toll.
I visited Hiroshima exactly five years ago: I arrived there very few days after the 65th year celebrations, and I was honestly surprised by this place, which was the protagonist of one of the most horrible episodes in the world history. I was – as said – surprised because I realised that everything in Hiroshima was talking about “peace”: the most famous landmark is the Peace Memorial (commonly called the Atomic Bomb Dome), which is also part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, memories are conserved at the Peace Memorial Museum, and the Flame of Peace (designed by Kenzo Tange) burns continuously days and nights since it was lit in 1964 and it will remain lit until all nuclear bombs on the planet are destroyed and the planet is free from the threat of nuclear annihilation.
Yes, “peace”. Walking around Hiroshima – one more time – the most common word is “Peace”. I found in it a very strong message for all of us: a message of hope and forgiveness, something that will be inherited by future generations, something that is difficult to imagine normally, and for this reason it is even more special considering – again – the history of Hiroshima.
When during a night walk along the Ota River, I saw this young Japanese girl playing a song with her guitar, with still the word “Peace” echoing into my mind, I immediately stopped and I stood up listening to her. It was one of those moments that make a trip, and still today – when I think about Japan – the first episode that comes to my mind is this one.
I took this photo (and few others more) because I found the entire scene very symbolic: a peace song played in front of the Peace Memorial (which is mirroring itself on the river’s water surface), in the heart of a city which became an example of “pacific pride” for the rest of the world. It was a perfect moment, no need to explain more.
Today, 5 years after that my personal experience (which is still incredibly vivid in my mind and in my heart) and especially 70 years after that tragic day – when the atomic bomb “Little Boy” killed hundreds of thousands of people – I like to think about Hiroshima in this way, and like its citizens I want to share my humble but heart-felt message of hope and peace.
Tokyo (Japan). View of the Tokyo Bay, with the Rainbow Bridge and the Fuji TV building
Tokyo (Japan). Early morning at the Tsukiji Fish Market, in the hearth of Tokyo. Hundreds of people gather here to buy the best fish coming from every corner of the world. But the most important one, Tuna fish, has a specially dedicated auction with a very organised procedure. Frozen fishes are laid down on the floor, and the incredibly hot and humid air (it was summer) creates a sort of fog’s layer just above them. Bidders check every single tuna in order to prepare their best offer when the auctioneer – from the heigh of his stool – starts the negotiation few minutes after.
Even if it was forbidden to shoot photos at the tuna auctions, I was able to hide myself behind a cart and capturing some images. This is one of the most representative, taken few minutes before being seen and threatened with a hook by one of the participants…
Tokyo (Japan). The Tokyo Tower is one of the tallest building in Tokyo, and therefore this place is a fantastic observation dock for a great landscape.
Kyoto (Japan). It was late night when I visited the Fushim Inari-taisha in Kyoto: I decided to see this amazing place because I wanted to escape from the crowd of tourists and contemplate not only the beauty, but also the silence and the sense of peace given by the “Torii” leading to the inner shrine. And it was a very nice idea…