有意思的是，这本小说，还让我联想到了大学的高英课本里的一篇描写广岛文章。广岛和长崎，有很多的不同，但它们有着相同的伤疤。文末附上Hiroshima,the “liveliest” City in Japan，有能力、有兴趣的可以读一读。
P.S Thanks to Miss Philosopher, I am finally motivated to finish this marvellous novel.
2 真是羞愧啊，一个孕妇和她的丈夫每周日不做别的，就想着死人。我知道他们是敬爱死者，但仍旧不应该这样。他们应该想着未来才是。” “我想她很难忘记过去。”
5 “我明白了。你这个朋友几岁？” “妈妈，你总是关心别人几岁。人重要的不是年龄，而是经历。有的人活到一百岁也没经历过什么事。”
8 “你不会想到这里曾经发生的一切，不是吗？一切看上去是那么生机勃勃。可是下面那一整片”——我朝底下的景色挥了挥手——“那一整片在炸弹掉下来的时候受了多么严重的打击。可是看看现在。” 佐知子点点头，然后笑着转向我，说：“你今天心情真不错啊，悦子。” “到这里来走走真是太好了。我决定从今往后要乐观。我以后一定要过得幸福。藤原太太一直对我说往前看是多么重要。她是对的。假设人们没有往前看，那么这里”——我又指了指底下的景色——“这里就都还是废墟一片。”
11 这个公园一般被叫做“和平公园”——我一直不知道这是不是它的正式名称——而确实，尽管有孩子和鸟儿的叫声，这一大片绿地上却笼罩着一种肃穆的气氛。公园里常见的装饰，诸如灌木和喷泉，少之又少，而且都很朴素；平坦的草地、广阔的夏日天空以及雕像本身——一尊巨大的白色雕像，纪念原子弹的遇难者——占据了公园的主要部分。 雕像貌似一位希腊男神，伸开双臂坐着。他的右手指向天空，炸弹掉下来的地方；另一只手向左侧伸展开去，意喻挡住邪恶势力。他双眼紧闭，在祈祷。
Hiroshima - The "Liveliest" City in Japan
“Hiroshima! Everybody off!” That must be what the man in the Japanese stationmaster's uniform shouted, as the fastest train in the world slipped to a stop in Hiroshima Station. I did not understand what he was saying. First of all, because he was shouting in Japanese. And secondly, because I had a lump in my throat and a lot of sad thoughts on my mind that had little to do with anything a Nippon railways official might say. The very act of stepping on this soil, in breathing this air of Hiroshima, was for me a far greater adventure than any trip or any reportorial assignment I'd previously taken. Was I not at the scene of the crime?
The Japanese crowd did not appear to have the same preoccupations that I had. From the sidewalk outside the station, things seemed much the same as in other Japanese cities. Little girls and elderly ladies in kimonos rubbed shoulders with teenagers and women in western dress. Serious looking men spoke to one another as if they were oblivious of the crowds about them, and bobbed up and down repeatedly in little bows, as they exchanged the ritual formula of gratitude and respect: "Tomo aligato gozayimas." Others were using little red telephones that hung on the facades of grocery stores and tobacco shops.
"Hi! Hi!" said the cab driver, whose door popped open at the very sight of a traveler. "Hi", or something that sounds very much like it, means "yes". "Can you take me to City Hall?" He grinned at me in the rear-view mirror and repeated "Hi!" "Hi! ’ We set off at top speed through the narrow streets of Hiroshima. The tall buildings of the martyred city flashed by as we lurched from side to side in response to the driver's sharp twists of the wheel.
Just as I was beginning to find the ride long, the taxi screeched to a halt, and the driver got out and went over to a policeman to ask the way. As in Tokyo, taxi drivers in Hiroshima often know little of their city, but to avoid loss of face before foreigners, will not admit their ignorance, and will accept any destination without concern for how long it may take them to find it.
At last this intermezzo came to an end, and I found myself in front of the gigantic City Hall. The usher bowed deeply and heaved a long, almost musical sigh, when I showed him the invitation which the mayor had sent me in response to my request for an interview. "That is not here, sir," he said in English. "The mayor expects you tonight for dinner with other foreigners on the restaurant boat. See? This is where it is.” He sketched a little map for me on the back of my invitation.
Thanks to his map, I was able to find a taxi driver who could take me straight to the canal embankment , where a sort of barge with a roof like one on a Japanese house was moored . The Japanese build their traditional houses on boats when land becomes too expensive. The rather arresting spectacle of little old Japan adrift amid beige concrete skyscrapers is the very symbol of the incessant struggle between the kimono and the miniskirt.
At the door to the restaurant, a stunning, porcelain-faced woman in traditional costume asked me to remove my shoes. This done, I entered one of the low-ceilinged rooms of the little floating house, treading cautiously on the soft matting and experiencing a twinge of embarrassment at the prospect of meeting the mayor of Hiroshima in my socks.
He was a tall, thin man, sad-eyed and serious. Quite unexpectedly, the strange emotion which had overwhelmed me at the station returned, and I was again crushed by the thought that I now stood on the site of the first atomic bombardment, where thousands upon thousands of people had been slain in one second, where thousands upon thousands of others had lingered on to die in slow agony .
The introductions were made. Most of the guests were Japanese, and it was difficult for me to ask them just why we were gathered here. The few Americans and Germans seemed just as inhibited as I was. "Gentlemen," said the mayor, "I am happy to welcome you to Hiroshima."
Everyone bowed, including the Westerners. After three days in Japan, the spinal column becomes extraordinarily flexible.
"Gentlemen, it is a very great honor to have you here in Hiroshima."
There were fresh bows, and the faces grew more and more serious each time the name Hiroshima was repeated.
"Hiroshima, as you know, is a city familiar to everyone,” continued the mayor.
"Yes, yes, of course,” murmured the company, more and more agitated.
"Seldom has a city gained such world renown, and I am proud and happy to welcome you to Hiroshima, a town known throughout the world for its--- oysters".
I was just about to make my little bow of assent, when the meaning of these last words sank in, jolting me out of my sad reverie .
"Hiroshima – oysters? What about the bomb and the misery and humanity's most heinous crime?" While the mayor went on with his speech in praise of southern Japanese sea food, I cautiously backed away and headed toward the far side of the room, where a few men were talking among themselves and paying little attention to the mayor's speech. "You look puzzled," said a small Japanese man with very large eye-glasses.
"Well, I must confess that I did not expect a speech about oysters here. I thought that Hiroshima still felt the impact of the atomic cataclysm ."
"No one talks about it any more, and no one wants to, especially, the people who were born here or who lived through it.
"Do you feel the same way, too?"
"I was here, but I was not in the center of town. I tell you this because I am almost an old man. There are two different schools of thought in this city of oysters, one that would like to preserve traces of the bomb, and the other that would like to get rid of everything, even the monument that was erected at the point of impact. They would also like to demolish the atomic museum."
"Why would they want to do that?"
"Because it hurts everybody, and because time marches on. That is why." The small Japanese man smiled, his eyes nearly closed behind their thick lenses. "If you write about this city, do not forget to say that it is the gayest city in Japan, even it many of the town's people still bear hidden wounds, and burns."
Like any other, the hospital smelled of formaldehyde and ether. Stretchers and wheelchairs lined the walls of endless corridors, and nurses walked by carrying nickel-plated instruments, the very sight of which would send shivers down the spine of any healthy visitor. The so-called atomic section was located on the third floor. It consisted of 17 beds.
"I am a fisherman by trade. I have been here a very long time, more than twenty years, "said an old man in Japanese pajamas. “What is wrong with you?”
"Something inside. I was in Hiroshima when it happened. I saw the fire ball. But I had no burns on my face or body. I ran all over the city looking for missing friends and relatives. I thought somehow I had been spared. But later my hair began to fall out, and my belly turned to water. I felt sick, and ever since then they have been testing and treating me. "
The doctor at my side explained and commented upon the old man's story, "We still hare a handful of patients here who are being kept alive by constant care. The others died as a result of their injuries, or else committed suicide . "
"Why did they commit suicide?"
"It is humiliating to survive in this city. If you bear any visible scars of atomic burns, your children will encounter prejudice on the part of those who do not. No one will marry the daughter or the niece of an atomic bomb victim. People are afraid of genetic damage from the radiation." The old fisherman gazed at me politely and with interest.
Hanging over the patient was a big ball made of bits of brightly colored paper, folded into the shape of tiny birds. "What's that?" I asked.
"Those are my lucky birds. Each day that I escape death, each day of suffering that helps to free me from earthly cares, I make a new little paper bird, and add it to the others. This way I look at them and congratulate myself of the good fortune that my illness has brought me. Because, thanks to it, I have the opportunity to improve my character."
Once again, outside in the open air, I tore into little pieces a small notebook with questions that I'd prepared in advance for interviews with the patients of the atomic ward. Among them was the question: Do you really think that Hiroshima is the liveliest city in Japan? I never asked it. But I could read the answer in every eye.