Ground Zero, Nagasaki: Stories by Yuichi Seirai

By Yuichi Seirai

Set in modern Nagasaki, the six brief tales during this assortment draw a chilling portrait of the continuing trauma of the detonation of the atomic bomb. whether or not they skilled the destruction of town at once or heard approximately it from survivors, the characters in those stories clear out their soreness and alienation via their Catholic religion, illuminating a facet of eastern tradition little recognized within the West. lots of them are descended from the "hidden Christians" who persisted to perform their faith in mystery in the course of the centuries while it used to be outlawed in Japan. Urakami Cathedral, the heart of jap Christian existence, stood at floor 0 while the bomb fell.

In "Birds," a guy in his sixties displays on his existence as a husband and father. only a child whilst he was once discovered crying within the rubble close to floor 0, he doesn't comprehend who his mom and dad have been. His birthday is decided because the day the bomb used to be dropped. In different tales, a lady is haunted by way of her short affair with a married guy, and the fogeys of a schizophrenic guy fight to return to phrases with the homicide their son devoted. those characters conflict with guilt, disgrace, loss, love, and the bounds of human figuring out. floor 0, Nagasaki vividly depicts a urban and folks nonetheless scarred via the reminiscence of August nine, 1945.

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So we prayed together every evening, apologizing to God for what I’d done. “Give us the strength to stand firm in the face of trials and temptations. ” Now that is a suitable prayer, she said. She told me I had a dirty mind. She said I should scoop my brains out of my head and wash them clean with cold water. When I asked her how I was supposed to do that, she started beating me again with the ladle. The lobby was full of people talking on their phones. More people had arrived with big black cameras over their shoulders.

I used to work in a pickles factory. Now I fold boxes at the community workshop. Sets of noodles they sell as souvenirs. They put me in charge. ” “We fold along the lines, then put them together. I’ve been doing it for fifteen years now. I can fold a box in five seconds flat, with my eyes closed. ” If only I could show her how good I was at it. It would bowl her over if she saw how quick and neat my technique is. Even our team leader says he can’t keep up with me. Anything to do with folding boxes, just leave it to me.

You’re a member of the Diet. ” He heaved a sigh and flopped back in his chair. I could see his bare feet poking out from the bottom of his trousers. Bits of hair sprouted from his shins. “I’ve resigned. I made an announcement at the press conference just now. ” He looked a bit weepy. Maybe he was just tired. But I had no choice. There was no one else I could turn to. “My mother is dying. She told me to come and ask you for advice. She said you wouldn’t want to see me left on my own. ” “Listen, Shu-chan.

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