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Prologue of THE FACE OF JIZO by author Hisashi Inoue

Hisashi Inoue (Mainichi)

Hiroshima. Nagasaki. When these two words are mentioned, the following opinion is increasingly heard. "It's wrong to keep acting as if the Japanese were the victims. The Japanese were the victimizers at the time in what they did in Asia." The second sentence is certainly on the mark. The Japanese were the perpetrators of wrong throughout Asia.

As for the first sentence, however, I remain adamant that this is not the case. This is because I believe that those two atomic bombs were dropped not only on the Japanese but on all humankind.

The people exposed to those bombs, scorched as they were with the fires of hell, represent all people around the world in the second half of the 20th century. We are all unable to escape the presence of nuclear weapons.

For this reason it is not out of a victim's mentality that I write about this. Feigning ignorance of the human catastrophe that occurred in those cities would constitute, for me as one person among the more than six billion on Earth, the immoral choice.

In all likelihood my life will be over when I have finished writing about Hiroshima and about Nagasaki.

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