115 – Summer 1945 – Part B (TSU MOMI BELOW)

New York, N.Y.


The next night, relatives who survived the air raid arrived. They tied their broken legs and arms to sticks, their clothes were worn out in tatters, and the smell of their burnt bodies was horrifying and smelly. Everyone WAS cried. CRTING

That night, the whole of Osaka was burned down, and children, women, and even the elderly were burned with their homes and belongings. There were few men BECAUSE THEY WERE in the army all over Japan. Two of our relatives were not able to escape the FIRES. But MY great aunt and two daughters survived. One of my daughter’s faces had a large burn and that she would still be left.

About a week later, back at school, we gathered in the hall dressed up and were told to sit down and behave properly BOW OUR HEADS . The voice of the Emperor came from the radio. It was the first historical moment a japanese member heard his majesty’s voice. All the adults were sobbing. 

HIS Majesty’s voice was high, sounded, and very gentle KIND. I couldn’t understand HIS words, but I could UNDERSTAND something very serious to happen. The principal went to the garden ALMOST naked WEARING A SASH, took out a Japanese sword, cut a tree, and shouted, “Cut the Americans and, and COMMIT SEPPEKU be angry.” A few weeks later, an American MP came and our school was sealed off. That was the last time I saw MY BELOVED the principal and teachers I loved.

My mother told me that AmericaNS DON;T  doesn’t like my school. They said that our school was Shinto, and Shinto was not recognized. After that, America burned all the books in the library and even EVENTUALLY Changed our history textbooks.

Shinto is a beautiful way of life. LIVING It is about worshipping nature, the universe, our ancestors, and showing respect for EVEY SINGLE PART OF all-purpose nature, and very similar to the idea of Native Americans. Unfortunately, for some reason Shinto has been tied to the army.

Human memory erases painful memories and leaves only good things. It can be the smell of tomatoes eaten in the mountains, or it is like a beautiful fireworks scene in Osaka.

However, I who know the samurai spirit of the Japanese, I think that the Japanese would have fought to the last one if emperor Showa had not broadcast the end of the war. I am truly grateful to Emperor Showa.


I think that it was necessary to have a great conflict and courage because it broke the tradition which had continued for more than 2600 years. After the end of the war, the United States supported Japan, and thanks to all the good results. We became a very friendly country. Only history can judge the outcome. 

More than seventy years have passed since that night. My generation is the last generation to remember THIS war. Many young Japanese people asked, “Did Japan really go to war with the United States?

It surprises me by saying such. It’s hard to believe that it happened even for me because I’ve lived in America for over 50 FIFTY years and know the wonderful people of America. I love America deeply now and this is my second home. However, my soul SPIRIT is Japanese to the last.


What I can say through my personal experience is that conflict and hatred always come from misunderstandings. If you can detect a different wave between yourself and others early, you can change the future even with the sound of “hello.”

Once you wear colored glasses, the world can only be seen in that color. On the contrary, the color becomes darker and more. You need to TAKE OFF THESE GLASSES, see and understand things with a wide open naked eye. The solution is to SEE stare before you put on colored glasses.

The world is very complex, but I wonder if such an easy way can not be used by world leaders. I WISH WORLD LEADERS COULD UNDEDTAND WE ARE ALL ALL HUMAN We are all the same people, politicians and those in power. In the end, it’s more about trying to get people to understand them than to get them to understand. In the end, I think that by fundamentally understanding each other, friction can be avoided. THIS IS AN EFFORT.It’s about respecting each other and discussing differences. ONE CAN AVOID CONFLIST NAD RESPECT EACH OTEHR 

In Japan, when a person turns 60, he says he will return to his baby to celebrate his sixtieth birthday. And, it wears a baby changanko like the baby, and everyone celebrates the reincarnation of that person. This also come from other respect. It is very strange to tell this to people in other countries.


Tsume Momi – 117???

Vol. 114

Summer of 1945 (1)

When Osaka was burned in an air raid

This is a translation of an article written to American children in Japanese.)

In the middle of the summer of 1945, the Second World War ended. I was six years old. In the spring of that year, I entered a very strict and small private boarding school in the mountains of osaka suburbs. The mountain was covered with wild cherry blossoms, and the surroundings of the school were covered with a faint sweet and gentle smell. Japanese cherry blossoms are very different from the cherry blossoms in Washington, and the flowers are about one-tenth the size of the flowers and have five small petals, which are very elegant. But when it gets a lot, it’s like a pink cloud on a branch, and when the wind gently breezes, the petals scatter as if it were snowing and falling, covering the ground like a pale pink carpet. I used to lie down there, soak in the sweet smell, and enjoy the petals falling on my face and body.

It was like heaven. But the school was very strict. Every morning, when the eastern sky was getting a little white, we ran up to the top of the mountain and did yoga-like exercises until sunrise. We joined hands to greet the morning sun, thanked us for being there now in the universe, and thanking our ancestors and emperors for their glory, but it is very old Japanese and we still cannot understand it. Every morning at this time, I was very cleansed and happy. When I returned to school, I received thin morning porridge made of wild grass, potatoes and wheat. The amount was very small, but I remember it was very delicious.

Around summer, food became very scarce. All the rice was sent to japanese soldiers, so there was no rice at all. When it rained, we went out to the mountains to collect snails and made them a side dish at night. On a sunny afternoon, i caught a grasshopper and it was fried and it was crisp yummy.

In the lunch, we chewed 50 soybeans each grain, one by one, which was added one by one per year. The beans were very delicious, and every time I chewed them, the slight sweetness melted in my mouth. There were no sweets at that time. I think it was a string, but the memory is gone. In the afternoon, I learned to take care of the fields every day, play with chickens, and plant rice seedlings in the rice paddies in June. I was very happy, peaceful and studied hard. Every Saturday afternoon, my mother took a man’s maid and picked me up. It’s the weekend we’ve been waiting for.

One Saturday at the beginning of August, my mother did not come. I was sitting alone on the stairs at the entrance, crying at the big orange sunset. I watched the path up to the school, time slowly passed, and the path gradually faded purple, and I couldn’t see it. I went to bed on the teacher’s orders and went to sleep crying.

In the middle of the night we were woken up. “I saw your mother,” the teacher shouted. Roads and bridges were blocked and trains were not running in anticipation of the Attack by the American army. The mothers walked more than 27 kilometers and said they’d all walk home! My mother told me not to use a flashlight because i found it on an enemy plane.

Shortly after we started down the mountain, all of a sudden, the air raids started. The B29 flew so many, with a thunderous sound, so low that it could reach us, and it passed right over our heads. And I saw the city of Osaka burning like a beautiful firework. It was so fast. The fireworks became a big, sideways long fire. It seemed to extend from left to right. The gardener gave me a tomato as big as my face. I watched the fireworks in the underworld and covered it, and the smell of ripe tomatoes filled my mouth and body. We ran hiding between rocks and trees to avoid bombs dropped nearby, and we were shivering close to each other. Suddenly, silence came. I rode on the gardener’s shoulder, singing folk songs and children’s songs on my mother’s lead, and we started walking along the train tracks. The moon was bright, the Milky Way was visible, and many stars were shining. When the sky gradually turned white and the sun began to rise, we all joined hands. And we finally arrived at the villa in the evening. My grandmother let me eat the stone-baked potato, and I went to a deep sleep in the futon.

(Next issue= June 6)

Originally published as Vol. x in Weekly Biz, May XX, 2020; translated by Jim Luce.

See: Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura Column in Japan’s Weekly Biz



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About Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura

View all posts by Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura
Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura
Dr. Kazuko was born into a distinguished old family in Kyoto, Japan, and graduated from Toho conservatory of Music in Tokyo. In 1961 she came to U.S. as a pianist sponsored by the Boston Symphony. She studied at Boston University, New York University, and received her Ph.D. in Oriental Medicine from New York State University and the International Academy of Education in Tokyo. From 1968 to 1992, she promoted cultural exchanges from East to West and vice versa, and became a world famous impresario, producing 2,000 events each year all over the world encompassing over 140 countries. In this connection, in 1972, she went to Dharamsala to find the lost Tibetan Folk Opera, and met His Holiness the Dalai Lama, with whom she remains a lifelong friend. In 1973 and 1991 she arranged and funded personally the tours of the Folk Opera of Tibet to the West. She has received many medals and honors from different countries. Her tireless life long work in Philanthropic field is vast and well known ranging from Save the Beacon Theater, Save the Boat People, Help the Homeless, natural disasters of earthquakes and tsunamis, as well as relief to AIDS and HIV positive children in Africa. She has been a dedicated Board Member to both the J. Luce Foundation and Orphans International for years. Her work focuses on the Tibetan people; Tibetan children remain especially strong in her heart. She raised fund for the new academic building for Manjushree Orphanage in Tawang, India and supported many aspects of the school. See HuffPo pieces entitled Japanese Holistic Healer in NYC to Build School for Tibetan Orphans in India, A Japanese Dinner with Raul Castro’s Daughter, and NYC Gala in Support of Tibetan Orphans Set for January.

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