Just Imagine

Atsushi Ikuta
Nada Middle School

Please imagine. You are in an iron tube with a bomb, speeding toward the enemy battleship, alone in the ocean. You cannot go back. You are about to die. It is the Japanese human torpedo, called gKaitenh. It seems cruel, but it is ewarf.

Please imagine. You are in the battlefield in a southern isolated island, with no hope. Your supplies have been cut, and there isnft even a drop of water, let alone food. And at last, you start preying on each other \ Yes , this is ewarf.

And, please imagine. Your precious family member has been taken away by a red piece of paper \ called gAkagamih \ never to return, just to be eliminated, without a trace; not even one bone \ This is the world of ewarf.

When I listened to people over eighty who experienced the war, telling of these episodes, I was so shocked and saddened that I couldnft stop crying. I realized that almost all the things we enjoy now such as abundant food or sound sleep, we take for granted, are based on the treasure named gpeaceh.

70years have passed since the war, and technology has progressed. Today, many countries all over the world have nuclear weapons that can kill millions of lives at once. Human achievement has ironically led us to a point where we created weapons which threaten our own existence. Some argue the deterrent value of nuclear weapons, but I think the true meaning of peace cannot be realized with the sword. As the only species capable of spoken language, shouldnft we put all our heart, not into fighting, but into communicating?

I went on a trip to Singapore recently. I visited a Hindu temple there. I saw an elderly Hindu wearing an orange surplice, sitting on the ground. He had an unusual air as if he was staring through me, and made me a little hesitant. When I was passing in front of him, he suddenly said to me, gWhere are you from? h I was really surprised, but answered ; gIfm from Japan.h And we had a short conversation, and finally shook hands with smiles. Although it was only a few minutes, I felt really happy. Two people, different in religion, culture and color of skin, were able to immediately share something warm, in a common language.

I found from the experience that we, humans can always understand each other by communication, in any situation. There are wars still continuing all over the earth. There are always countless new problems arising. There is a worry that nuclear weapons will become more wide spread in the future. Am I the only one to think there is a risk of human destruction, if we overlook this situation? It is certain that humans are able to extend hands of friendship to each other, even despite enormous differences. Now is the time for us, to follow the dictates of our reason, overcome the differences of race, culture, customs, and religion, to get rid of all wars and conflicts, forever. I am eager to face up squarely to this enormous issue, and to understand more and more countries, and also to be an international bridge to let many more people all over the world know about Japan. What we need now, is not the courage to fight, but the wisdom to communicate without weapons.

Please, just, imagine. A world, where all countries have discarded their weapons and have achieved compromise with each other, and complete peace is realized.

(5th Prize in the 61st Contest, 2009)

(C)JNSA FUND/the Yomiuri Shimbun

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