June 14 2024


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Takei’s Hiroshima Family Tragedy

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George Takei lost family members in the August 6, 1945 atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima.

In a new episode of Takei’s online series Takei’s Take, the actor returns to the city to “explore the effects” of the attack on the city.

Takei’s maternal grandparents came from Hiroshima, according to the actor. “My maternal grandparents emigrated from Hiroshima to the Sacramento Delta in California,” he said. “My grandfather sensed the winds of war coming and moved back to Japan and Hiroshima with some of their children, so that’s the irony of my aunts and uncles being American-born, but having gone back there before the war began.”

Takei’s aunt and a young cousin died in that 1945 event, which took place while the eight-year old Takei were living in a Japanese-American internment camp in California. Takei found out more about the loss of his cousin While filming in Hiroshima during a recent trip to the city. “I’ve gone to Hiroshima many times,” he said, “but this time was very special. [A ] cousin [of mine] had moved and I didn’t have his address, but the film crew managed to locate him and we were able to have a nice meeting. He joined in with us in the filming. While filming there, I learned that another cousin who died in the bombing was five years old. Until that point, I had believed that the cousin had been a baby.”

Using the atomic bomb for a destructive purpose was “self-defeating,” said Takei. “Now we’ve gotten to the point where it’s mutually suicidal. Our adversary nations have the same kind of capacity. We have advanced with the power of our mind, our inventive genius, but that killer instinct is still with us. Unless we can develop our capacity for true diplomacy and solve problems diplomatically, we are ultimately going to exterminate ourselves.”

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8 thoughts on “Takei’s Hiroshima Family Tragedy

  1. Captain Kirk in “A Taste of Armageddon” — “We’re human beings with the blood of a million savage years on our hands,
    but we can stop it. We can admit that we’re killers, but we’re not going to kill today.
    That’s all it takes. Knowing that we won’t kill today.”

  2. I completely disagree that using the bomb was self defeating. It saved thousands of allied lives and ended a bitter war. It was unfortunate it had to be done but it had to be. That war had went on long enough. I know people say we could have starved them out but at what cost of even more lives. One thing i also think came from it was seeing the devastation caused and i think they has detoured nations from ever using it again. Unfortunately with these insane theocracies and dictators, you just never know what they will do with that kind of power in their hands. I hate people who continually monday morning quarterback history. I hate what Takei’s family went through in internment camps here but it was a different era. Hopefully we have learned.

  3. I had the opportunity to meet Paul Tibbets at a book signing at the National Atomic Center in Albuquerque. He said he slept well at night knowing that he helped shorten the war and saved many lives, including Japanese lives. I found it ironic that there were many Japanese tourists doing the stereotypical shooting photos. He was not just a pilot, he was instrumental to the planning. So far, nobody else has used one in anger, and maybe it’s because we saw the effects. It would be much worse today with more than double the world population.

  4. When I was on AOL, for a long time my signature line was “We don’t have to like each other. We only have to live with each other.” I based that partly on Kirk, and also on Tito. The folks in the Balkans hated each other for centuries, but when Tito was in power, they managed to live with each other out of fear of Tito’s reaction. After Tito died and communism fell, they didn’t have to start shooting at each other again. Tito couldn’t make them love each other, but he did help them find a way to live with each other. Someone, a single person, decided to fire that first post-Tito shot, and it was entirely avoidable.

  5. Hm. Something similar can be said about Saddam Hussein, that under his mmmmeh, not quite malevolent dictatorship, that the diverse groups lived together in a more or less stable situation, because he insisted on them doing so. The aftermath, as we have seen, is similar to the post-Tito Balkans. It’s something that has to be taken into account when evaluating the relative degree of evil.

  6. So it’s like a cosmic AA for violence?
    “Hello, I’m Kang, I’m a homicidal maniac, it’s been twelve days since my last act of senseless brutality.”
    “Hi, Kang!”

  7. Ah, we’re thinking with the same brain! Yes, it sounded exactly like that to me, too.

    If you use the actor’s name instead of the character’s, they can even still be Friends of Bill. 🙂

  8. It is what it is, and had the Germans or the Japanese had built the bomb, they would have used it. Also, the doctrine of MAD kept the peace, since both the West and the East knew, thanks to Hiroshima and Nagasaki being bombed, the destructive nature of atomic weapons. In fact, an argument can be made that allowing Iran and North Korea to have the bomb would force the West to stop posturing in the region. The flaw is that Iran is a nation that is radically religious, not relying upon a material lifestyle for salvation, whereas Marxist, socialist and communist regimes in a material lifestyle (albeit in opposition to free market capitalism). In other words,if these radicals know that their true reward is not of this world, why should they care about THIS world?

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