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heron
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:36 pm    Post subject: Kokura's luck Reply with quote
Apparently this phrase was used after the war - does anyone know what the Japanese expression was?
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Kokura's luck Reply with quote
heron wrote:
Apparently this phrase was used after the war - does anyone know what the Japanese expression was?


Kokura was the primary target on Aug 9, 1945, for Bock's Car, the B-29 bomber carrying the 2nd atomic bomb. Clouds over the target obscured the bombadier's vision, and because it was still an experimental weapon the crew was under orders to bomb only if they could see to record the effects. They diverted to the secondary target, Nagasaki, and the rest is history. I wasn't aware of the phrase, but it's pretty accurate, I'd say.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yes, I know why it was purportedly used - but I can only find it in English, not in Japanese, and I'm wondering if it's an invention or if it really was used.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
heron wrote:
Yes, I know why it was purportedly used - but I can only find it in English, not in Japanese, and I'm wondering if it's an invention or if it really was used.


Ah, sorry--I misread your initial post and thought you were asking what it was in reference to.

No ideas there. I've never heard it. I wouldn't think it'd be something bandied about too often today.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
It seems to be quoted by every English person who ever went to Kokura, or wrote about it, but it sounds like one of those quotes that get repeated without much substantiation. And no one's quoted it in Japanese Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
heron wrote:
It seems to be quoted by every English person who ever went to Kokura, or wrote about it, but it sounds like one of those quotes that get repeated without much substantiation. And no one's quoted it in Japanese Very Happy


Sounds like something that a Lonely Planet writer though up, put in his 1 paragraph blurb on Kokura, and has been repeated by every non-Japanese speaking tourist!
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Exactly Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:42 pm    Post subject: More than luck in Kamakura Reply with quote
Heron and Itdomer,

I'd never heard of the expression "Kokura's Luck" either, but near the back entrance of Kamakura Station there is a plaque commemorating Dr. Langdon Warner who apparently convinced the American military establishment not to bomb Kyoto, Nara or Kamakura. I use to pass by there and think that hardly any Americans had ever heard of Warner, but he will never be forgotten in Kamakura. The plaque was put up in 1987.

http://www.kcn-net.org/e_kama_history/onarimachi/onarimachi.htm

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I talked about this with a Japanese friend who had never heard the phrase either. She suggested 小倉の幸運 which gives some results on Google Japan. It's in a book I'm writing a review of, and I might have made more of it but I've only got 500 words Sad

It's quite chilling how close Kyoto came to being the second target for the A-bomb. Apparently it was on the list along with Kokura, Nagasaki and Niigata. I gave heartfelt thanks to Dr Warner when I read that. Shocked
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
heron wrote:
I talked about this with a Japanese friend who had never heard the phrase either. She suggested 小倉の幸運 which gives some results on Google Japan. It's in a book I'm writing a review of, and I might have made more of it but I've only got 500 words :(

It's quite chilling how close Kyoto came to being the second target for the A-bomb. Apparently it was on the list along with Kokura, Nagasaki and Niigata. I gave heartfelt thanks to Dr Warner when I read that. :shock:


Yes, among war plans there are also always a few peacemakers. It is remarkable that some of those who took part in the Occupation of Japan and studied Japanese are now among the most well-known experts of Japanese culture, like Donald Keene.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hosokawa Gracia wrote:
heron wrote:
I talked about this with a Japanese friend who had never heard the phrase either. She suggested 小倉の幸運 which gives some results on Google Japan. It's in a book I'm writing a review of, and I might have made more of it but I've only got 500 words Sad

It's quite chilling how close Kyoto came to being the second target for the A-bomb. Apparently it was on the list along with Kokura, Nagasaki and Niigata. I gave heartfelt thanks to Dr Warner when I read that. Shocked


Yes, among war plans there are also always a few peacemakers. It is remarkable that some of those who took part in the Occupation of Japan and studied Japanese are now among the most well-known experts of Japanese culture, like Donald Keene.


Speaking of Keene, he announced that he plans to retire in Japan and obtain Japanese citizenship.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/ed20110423a1.html
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I always used to think so highly of Langdon Warner for his role in this - preventing the bombing of Kyoto, Nara, and Kamakura - I though him a rather enlightened person, to have such respect for the history and culture of a country that was so demonized in the popular consciousness in the US at that time.

Yet, I mentioned this to my Chinese art history professor, who had not heard of it, and she said she always thought quite the opposite of Langdon Warner, who defaced cave temples at Dunhuang, a site of some of the oldest Chinese art, and the oldest Buddhist art, anywhere in the world. In 1924, he somehow removed 26 of the paintings there - some of the best ones - along with a few sculptures, bringing them back to the US.

He certainly was not the only person doing this kind of thing - a great many objects were taken from non-Western countries by Western archaeologists, explorers, scholars, etc. in the 19th to early 20th centuries without what we would today consider to be proper permissions and proper methods. So, I don't mean to say he was doing something especially heinous that goes beyond what was normal for his time.

It's just interesting to learn about this other side of him. We all (and the people of Japan especially, of course) owe him a great debt for his actions during the war, but, apparently, he's not exactly the perfect altruistic hero either...
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tornadoes28 wrote:


Speaking of Keene, he announced that he plans to retire in Japan and obtain Japanese citizenship.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/ed20110423a1.html


Yes, I noticed that. It reminds me of how Henry James became a British citizen at the end of his life (I visited Lamb house in Rye). Both Keene and James spent so much time outside of America and had homes in Japan or Britain. I would imagine when a person changes their citizenship like that it's because they feel more affinity with their adopted home.

Personally, I felt so torn between the two countries after I left Japan after 31 years, that it took me 5 years to feel comfortable in America again. There are a lot of times that I feel that conversational Japanese is my heart language.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hosokawa Gracia wrote:
Tornadoes28 wrote:


Speaking of Keene, he announced that he plans to retire in Japan and obtain Japanese citizenship.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/ed20110423a1.html


Yes, I noticed that. It reminds me of how Henry James became a British citizen at the end of his life (I visited Lamb house in Rye). Both Keene and James spent so much time outside of America and had homes in Japan or Britain. I would imagine when a person changes their citizenship like that it's because they feel more affinity with their adopted home.

Personally, I felt so torn between the two countries after I left Japan after 31 years, that it took me 5 years to feel comfortable in America again. There are a lot of times that I feel that conversational Japanese is my heart language.


This.

Proud to be an American. Proud to serve my country, and will continue to do so until retirement. Proud to have served in a combat zone for her, as well.

However, Japan is, and will always be in my heart, my home. I work for the US. Japan is where I want to live. It's hard, even here in Hawaii--it's actually worse than being in the mainland, I think. So much LIKE Japan, and yet...not.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
ltdomer98 wrote:
It's hard, even here in Hawaii--it's actually worse than being in the mainland, I think. So much LIKE Japan, and yet...not.


Agreed, but at least for me, given the choice between living on the mainland USA or living here, I'll take Honolulu 100% of the time. I went back to the mainland for 5 years after living in Hawaii and Japan, and I'm NEVER making that mistake again.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
kitsuno wrote:
ltdomer98 wrote:
It's hard, even here in Hawaii--it's actually worse than being in the mainland, I think. So much LIKE Japan, and yet...not.


Agreed, but at least for me, given the choice between living on the mainland USA or living here, I'll take Honolulu 100% of the time. I went back to the mainland for 5 years after living in Hawaii and Japan, and I'm NEVER making that mistake again.



Itdomer and kitsuno, with family in Japan and on opposite coasts on the mainland, I thought I'd make Hawaii our meeting place, but not everyone turned up. My oldest son said Japanese people always feel more relaxed in Hawaii. I've been there 4 times, but last year was the first time I felt unbelievably relaxed. The light is magical on the islands. What is it about about the light there? I can't put my finger on it.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
last year was the first time I felt unbelievably relaxed. The light is magical on the islands. What is it about about the light there? I can't put my finger on it.


I think it has a lot to do with being on vacation, and with spending time in certain parts of the islands. The vacation mindset can be a beautiful thing, transforming anywhere you go into a wonderful place.

A few weeks ago, a friend was in town briefly, so I went down to Waikiki to meet up with her for breakfast. Wandering around Waikiki, hanging out on the beach, was wonderful. Then I returned to campus, and to responsibilities and obligations...

I certainly won't complain about the weather, or the natural beauty of the place, but I don't feel more relaxed, or like I'm on vacation, or that there's "something in the air" on an everyday basis as I sit in my room doing readings or writing papers, or when I'm rushing to class... But, then, that's me. Your milage may vary.

I'm glad you've had a good time here! As for me, I look forward to taking my vacation on the US mainland, or in Japan.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I see this stuff every day. You get so used to it you stop noticing. I live a five minute walk from the beach, and until my recent move I could see the ocean from my bed (now I have to go out to my lanai) But you definitely miss it when it's gone, which is why I don't plan to move back to the mainland. Quality of life takes too much of a dive for me.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
lordameth wrote:

A few weeks ago, a friend was in town briefly, so I went down to Waikiki to meet up with her for breakfast. Wandering around Waikiki, hanging out on the beach, was wonderful. Then I returned to campus, and to responsibilities and obligations...


Thanks, Lordameth. Actually, I loved the views from Waikiki of the back hills and the blue of Hanauma Bay, but I didn't do the touristy shopping and tours. My daughter-in-law helped me with a Japanese book on samurai women, and the last day I went to the main campus of U of H to find some more research sources on my avatar. I had looked Online before I left the the NW, and was able to find several of the books that I could not find in my local universities, so, I was not totally in a vacation mode, just relaxed to be with family and bask in soft sunshine. I remember the first time I went to Hawaii; it was on my way to spend my junior year at Waseda U. That time, I spent some time in the same library. Smile
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