Japan and China, March-April 2016
After leaving Taiwan we spent five days in Japan, one in South Korea, and three in China. Everywhere we went we saw people praying. What China and Japan have in common is Buddhism and cherry blossoms, which have just started to peak. Otherwise, they are two very different societies. Japan is very polite and it is one of the cleanest countries I have ever seen. China, on the other hand, where masses of people can be seen everywhere, is loud and pushy. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, “China is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” For a so-called communist country, it has given rise to a super-rich class of people we drive some of the world’s most expensive cars.
What made a deep impact on our group were the memorials in Hirhosima and Nagasaki to the victims of the the atomic bombs dropped in the middle of those cities in 1945, ending World War Two. Also in Nagasaki, the memorial to Madama Butterfly in her neighborhood on the slope of the hill overlooking the harbor was very touching.