Born in Hiroshima in 1905, Hara was a survivor of the bombing of Hiroshima. The experience of the bomb and the death of his wife were primary themes in his writing. He thought of himself as “a new kind of human being brought down to earth by one shot from the atomic bomb,” His best known work, … Continued
Born in Hiroshima in 1905, Hara was a survivor of the bombing of Hiroshima. The experience of the bomb and the death of his wife were primary themes in his writing. He thought of himself as “a new kind of human being brought down to earth by one shot from the atomic bomb,” His best known work, a novel, Summer Flowers, was released in June, 1947. Many believe his final work, The Land of Heart’s Desire, 1951, was Hara’s suicide note. Hara was extremely desponded at the outbreak of the Korean War. Fearing a repeat of history, Hara threw himself in front of an on-coming train in Tokyo, ending his life on March 13, 1951. Hara’s last poem appears on a monument at Hiroshima built in his honor. A selection of Hara’s writing is also included in the Hiroshima case study, found in the first module of this series.Give Me Water Give me water! Oh!Give me water to drink!Let me have some!I want rather to die …To die! Oh! Help me,O, help me!Water! A bit of water!I beg you!Won’t anyone?Oh…Oh…Oh…Oh…! Oh…Oh…Oh…Oh…!The heaven split;The streets are gone;The river,The river flowing on!Oh…Oh…Oh…Oh… Oh…Oh…Oh…Oh…Night! Night coming onTo these eyes parched and sere;To these lips inflamed.Ah! the moaning of a man,of a man ReelingWhose face is scorched,smarting; This ruined face of a man!
This is a human being?This is a human being? Look how the atom bomb changed it. Flesh swells fearfully. All men and women take one shape. The voice that trickles from swollen lips on the festering, charred-black face whispers the thin words. “Please help me.” This, this is a human being. This is the face of a human being. Hara’s Last Poem Engraved in stone long ago,Lost in the shifting sand,In the midst of a crumbling world,The vision of one flower.
The Voices Education Project offers tools, philosophies, and learning methods that will help young people understand the roots of conflict and the trauma of war, confront the pain and fear at the heart of conflict, and help to build healthy human communities in the wake of war. We use the arts and education to transform the consciousness of young people, give teachers and students a way to explore the most important and terrifying issues of our day, and create a dialogue in which all voices can be heard, and all points of view included, without engendering fear, hatred, or anger.