” The Sea Rebel “
Guam to Saigon: Ghosts of War (Part 2)
Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun. My ship, the Pacific Princess, arrived in Japan at Osaka. Osaka is Japan’s 3rd largest city, after Tokyo and Yokohama. As we approached the dock in the early hours of the morning you could hear a band playing. A band from a local middle school was there to greet our arrival.
With a population of more than 127 million, Japan has far more people than any nation that I had seen previously on this trip. More people than Peru (30 million), Australia (21 million), Ecuador (15 million) and New Zealand (4 million) put together. In many ways the first modern nation of Asia, I found Japan to be as clean and efficient as it is usually described.
From Osaka, I took a tour of Kyoto and nearby Nara. While many people know that Kyoto had been the former capital of Japan, far fewer realize that it had been Nara even before that. Home to the largest wooden building in the world, I found Nara to be a wonderful place to take a step back from modern Japan and look at her roots.
While my father had been sent (care of the United States Army) to Yokohama at the end of World War II, I would be going tomorrow to Hiroshima. The place where the war had ended.