Saturday, 28 April 2012

Live show at Louto in Hiroshima & thoughts about the city...



A lovely show today,
The first of three with Naoto Kawate...

Kuniaki-San and Yukie-san put us on in their beautiful little gallery, Louto, in central Hiroshima.

Naoto's prepared his guitar with metal twisted around the strings (like bottle caps on bike spokes), giving it a percussive buzz...it sounds great.
It's been a couple of years since I've seen him live and it's been worth the wait...

We arrived a little late as watering Naoto's allotment took longer than planned. Gomen nasai, Kuniake-San!

It's my second time in Hiroshima:
the first time I came I went to both the peace museum and the former trade promotion hall which is below the epicentre of the atomic bomb dropped on the 6th August 1945.
Due to some principle I don't yet understand and need to research, that building survived (or most of it) and I remember being really affected by it but didn't quite put my finger on why...
I'm no wise, wizened old traveller but I've been a few places, seen a few things, read a few books and papers - the killing fields in Cambodia were harrowing, seeing a man in Bristol have his throat slit was horrible, having my nose smashed by muggers with a baseball bat was a pain in the nose; there's a longer list here, but when you enter into Hiroshima, it's like any modern Japanese city - there's no way you could tell it was completely razed at the end of WWII- it bustles and it's impressive and it's full of colourful people and it's also ugly and has too many cars; it's somewhat generic and typical of any city.
And that's why it's so affecting to stand by that monumental ruin - to think that the city was also alive like this before it got flattened and then rebuilt.
Not by some immense and uncontrollable force of nature, not by an army of men, but by one small and incredibly powerful bomb, artificial and completely lacking in discrimination, obliterating people, objects, flora and fauna.



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