In NHK World’s upcoming “August Chronicles” series, war, peace and nuclear weapons will be examined over the course of 13 specials, to coincide with the August commemoration of the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Programming begins on August 5 with the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony, the annual ceremony for world peace that marks the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and is followed by the docudrama Lost Innocence, Lost Lives on August 7. The special takes a look at the young boys who committed to fighting in the Pacific War.
After the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremony on August 9, NHK will air Why Did Japan Go to War? Part 1: Diplomatic Defeat Path to Isolation. The first documentary in a four-part series uses archival footage and animated sequences to delve into why Japan retreated from the international community and committed to war.
Other titles in the Why Did Japan Go to War? series include Imperial Army Spinning out of Control, Media-fueled Fanaticism, and Fight or Not? Wavering Leadership, airing on August 10, 11 and 12, respectively.
August 13 will see the TX of My Father Killed Japanese – Pulitzer Author on Battle of Okinawa. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dale Maharidge’s father revealed on his deathbed that he was a U.S. marine at the Battle of Okinawa. Mahardige then goes on a quest through the U.S. and Okinawa to return items belonging to the deceased, at the request of his father.
A two-part lecture series addressing lessons from Hiroshima that can be applied to Fukushima following its nuclear crisis, will air on August 13 and 14. Motivating Thought – Revisiting Justice: A message from Hiroshima for Fukushima sees Hiroshima native Takashi Kawamoto, professor of social ethics at the University of Tokyo, discuss American moral philosopher John Rawls’ examination of the injustice of the atomic bombings.
Elsewhere, 2010 documentary The Forsaken Ones: Korean A-Bomb Survivors 65 Years After Hiroshima will also be featured in the “August Chronicles,” as will the 2005 doc My Burning Back, the story of an infamous photograph of a boy lying on his stomach with his back burned red, the result of being exposed to the radiation of the A-bomb, and what happened to that boy 6o years later.
Lastly, on August 17, NHK will air Victor’s Plea for Peace: An American Officer in Occupied Nagasaki, which focuses on Victor Delnore, a U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel who cried out against the use of atomic bombing.
“This March, Japan was hit by a huge earthquake which subsequently led to the crisis at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station,” said the network in a statement. “While we acknowledge that the peaceful use of nuclear energy and the belligerent use of nuclear weapons are a different matter, this year, we feel it is imperative to reflect on the damage caused by nuclear war, considering the rising interest in the effects of radiation since Fukushima crisis.”