The Eternal Zero 永遠の０
It happens often when I get emotional and cry in the airplane on the way back from Japan. But this time, not so much. Maybe because it was still pretty much “Japan” in the plane! It’s been 30 years since I flew with ANA (All Nippon Airways). My first time was domestic flight from Kumamoto to Osaka. I was in middle school.
Although the appetizing smell of curry filled the cabin, I couldn’t choose between the usual two selections of main meal. This time, chicken (curry) or shrimp (tempura rice). Desparate, I asked the attendant for her recommendation. She said definitely the shrimp. And the egg over rice was so delicious. The breakfast was an easy choice— rice with hot green tea, my favorite. The provided bottled water was from Kurobe, Nagano, where we visited during this trip. The drink with rice cracker was my first ever alcohol above clouds. The Japanese sake tasted so good. And the attendant who helped me throughout was so sweet and nice.
It was a night flight, so I wanted to make sure I had enough time to (try to) sleep. But I couldn’t help but to check out the movie selection. I watched one American movie and half of Japanese movie on the way. This time I chose a Japanese movie, “Eternal Zero”, which was 140 minutes long, longer than I wanted. But I thought I could split into two and I went ahead.
And I couldn’t stop crying. Tears kept coming and my handkerchief very wet. My daughter and husband were very surprised by my sudden crying. I ate the shrimp rice half crying, ordering my drinks with my red eyes.
It’s 8/15 today. It’s remembered as “the anniversary of the end of WWII”. Or V-Day in America. I have my opinion and beliefs but I won’t discuss it here because I believe each country has its own side of history. But for soldiers who fought, in both sides, their goal must have been to survive to live and go back to their loved ones. They must have fought to live.
“ Young ones, your today is the future which the served men wished to live”.
by Yasugi Yasuo (Speaker of Battleship Yamato)
A few hours before I left, I called my uncle who is in late eighties. He bursted to me with trembling voice, “Megumi, you must live long and well for your mother, too.” Maybe, my uncle’s voice and the message of the movie over wrapped too much for me.
My today I take on. My today someone wanted to live. I declare that I live my life fully without taking anything for granted.
今日は８／１５。日本では終戦の日、アメリカではV-day (Victory Day)として覚えられています。自分の思いや考えはあれど、太平洋戦争がどうだったのかという議論はしません。それぞれの国でそれぞれの正義があるから。でも、どちらの国でも、戦っていた兵士さん達は、やっぱり生きて愛する人の元に戻りたかったに違いない。生きる為に戦っていたに違いない。