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Bells of Nagasaki (Japan's Modern Writers) Paperback – June, 1994

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Language Notes

Text: English, Japanese (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

South of Nagasaki harbor on the hillside of Mount Hachiro about eight kilometers from Urakami is the village of Oyama. From here one can see the basin where Urakami lies, and beyond one can see Nagasaki hazily in the distance. Young Kato was taking his cow to pasture. In the expanse of green, he found some wild strawberries and he was picking them and putting them in his mouth.

And then came the flash. The cow saw it too and lifted her head. In the sky above Urakami rose a white cloud--a deep white cloud like an enormous ball of cotton--and it got bigger and bigger and bigger. It looked like a huge lantern wrapped in cotton. The outside was white but inside a red fire seemed to be blazing and something like beautiful electric lights flashed incessantly. The colors within this lantern were now red, now yellow, and now purple--all kinds of beautiful colors.

Next, the cloud took the shape of a bun. And then, as it gradually went up and up, it began to look like a mushroom. From the part of Urakami that was directly below the white mushrooming cloud, black smoke and dirt seemed to be sucked into the air--and this too went up and up. The mushroom-shaped cloud above rose higher and higher into the clear sky. When it reached a great height, it collapsed and began to flow toward the east. As for the dirt and smoke below, it rose higher than the mountain. Then part of it began to fall down and disperse, while another part flowed with the cloud to the east. Since the weather was clear, the light of the sun lit up the mountain and the sea. Only Urakami, directly below the cloud, fell under a great shadow and looked completely black.

And then came the blast! Kato's clothes were torn to shreds. The leaves of the trees were blown away. And yet the blast of wind had already weakened considerably when it reached him. The cow did not run wild. Kato supposed that another bomb had fallen nearby.


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Product Details

  • Series: Japan's Modern Writers
  • Paperback: 118 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha International (JPN) (June 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4770018452
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770018458
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #518,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By on October 1, 1997
Format: Paperback
The author's friends, colleagues and wife were killed instantly by the atomic bomb and he died of injuries after a few years leaving his children orphans. He was a Christian, a part of the Nagasaki Christian community which had experienced persecution from the time the Portuguese brought Christianity to the city. His view of God's provision as it relates to the horror of the bomb is very profound. I wish the book had provided supplementary information regarding the author's life and the Christian community in Nagasaki.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Morrissey on December 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book. Along with his other book, "Song of Nagasaki" - these two books give the reader a personal portrait of life in pre- war and post-war Japan that is awesome....
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
a Japanese friend of mine was born in nagasaki and her birth was just after the war her mother has suffered alot from the after affects of this terrible tragidy of nuclear bombing and my friend gave me this story to read. I was moved to tearsseveral times from the accounts in the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen M. Kindt on July 20, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is inadequate to read only this book without reading also Fr. Paul Glynn's A Song for Nagasaki. Fr. Glynn gives the background of the Church in Japan. This answered many questions I had after reading Dr. Nagai's book. Both books were touching, inspirational, and compelling and mean a great deal to me as a devout Catholic. I have read both books several times. I am gratified that Takashi Nagai's story is being made into a movie and will wait impatiently for my chance to see it.
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