|After our brief stop in Fukuoka, Hillary and I spent a few days in Nagasaki, a remarkable port on the southwest coast of Kyushu. We did several touristy things, including a stop at the peace park and peace museum (which is more reflective and less touristy, I suppose). The statue of peace is supposed to be somewhat controversial - it is massive and somewhat ugly, I suppose - but I really liked it. It's got a lot of symbolism built into the position of the figure, balancing a plea for peace, a call to action, and a significant bit of accusation. Somewhere I read that the sculptor refused to make the people of Nagasaki look like victims.
That seems appropriate in a city that is an incredibly vibrant port - the largest I've ever seen. Hillary and I did a sunset dinner cruise through the port which would have been remarkable just for the scenery, but the finest bits were actually that 1) we were 2 of 3 total people on a boat designed for maybe 200 guests, and 2) the english interpretations of the sites lended endless enjoyment. A selection for your pleasure:
"Kaminoshima Church/Holy Mother: The church which is old with the 2nd in Japan in the symbol of the follower on this island. The Maria image in front of it is an image with the 4.6 m heigh that Japanese 1 which was made in 1949 is big and it prays for the sailing safety. Also, it is called "Donku Rock" in the fact that this image resembles that it is possible to buy standing rock."
As alluded to in that enlightening description, Nagasaki is thick with Christianity. It was the only place where any foreigners were allowed during the Tokugawa isolation, and has remained one of the main sites of sea trade. The ships unloading in the port were IMMENSE. (Ironically, the Americans dropped the atomic bomb almost directly on top of a Catholic church - one of the biggest in all of Asia at the time).