George Takei’s Take on Hiroshima, From Devastation to Rebirth

Many people know George Takei as Mr. Sulu from TV’s popular Star Trek and most recently as a social media guru and host of the AARP-produced YouTube series “Takei’s Take.” But the Los Angeles native also has ties to Japan, where he lost an aunt and a cousin after the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, wiping out the port city on Aug. 6, 1945. Eight years old at the time, Takei was incarcerated with his parents and siblings in a Japanese American internment camp in California. Takei recently returned to Hiroshima for his AARP YouTube series to explore the effects of the A-bomb and technology’s role in the event.

Watch these four episodes of “Takei’s Take” and then read an interview with Takei below.

What is your family connection to Hiroshima?
My maternal grandparents emigrated from Hiroshima to the Sacramento Delta in California. My grandfather sensed the winds of war coming and moved back to Japan and Hiroshima with some of their children, so that’s the irony of my aunts and uncles being American-born, but having gone back there before the war began.

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How did it feel to return there?
I’ve gone to Hiroshima many times, but this time was very special. My cousin had moved and I didn’t have his address, but the film crew managed to locate him and we were able to have a nice meeting. He joined in with us in the filming. While filming there, I learned that another cousin who died in the bombing was 5 years old. Until that point, I had believed that the cousin had been a baby.

The bombing was devastating, horrifying. How do you feel about the United States using such technology as the atomic bomb?
To use our technology for that kind of destructive purpose is ultimately self-defeating. Now we’ve gotten to the point where it’s mutually suicidal. Our adversary nations have the same kind of capacity. We have advanced with the power of our mind, our inventive genius, but that killer instinct is still with us. Unless we can develop our capacity for true diplomacy and solve problems diplomatically, we are ultimately going to exterminate ourselves.

What do you hope viewers of your Hiroshima episodes will learn?
The viewers know me from my career as an actor and my activities with social media and so we’ve become friends. Some people consider me a member of their family. They call me “Uncle George,” and so now we’ve put a human face on that kind of destruction. When you visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Japan, it’s horrific and stomach-turning, but realizing that George Takei’s aunt and young cousin perished there gives it a whole different view. The victims have faces now. I hope that they come to share the need for developing our capacity for diplomacy. I think that’s the only way for the human race to survive.

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What is the city like today?
You’ll see a dazzling, contemporary city – flashy towers, multistory hotels, beautiful gardens and “ancient” castles that have been rebuilt with air conditioning, vending machines and elevators. It’s all postwar, even the historic buildings. It is a wonderful place for visitors who go to Japan.

 

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29 comments
ar4235
ar4235 5pts

Wars Play God-WarsTake God's Power Of Life&Death&Spill Innocent Blood,a Sin,They Can't Kill or Save Souls,Souls Are Eternal&Only God Can Save Souls.

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

Jesus said,God's a Spirit&must be worshiped in spirit&truth not by the flesh,man's sinful nature,even as in wars. God is love&love's a Spirit. God's love is strong,not tough,it's not tough love-that denotes tough skinned,of man's sinful nature.

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

Cain Spilled the innocent Blood of Abel,a Sin&God Didn't Kill Cain,a Sinner-Wars Kill Sinners who Spill innocent Blood&Spill More innocent Blood in the process.The Bible teaches,Jesus Loves the Sinner&Hates the Sin-Wars Kill Sinners who Spill innocent Blood&Spill More innocent Blood in Doing so,a Sin.

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

Wars are of Satan,he tempts the flesh,man's sinful nature,to kill people in wars,he knows wars can't kill souls of people they are eternal,but wars can kill bodies of people,even innocent people,spilling innocent blood,which the Bible says is a sin. So then Satan can get the souls of the sinners.All by tempting the flesh of men,their sinful nature since Eden,to war.So,knowing this and not warring,it is possible to make Satan impotent,as Jesus says,nothing is impossible following God,but not so following men.

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

The politicians say they can save us with their wars,but the Bible teaches man can't save himself,his body or his soul,that only Jesus Christ's Cross&Gospel can save man--it's the sin of pride of Genesis chapter 3,man believing he can be as God&know good&evil&live forever&so save himself. Jesus says in the Bible the meek,meaning the humble will inherit the earth,not the prideful.Jesus can't fulfill his promise of eternal life on earth for man  until man stops killing man in wars.

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

The Bible teaches that only Jesus Christ can save man,his body&his soul&that man cannot save himself,his body or his soul,wars,even HolyWars,as we're now getting involved with in Iraq between two Islamic sects,is an effort by man to save himself which the Bible says man can't do,the same Bible the politicians swear upon taking public office.

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

Wars are violence&violence begets violence,so wars make wars,wars don't end wars,as many believe.

The assassination of one man,The Archduke of Austria grew into World War One&out of it grew Hitler who used that war to start World War Two&out of it grew WMD&The Cold War.Out of The Cold War grew the war against Russia in Afghanistan&out of that war grew Bin Laden&out of him grew the 9/11 War&the War on Terrorism. Galatians:6:7.says,Be not deceived,God is not mocked,whatsoever a man sows,that will he also reap.

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

A Civil War is a Country fighting among themselves killing each other-isn't that what War itself is,taking sides among human beings?

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

Jesus sent disciples w/o swords to spread his Gospel&Gospel means Good News,Wars are not Good News,Good Seed to Sow in the heart's of men.

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

Man wars believing he can Save himself,this is of TheSin of Pride,the1st Sin at Eden-The Bible teaches man can't Save himself,his Body or his Soul.

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

What is going on in TheMiddleEast is a result of people believing in Wars,even Religious Wars-not being against it with God's Word,but answering it with War for War.

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

The Bible teaches,man can't save himself,his body or his soul,only Jesus Christ by his Cross&Gospel can,wars are an effort by man to save himself,yet the Bible ends with man trying to save himself with wars.

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

The Bible teaches man can't save himself,his body or his soul,only God can,wars are an effort by man to save himself.

jm5660
jm5660 5pts

Japan sealed their own fate, when they decided to invade the US. Every adult, especially those in charge of a country, should realise that deaths are inevitable in war. Yes, I feel sorry for any innocent civilian who is killed in any armed conflict, but the atom bombs likely saved more lives than they took.

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

Man's sinful nature his flesh isn't just about sex,but racism&wars,discrimination by skin color&wars kill the flesh,not souls,souls are eternal.

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

Does the power of life&death belong only to God,or only to man? God created all life&God has appointed man to die,so it belongs only to God.

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

It's Legal for man to take God's Power of Life&Death with wars&TheDeathPenalty,but illegal with Murder-yet All three Kill innocent people.

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

Jesus teaches: love your enemies-but in wars men kill their enemies-all sin is disobedience to God's word&wars disobey this word of God.Edit (in 5 minutes)

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

Jesus teaches: expect no reward from God loving who love you,even sinners love their own-in wars men love only who love them-all sin is disobedience to God's word&wars disobey this word of God.

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

Wars are violence&violence begets violence,so wars make wars,wars don't end wars,as many believe.

The assassination of one man,The Archduke of Austria grew into World War One&out of it grew Hitler who used that war to start

World War Two&out of it grew WMD&The Cold War&out of The Cold War grew the war against Russia in Afghanistan&out of that war grew Bin Laden&out of him grew the 9/11 War&the War on Terrorism. Galatians:6:7.says,Be not deceived,God is not mocked,whatsoever a man sows,that will he also reap.

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

Jesus is The Prince of Peace-Peace Within You&You Bring That Peace to The World Spreading The Gospel: Jesus Fulfilling the Prophets&Isaiah2:4,No More Wars.

chuckandgrace
chuckandgrace 5pts

If one looks at the Japanese tactics in defending Okinawa ( not only sending their military pilots off on kamikaze suicide missions against the U. S. fleet, but in forcing their own civilians to jump to their deaths off of cliffs rather than surrender, one can see how Truman made the tough call from amongst nothing but unattractive options.  As alluded to by others above, the use of the atomic bomb by America saved lives in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, on both sides that would have followed Japan's fight to the death defense of their  home island.  I certainly empathize with the suffering of the people of Hiroshima, but to turn that into an indictment of the United States is hypocritical in the extreme.  Japan exacted horrific suffering on the Chinese and on people everywhere else around the Pacific Rim, and had they gotten the bomb via Germany before the U. S. had it, you can bet they would have used it against America.

mstraw0001
mstraw0001 5pts

What do I care what he has to say.  We've heard about it over and over until personally I'm sick of it.  The Japanese at the time got what they deserved and no apologies from this end.  It saved thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of American lives.  Case Closed!

JRMadDog
JRMadDog 5pts

I have a somewhat tenuous connection to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If the bombs had not fallen on those cities, I likely would not be around today. My father was scheduled, as part of the US Army's 95th Division, to be part of the invasion of Japan after the end of the war in Europe.

mpasco
mpasco 5pts

George and I are about the same age and have very similar opinions about the future of mankind if we do not learn how to live together in peace.  Regardless of our race, skin color or religion, we have so much to share that living in conflict is a waste of G-d's gifts, and thus is a sin.

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

Matt.5:38&39,Jesus refutes an eye for an eye,a tooth for a tooth,the basis of wars&the death penalty&Genesis 4:15,Cain killed Abel,but God didn't kill Cain,but said who kills Cain will answer to God&man is not God.

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

Genesis 3:Man sins,pride,believing he can be as God&know good&evil&so man seeks to kill souls of evil people in wars-all souls are eternal-wars are of man's sinful nature.

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

Jesus sent his disciples out to spread his Gospel without swords&his Cross&Gospel is the only way anyone can be saved,so the sword,wars can't save anybody.Jesus said all who take the sword perish by the sword to his own disciple&he said he fulfills the prophets,including the prophet Isaiah&Isaiah 2:4,he beats swords to plowshares&they will learn war no more.

ar4235
ar4235 5pts

World Wars One &Two even had German,English&American Christians killing each other,Christians killing Christians-Jesus said the body is a temple for God's Holy Spirit,wars of guns&bombs destroy the temple&can't kill souls of evil people,all souls are eternal-so wars are not of God,despite what you've been taught.