Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The Unstoppable Monster That Devastated Japan

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The nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

changed the world. Nobody denies that, but I think what's more impressing is how much it changed Japan.

It's easy to overlook

that these people are the only people, the only

nation to truly understand and experience the trauma and terror of the Nuclear Age.

And it affected society in a whole bunch of ways.

One of those ways is in the victims. The victims here are called the hibakusha or bombed people, and they became almost

second-class citizens.

Because to the Japanese people, standing out, it's often considered almost

anti-social. Being different, having radiation sickness,

especially in a time when people believe that might be contagious and didn't really understand what was going to happen with it. Well,

I mean, that would have been pretty terrifying.

The government tried to help these hibakusha. They tried to give them medical help, money,

but most didn't want it. What they wanted was to be normal again. They wanted to go back to a time before the nuclear age.

So they changed their names, they changed their addresses, they try to hide in plain sight in Japanese society.

but reality is, history doesn't go backwards, it goes forwards.

And this,

cloud, this dark cloud that settles over Japan, almost this deep-seated fear that's just covered over loosely,

well, it's the real start of our story.

It's the story of this ship, the Lucky Dragon 5.

In many ways, a symbol of

normalcy in Japan.

Because in truth, it's a normal boat, it had a normal crew and it was out looking for a normal fish.

And it's perhaps that normalcy that makes this story so terrifying, so

difficult to swallow for the population, because it could have been anyone.

If you think about it, the ocean is almost the lifeblood of Japan, it's almost like,

a fishing boat couldn't be more indicative of how they saw themselves and how they saw their daily life.

So to see something like this, to see a ship like this

turned on its head, to see the normalcy turned on its head. That's where the real fear is.

Because on March 1, 1954,

the crew of this ship are just, just off the Bikini Atoll and unbeknownst to them, so is the American military,

and they're about to launch their first H-bomb.

And it's huge. It's three times bigger than they expect it to be.

And so's the fallout. And so while this ship was in theory on paper outside of the contamination zone.

It's well within.

So as they're hauling in their nets under the light of this giant plume,

an ash, begins to fall they call it the shinohai. The ash of death.

It's coral,


radiated, sent high up into the atmosphere and landing back on the boat. But to the crew of this boat, it's almost snow.

They scoop it up in their hand and lick it.

They say it's gritty,

tasteless, but in truth,

it's basically poison. It's, it's almost pure radiation entering their system and by the next day,

they're all feeling the effects of

radiation sickness.

They don't really know what that means,

but they know how they feel, so they beeline back towards Japan, back towards the Yaizu harbour where they'd started.

And as they come into harbour, they

enter the Japanese consciousness. The media is

awash with excitement. They have all of this deep-seeded fear waiting,

just bubbling up back to the surface, and the fronts of newspapers, all over the television. The crew almost goes into hiding

so that they're not pushed in front of everyone. This giant fear, new hibakusha ten years later.

And it must have been terrifying to be Japanese, to know that again, your people were the ones who got

bombed. Who suffered.

To, to know that normalcy was again being turned on its head, and you must have thought, why you?

Why not,

why not someone else? Why does it always have to be us? That, that fear, that,

that it's going to be us again. I mean, it's met again.

And six months after this boat returns to harbour,

its radio operator dies of radiation sickness. The first death since the war.

And what's worse, he dies in full view of the Japanese media.

It's almost as if he dies on the front page of the newspaper.

Over a month later, just over a month later,

Godzilla hits the theaters.

And Godzilla, they almost




use this story to sell movie tickets. This

story here, the idea of a boat well into the Pacific being destroyed by this H-bomb. Well, that's basically the opening scene of

1954's Godzilla. There's a ship just off the coast of Japan

that's destroyed by a monster

awoken by an H-bomb. And everyone of course in Japan knows what that means. They know what's being referenced here,

And that's deep. It's a deeper meaning. Much like King Kong in the United States,

it almost becomes this

microcosm of this deeper fear. It almost becomes a symbol of this deep-seated hidden fear that's been just,

just below the surface for so long.

And so Godzilla becomes huge. Everybody wants to see it.

It's almost a catharsis for them to get over this fear. To watch themselves be destroyed by this monster.

It feels as though they're watching themselves experience it. And for whatever reason,

that helps, it helps people.

And so Godzilla over the years,

well, it, it sort of changes with the attitudes.

It keeps being the symbol of the Nuclear Era,

but instead of just being a symbol of the destructive monstrous power of the bomb, it becomes a symbol of the Nuclear Age entirely.

It becomes a symbol of the nuclear power plants which Japan now needs to keep on its lights.

And so it's really difficult for Godzilla to remain this

destructive monster.

And so within a few sequels, Godzilla's almost indifferent to Japan.

Destroying, sure, but not just destroying people and certainly not maliciously.

Just sort of destroying. And within a few more sequels. He's almost a defender of the people.

Sort of holding back other monsters that are trying to destroy Japan. Keeping Japan safe.

But a few generations later, at least Godzilla generations, we have

2011's Fukushima Disaster,

and that again changes the mindset of nuclear energy, of the Nuclear Era.

And having that mindset change forces Godzilla to change again. He's no longer indifferent.

He's no longer the defender. Now he's

more convoluted.

In the new films, nuclear power plants on the coast feed the monsters that destroyed Japan. Just as they've done

in reality.

And so, j- it's almost as if Godzilla comes full-circle.

This symbol of this terrifying Nuclear Age in the beginning becomes a symbol of the terrifying Nuclear Age

at present.

And so without Lucky Dragon 5. I don't think we'd have Godzilla. I don't think there'd be a reason for it.

I don't think the symbol would need to exist. And to me that would be okay.

I'd be happy to make that trade. But as we mentioned before,

history moves forward, not backwards.

So with the Lucky Dragon 5,

it's almost as if no matter where we move into the future,

Godzilla will be there to be that symbol, this ship will be there to let us know where we came from.

It will all meet together into becoming a symbol of all of our fears,

of this new,

terrifying Nuclear Era.

That's Rare Earth.

And this is a lucky dragon.

We have 2%. It's okay, I can do it.

The Description of The Unstoppable Monster That Devastated Japan