Tokyo Damage Report

oe’s DEATH OF A POLITICAL YOUTH part four.

CHAPTER THREE

In summer, my “internal golden Emperor” began to manifest himself furiously!

 As hot as the most blistering summer day was, I was hotter.

In the cities and suburbs,  the Patriotic Youth Corps stuffed ourselves into our thick battle uniforms and roasted our heads in our steel helmets, the sweat stinging our skin, our hands tightly grasping our clubs. . . and then we set out from Tokyo. It was August, the Memorial Day of remembrance of the atomic bombings . . . and we had to protect Hiroshima from those left-wingers.

Even as we disembarked from the steaming train, Hiroshima was already hot. The sky blazed with an almost un-natural blueness. The clouds flitting across it had the same un-natural quality, as if I was looking at an inorganic photograph.  For that matter, the buildings, the rivers, the ground, and even summer itself seemed devoid of life.  The only living things were the people, who streamed by, steaming like locomotives against this static background. Especially, the survivors of the atomic bomb, they seemed to have sweat flying off of their whole bodies, as if their very existence was an extreme life.

On the night-train over, us young troops had discussed things: “Hiroshima, you can get good oysters there, I hear!” “What the?? You’re a hick from a broke family, how are you going to pretend that you’re a gourmet? Even us fearless uyoku don’t eat no damn oysters in August! Even Hiroshima natives have to be very careful with those damn oysters in damn August! Can you imagine, surviving the damn atomic bomb, only to be killed by a damn oyster?!?”

As we left the station, I took a long look at Hiroshima: the flocks of people, eking out a precarious existence, desperately clinging to life, gave them a fierce vitality.
When I considered that these people had survived an actual bomb, it made me physically nauseous, to the back of my chest: they’re here, right in front of my eyes!

As I thought about this, we organized our marching formations, and set off, shouting, “Oppose the Communism Which Is Dressed In The Disguise Of The ‘Big Peace Rally’!!” “Repulse the Red invasion of Japan!”

As we began to march, I began to get worked up with “midsummer excitement.” And as the enemies appeared in front of us, my excitement grew hotter than the midsummer pavement. The Young Patriots Activity Squad was on the march! Holding our national flag and our Imperial Way flags high, with three cars full of Party officials leading the way!  From the cars’ loudspeakers blared all the hits: the Battleship March, the Patriotic Marching Tune, the Young Mens’ Song, and Across The Sea. While the music speakers screaming at maximum volume, the other speakers (broadcasting the Party Minister for National Affairs’ speech) had naturally to be also cranked to full volume, to keep up:

“Citizens of Hiroshima City, heed our warning! The so-called “big peace rally” is leading you down the Communist path! The sayoku “country-ruining-squad” is trying to shove their politics down your throat! The Red conspirators are numerous! They pose as sincere folks who want to help the regular Japanese, but they have Red tendencies! This “big peace rally” is nothing but the work of Moscow, trying to soften us up before their invasion!  These so-called “peace movement” activists just want to disarm us so we can’t fight back! Citizens of Hiroshima, don’t be fooled by their disguises! Listen to this, the dearest wish of us sincere patriots: hear our voice kudasaaaaaaaiiiii!!!!!!!!”

As we marched, we waved paper flyers of red and blue, with the slogans “Oppose the Communism Which Is Dressed In The Disguise Of The ‘Big Peace Rally’!!” and “Repulse the Red Invasion of Japan!!” printed in big black letters. The people stopped, dumbstruck, to watch us. They were curious, and chattered among themselves, but were afraid to reach out to us. So we began to throw the flyers, scattering them far and wide, sending them dancing in the wind. We threw so many, we wound up trampling many under our own feet:
“Oppose the Farcical ‘Big Peace Rally’!!”
“Repulse the Red Invasion of Japan!!”

Suddenly we could feel the presence of the enemy. We tensed, preparing for battle, instantly dropping all of our flyers.  Ahead of us we saw a giant building. The voice on the loudspeaker stopped ranting to the Hiroshima citizens, and instead addressed us, the members of the Patriotic Youth Corps: “Between the Hiroshima Baseball Field and the Children’s Culture Center is an open field. Watch it carefully! That’s where the National Student Alliance is preparing for tomorrow’s peace rally, making their placards. You, the patriotic young men of Japan,  take care of them!!”

We rushed ahead of the Party leaders’ cars, to find that, yes, next to the Children’s Culture Center was a field with more than fifty people milling around. Jeering us, yelling insults which reached our ears, screaming with inflamed passions through their megaphones at us. Suddenly, from behind, loud enough to deafen us, came the reply from our leaders: “Reactionaries, they call you! Thugs, they call you, the patriotic young men of Japan! These National Student Alliance guys are calling you shameless gangsters! Patriotic young men of Japan, are you going to let these pawns of the Red Chinese jeer at you?”

At this, we went berserk with rage and charged at them.

Tear down their placards! 

“Overthrow the Cabinet?” Fuck you! (boom).

“Abolish the Performance Evaluations for Teachers?” Fuck you! (boom).

“Smash Imperialism?” Fuck you! (boom).

“Don’t Consent To The Military Alliance With America?”  Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you!

Smash everything on this fucking field!  Stomp on all 4,000 of the National Student Alliance kids!!!

You won’t forgive the atomic bombings? Fuck you!

You want them to apologize TWICE??? 

Are the ashes of death too much for you?? Fuck you!

Tear up their flyers!

You think we’re reactionaries? Out-of-date? Our movie has just begun! With an ass-kicker in the lead role, and a close-up of your scared little student eye getting punched the fuck in!  Girl students trying to run away, we’ll grab you by the hair! The background of the scenes: just screaming!  Kyaaaaaaaa!!! Aaaahhhh!!!!   The camera follows our prey in a long shot, as we chase him into a corner of the meeting-hall . It cuts to his POV as our clubs bludgeon his face!  In fact, let’s attach the camera to his actual head for maximum realism!  What? That asshole, how dare he hide behind a damn camera??? Let’s rip it off his head and stomp on it with the full weight of our body!  It makes a satisfying noise as it breaks.  Now we’re running towards the podium. We see the bouquet, the flowers arranged in the shape of a dove, which the students have hung from the ceiling. We leap up and cut the cord with a knife! Abruptly, the dove begins to sing a joyous heavy metal tune! The stupid students quake with fright!! The sky above us coalesces into giant black clouds, which crash down upon us. GUWANN!! GUWARANNNNNN!!!!

At high noon in the big city, a flood of police sirens washes in upon us from all directions. I ran to the exit of the meeting-hall, to find one of our guys who was being surrounded by the students, punching and kicking him: the NSA counter-offensive had begun. There were three students blocking my path, so I make as if to go around them. They are wearing workman’s clothes with “Tokyo University” patches helpfully sewn on them. Screaming with all my strength, I assault them with my wildly swinging club.  GON, GON, GUSHARI! A faint pink mist of blood blows in the wind.  Their faces purple with rage and terror, a flock of NSA students advances on me. A close-up of my face fills the screen. I am punching and being punched, kicking and being kicked, lost in a frenzy of battle. I’m knocked down, dragged, and get back up again and again, hitting and being hit, moaning in pain and making my enemies likewise moan, then being knocked down again.  The head of the gang which is surrounding me, let’s do a close-up on him. But wait- the camera’s zoom seems to be broken.  Time stands still for an instant, then fades to black. 

Aah, my Emperor! Aah, I’ve been killed. Aah, my Emperor!

As the screen once again brightens, we see a large crowd of policemen. The camera is supposed to do a close-up of their peering  faces, but zooms in too close, as if to slap the cheek of this swarthy-skinned officer. He says, in a very police-like voice: “Think he’ll wake up? They did him up pretty bad!  Those fucking student punks!” At that, the screen jumps into focus on the officer’s kind and sympathetic face. Although it seems that I can only see the screen with one eye! As if from somewhere else, I hear my voice speaking, narrating the movie: “Aah, my Emperor, you didn’t abandon me after all! My Emperorrrrrr…”

The heat, the agony, the un-natural, inorganic brightness, the stink of sweat, the screaming, the polluted air in my nostrils. . .all these things together . . . I was recovering from them. The movie began to disappear from inside my head, and the real Hiroshima of August began to re-appear once more. I looked at my hand, and saw a mass of blood and hair in my palm.  The policeman said, “That’s not your blood OR your hair!”

I slowly shoved the hand into my pants pocket, and responded in a virtuous and modest young-man’s voice: “Thank you for looking after me. I think I can walk by myself.  Although I have been brutalized, I will seek revenge on my own. I don’t want to trouble you virtuous police Officers, who are so busy dealing with these communists who have come to destroy your city. Excuse me, may I rejoin my parade now?”

My perfect Tokyo accent made this young, provincial policeman hesitate for a second, but then his cheeks reddened and he said with a wry laugh, “Go on then! You can walk by yourself, can’t you. They really beat you bad, didn’t they? Those fuckin’ NSA goons. Crazy fucks!”

I exited the building between two lines of NSA kids, their chests thrust out, standing at attention. It was kind of like being a celebrity making a grand appearance, except instead of applauding, the kids were muttering insults under their breath. Once outside, the hot sun’s rays flooded me as I spotted my fellows, who were re-organizing into ranks to resume the parade.
 

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