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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Peace of Mind

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  4. PETER is watching TV.

  5. PETER (V.O.): Today is the 75th anniversary of Victory in Japan Day or VJ Day 1945.

  6. Pausing.

  7. PETER (V.O.): The date marked the real end of World War II. Nazi Germany had surrendered in May 1945.

  8. Pausing.

  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But many paid the ultimate sacrifice to liberate South East Asia.

  10. Pausing.

  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I wasn't born yet.

  12. Peter reads something on his phone.

  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): A veteran said that when the War ended, he felt there was nothing to celebrate. There was a sense of relief as people weren't shooting targets anymore.

  14. Reading.

  15. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Another veteran remarked that the Japanese were the most ferocious fighters under the sun.

  16. Peter is in thoughts.

  17. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Did they do well in nearly everything?

  18. Pausing.

  19. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I managed to visit Tokyo in early January 2020.

  20. Act 2


  22. INT. MEIJI SHRINE, TOKYO - DAY (Jan 2020)

  23. New year. Passing through the Meiji-jingu entrance, Peter stops at a courtyard to study some information on dispay.

  24. PETER (V.O.): Oh, 2020 marks the 100-year anniversary of the establishment of the Meiji-jingu.

  25. Reading.

  26. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Emperor Meiji died in 1912. To commemorate his role in the Meiji Restoration since 1868 (ie enlightened rule based on modern advances and traditional values), the Meiji Shrine was established in 1920.



  29. Peter is reading some exhibits.

  30. PETER (V.O.): They document Japan's naval history since the Meiji Restoration, and how its shipbuilding contributed to Japan's winning of the first Sino-Japanese War 1894-1895.

  31. Peter then takes some photos of a 1:10 scale model of the Yamato battleship sunk in April 1945.


  33. Reading.

  34. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The original building was destroyed during the Tokyo air raids of World War II.


  36. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Let me now research on this Tokyo bombing.

  37. Peter surfs the web with his phone.

  38. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It was called Operation Meetinghouse done on the night of March 9, 1945. Wow, there're at least 100,000 deaths - the single most deadliest air raid of World War II.

  39. Reading.

  40. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): That was also the time when Emperor Hirohito - Emperor Meiji's grandson - began to get involved in war matters.

  41. Reading.

  42. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): US' atomic bombs were available in July, 1945. The subsequent Hiroshima atomic bombing killed 80,000 and the Nagazaki one killed 40,000.

  43. Reading.

  44. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Looking back, the current Japanese government thought that the then Japanese government should have surrendered earlier, saving deaths and sufferings of the civilians.

  45. Pausing.

  46. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But when Emperor Hirohito decided to surrender unconditionally, there was still a coup d'tat. Some military personnel were quite mad then.

  47. Recalling.

  48. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In a different context, the current Japanese Defence Minister was remarking on TV the other day that those who use force to disturb the status quo should be punished severely.

  49. Pondering.

  50. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Does Japan have deep remorse over its militaristic past?

  51. Peter is distracted by TV news.

  52. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): At least the current Japanese Emperor Naruhito - the grandson of Hirohito - said so.

  53. Act 3


  55. Pausing.

  56. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Power politics aside, Japan is the only country I feel comfortable to travel on my own.

  57. Pausing.

  58. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Every service is so orderly, from transportation and hotel to eating and touring. Civilians can live very well in peace time.

  59. Pausing.

  60. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And after my transit in Tokyo in my Feb 2020 trip, I haven't travelled to anywhere for 6 months already.

  61. Pausing.

  62. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Comparing to wars, fighting the current pandemic is nothing. East Asian countries have been doing reasonably well.

  63. Recalling.

  64. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Joining a package tour, my late wife and I visited the Meiji Shrine in 1982. Well, it was some 38 years ago.

  65. Sighing.

  66. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Whenever I tour Tokyo these days, I'd row a boat in Ueno Park Lake, enjoy my peace of mind.

  67. THE END

  68. FADE OUT.

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