chapter
1 Pages

the

victims of the atomic bomb lying on straw in those sheds and stables of the farms to which they fled that summer's day forty-three years ago, afflicted by fevers, trembling from chills, red spots breaking out all over,

On the moat a swan drifts, oblivious; deep within the Palace, the emperor lies ill, now vomiting blood, now passing blood; semiconscious, does he think of them? -the victims of the atomic bomb lying on straw in those sheds and stables of the farms to which they fled that summer's day forty-three years ago, afflicted by fevers, trembling from chills, red spots breaking out all over, hair falling out, receiving no medical treatment

of any kind, not knowing even the name of their disease, who died with blood pouring from ears, mouths, noses; -the victims of the atomic bomb who passed

so much blood their bowels seemed to have melted, who hadn't even rags to use for diapers, who died drowning in blood. Revived by transfusion after transfusion, semiconscious, does he mount his white horse and roam distant battlefields? The hell of starvation in the jungles on southern islands and in the rocky mountains of the continent, that made people eat snakes, frogs, even human flesh; the soldiers wracked by malarial fevers and shivering from chills beneath the sizzling southern sun, arms and legs blown away by naval artillery, unable to move even an inch, who breathed their last on foreign soilsemiconscious, does he pay them a call?