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NEWS: Echain Flame - Refugees in Northport

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1 NEWS: Echain Flame - Refugees in Northport on Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:20 am

A Curious Event in Northport

On February 3, a curious event took place within the Region of Northport. As the local Echaini woke up to the morning light, they were greeted by an exotic sight. Many Japanese Refugee children, of whom are a great number of Nagasaki Atomic Bomb survivors, were throwing tiny balls of crumpled paper that Japanese-Echani translators told reporters were supposed to represent Soybeans outside their tents and temporary shelters. This practice is supposed to represent the act of driving out bad luck from your household and bringing in good luck for the new year, which is a traditional Japanese Holiday called Setsubun, or bean-throwing festival.

As more and more Echaini citizens gathered to see the spectacle, Mr. Gollvieg who was working in the nearby Refugee Processing Center declared that the event should be Northport's first ever Cultural Exchange Festival. Extra Rations were given to the Residents of Northport that day and those that live near the Refugee Center were invited to attend the Festival. Stands were quickly made from tables and tent cloth where the Japanese Refugees would hold games of skill with the prizes being hand painted masks made from expert craftsmen and amateur children alike. The Nagasaki Survivors requested to be allowed to cook some specialty dishes from Nagasaki for the public and they were given permission to do so. Northport Residents were surprised with the Neapolitan nature of the cuisine as they found an astonishing amount of traditional Portuguese dishes with a Japanese twist.

The Real star of the festival though was a nine year-old Nagasaki girl named Chiyoko Saito. Miss Saito, dressed in what was said to be traditional shrine clothes was leading a large procession of children both Echaini and Japanese in chasing a man in a blue demon mask while throwing "Soybeans" at the man and shouting, "Out with the Demons, in with the good luck!" The man, in good cheer declined to be interviewed and instead insisted that the real person responsible for the event was Miss Saito. Miss Saito was the granddaughter of the Primary caretaker of the Sanno Shrine in Nagasaki and is one of the survivors of the Atomic Bomb dropped on the city. Miss Saito was Orphaned in the Bombing when her family who lived and worked at the Shrine which lay within 800 meters of the epicenter of the bomb blast was killed in the firestorm. Miss Saito was not at the shrine at the time as she was with her mother in the market district. Unfortunately, the resulting firestorm from the bomb hit the market district and her mother shielded her from the bulk of the flames saving her life. Miss Saito escaped with her life but suffered severe burns over 60% of her body. When asked why she would try to hold the Setsubun festival despite her wounds and the great pain she must feel she had this to say, "My grandfather had a saying that he always repeated to me:

"There will come a time when you are in darkness so deep that it will seem that there is no light left in the world, that it will seem that there will be no one to soothe your wounds and ease your hunger. It is that moment when you are in the greatest of pain that you must remember that you are not alone, that there are others that suffer as much and even worse than you, and that if there is no hope then you must become the torch that light the way. Burn brightly, even though the night will seem to be infinite around you, know that countless others who live in darkness will see your light no matter how far away they are from you."

As Miss [Chiyoko Saito] recites her grandfather's words, her voice steady and full of energy with a smile bright as the noon sky despite the tears rolling down her cheeks.

As the last surviving heir to the Sanno Shrine Miss Saito was chosen by the Nagasaki Survivors to be the caretaker of the Cultural Preservation Center on the Island of Grain. The Cultural Preservation Center was built by Nagasaki Refugees, using traditional methods upon the Mountain facing the Coast of Echain with the fallen half of the Sanno shrine's second archway raised as a reminder of the terrible power of Atomic Weapons and the indomitable spirit of humanity.

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