Yesterday was the 69th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, the Nagasaki bombing took place on August 9th. Each year many events take place in these cities to remind the world of the tragedy of these events and to push for peace and a nuclear free world. While the US over time has done much to try to sanitize the history of these events, it was highly criticized at the time. The US suppressed much of the information about the aftermath for years with some of the images and film not being seen until the 1970’s.
Soon after the bombings there was considerable criticism in the US calling it barbaric, not needed and criminal. This criticism came from a number of military and conservative leaders at the time.
The hibakusha were not all Japanese residents of the two cities. This Dutch POW being held in Nagasaki describes his experiences of surviving the atomic bombing of that city. POWs and later US servicemen who were stationed in the cities were exposed and made ill from their time there.
Professor Robert Jacobs appeared in a recent Asahi article that looks at the anniversary events in Hiroshima. They also discussed his work to connect hibakusha from around the world so they can share and document their stories and those of their grandparents, the first generation of hibakusha. A longer version of Dr. Jacob’s article “Radiation Makes People Invisible” can now be found at Japan Focus. I shorter version originally appeared here at SimplyInfo.org.
Some related news events:
Hibakusha groups urged Japan PM Abe, to pledge against nuclear weapons and war – http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201408060049
Godzilla a monstrous form of energy appeared in the Mainichi newspaper this week. As the bombing anniversaries approached, the new US Godzilla film was released in Japan. Many consider it a nod back to the original Gozdilla movie that was highly critical of nuclear weapons. The new movie turns the criticism further onto nuclear power.
You can find out more and explore online museum exhibits at the Hiroshima and the Nagasaki Peace Museums. These include databases of people’s stories and archives of photos of objects found after the bombings.
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