Back in 1945 during World War II, when the U.S. dropped atomic bombs over Japan, and those who survived are here to give their stories.
After the atomic bomb landed, debris and ash descended as radioactive fallout. The extreme heat of the explosion ignited massive fires that caused people to flee to rivers where a lot of people drowned.
The total number of deaths in the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was more than 200,000. But things get worse. Those who survived the bomb eventually died of radiation illness.
Hibakusha, also known as atomic bomb survivors in Japanese terms, given the lasting damages of radiation exposure are more accurately translated as “atomic bomb sufferers.”
Sachiko Matsuo (83) survived the bombing in Nagasaki. She explained in detail what it was like for her during the bombing.
At the time of the Hiroshima bombing, Matsuo’s mother was six years old and at home, which was a mile away from the hypocenter, or so she thought. Her mother never told her about the experience and Matsuo never asked about it. She witnessed her mother suffering throughout her whole life from meniere’s disease in her 30s, “blood booster” shots in her 40s, and multiple cancers in her 50s. Her mother died at 62. Her aunt said that her mother may have been close to the hypocenter, which is where the bomb landed, at an elementary school where many children have lost their lives.
Ryouga Suwa (84), survivor of Hiroshima bombing. Suwa’s parents died at his father’s Buddhist temple, and his 16-year-old sister never returned home. He was labeled as genbaku koji, an atomic bomb orphan, and nyushi hibakushsa, meaning he was exposed to radiation that was near the hypocenter.
His grandson said that Suwa was sick from radiation. His grandmother died from lung cancer, and his cousin developed an autoimmune disease that took her life when she was in her 50s. Knowing the dark parts of war and atomic bombs, a lot of hibakushas advocate for peace.
Fuio Torikoshi (86) was only 14 when the bomb dropped in Hiroshima. He was looking out the window from his house because he heard a plane. But what he said was a bomb dropping when it looked like a dot. He saw a burt looking like a ball of blinding light that filled his surroundings. He did not think that he would live past 20, but lived many more decades after. – WhatALife!/Zain