The Atomic Bomb Dome (Genbaku Dome) in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
This week marks 75 years since the United States Army Air Forces dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan during WWII. The bombs of August 6th and 9th, 1945 impacted the lives of the residents of both cities long after impact.
The following resources consist of the stories of survivors and histories written based on interviews with survivors.
Letters From the End of the World : a Firsthand Account of the Bombing of Hiroshima
A love story in the form of letters to the author’s young wife, who died soon after the bombing of Hiroshima. More than fifty years after the Second World War, the scars left by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima refuse to heal. This compelling account of one man’s experience gives a human face to the events of August 6, 1945. For a week after the bombing, the author, who was an assistant professor at Hiroshima University, wandered the decimated streets of the city, searching for his wife and his youngest son. He finally located them, but his wife died just days later. Grief-stricken, the author wrote her a series of letters over the next year outlining the things he had seen and heard during her last days on earth. In 1948, the letters became the first eyewitness account of an atomic bombing ever published. This powerful record shows how one family’s future was altered in an instant. Comprised of correspondence, diary entries and drawings, Letters from the End of the World presents the events surrounding the close of World War II in terms so personal they will not soon be forgotten.
Nagasaki : Life After Nuclear War
This book is a powerful and unflinching account of the enduring impact of nuclear war, told through the stories of those who survived. On August 9, 1945, three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the United States dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, a small port city on Japan’s southernmost island. An estimated 74,000 people died within the first five months, and another 75,000 were injured. Published on the seventieth anniversary of the bombing, Nagasaki takes readers from the morning of the bombing to the city today, telling the first-hand experiences of five survivors, all of whom were teenagers at the time of the devastation. Susan Southard has spent years interviewing hibakusha (“bomb-affected people”) and researching the physical, emotional, and social challenges of post-atomic life. She weaves together dramatic eyewitness accounts with searing analysis of the policies of censorship and denial that colored much of what was reported about the bombing both in the United States and Japan. A gripping narrative of human resilience, Nagasaki will help shape public discussion and debate over one of the most controversial wartime acts in history.
Sachiko : a Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story
This striking work of narrative nonfiction tells the true story of six-year-old Sachiko Yasui’s survival of the Nagasaki atomic bomb on August 9, 1945, and the heartbreaking and lifelong aftermath. Having conducted extensive interviews with Sachiko Yasui, Caren Stelson chronicles Sachiko’s trauma and loss as well as her long journey to find peace. This book offers readers a remarkable new perspective on the final moments of World War II and their aftermath.
Hiroshima, Nagasaki : the real story of the atomic bombings and their aftermath
A comprehensive history drawn from eyewitness accounts challenges the belief that the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought the war in the Pacific to an end, arguing that the bombings were unnecessary to the war’s outcome, especially because they cost tens of thousands of human lives.
Time: After the Bomb
Survivors of the atomic blasts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki share their stories. With photographs by Haruka Sakaguchi and an introduction by Lily Rothman