Book on survivors of atomic bombings translated into Japanese
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Last Updated: Tuesday, July 20, 2010, 14:44
Tokyo: A Japanese publishing house Tuesday published the Japanese translation of a book by an American journalist, who interviewed nine "double hibakusha," or those who survived US atomic bombings on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

The original English version titled "Nine who survived Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Personal experiences of nine men who lived through the atomic bombings" was published in the United States in 1957 by Robert Trumbull, a former Tokyo bureau chief of The New York Times, who died aged 80 in 1992.

The 168-page Japanese version is titled "kinoko-gumo ni owarete -- niju hibakusha no shogen" (driven by atomic clouds: testimonies by nine atomic bomb sufferers). Published by Asunaro Shobo, it sells for 1,365 yen per copy. Hibakusha means an atomic bomb sufferer.

Trumbull spent about two years interviewing the nine double hibakusha.

Among the nine were Tsutomu Yamaguchi, who was a shipbuilding engineer at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, and Takejiro Nishioka who served as Nagasaki governor after World War II. Nishioka died in 1958 at 67 while Yamaguchi, who was known as the first officially recognized sufferer of double radiation exposure, died in January this year at 93.

Yamaguchi was first exposed to radiation in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, during a business trip. Suffering serious burns, he returned to Nagasaki, where he was hit by the second atomic bombing on August 9.

In an interview with Trumbull, Yamaguchi noted the need to promote a mindset fortified against war.

In his publication, Trumbull reported the number of atomic bomb survivors suffering from cataracts and leukemia was increasing, while warning that a nuclear war would risk the lives of all humankind.

The publication of the translation was motivated by movie producer Hidetaka Inazuka, 59, who has been shooting films on double hibakusha.

Inazuka said the nine people appeared to have a sense of mission to tell of their catastrophic experiences, whereas many double hibakusha are reluctant to tell of their hardships.


First Published: Tuesday, July 20, 2010, 14:44

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