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Tsutomu Yamaguchi, Twice Hibakusha, Dies


photo credit :: AP

There is a Japanese man who, due to circumstance and the most morbid luck, lived through both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings.

Or rather, there was a man who lived twice through hell.

Tsutomu Yamaguchi died of stomach cancer on January 4th, 2010. He was 93 years old, and he was the only man officially recognized by the Japanese government to have survived both atomic bombings. His official double-radiation recognition came late in life,  a little less than a year before he died.

Why did you finally decide to apply for this recognition?

TY: My double radiation exposure is now an official government record. It can tell the younger generation the horrifying history of the atomic bombings even after I die.

And how do you feel about the atomic bombings?

TY: The reason that I hate the atomic bomb is because of what it does to the dignity of human beings.

Do you think it’s a miracle that you survived?

TY: I think it is a miracle. But having been granted this miracle it is my responsibility to pass on the truth to the people of the world. For the past 60 years survivors have declared the horror of the atomic bomb, but I can see hardly any improvement in the situation.

Why might this be?

TY: I can’t understand why the world cannot understand the agony of the nuclear bombs. How can they keep developing these weapons?

A question everyone should ask themselves.

In 2008, Tsutomu’s wife died of lifelong kidney and liver cancer owing to exposure to Nagasaki radiation.

Their three children also suffer from similar effects of radiation poisoning.

Generational warfare.


January 7, 2010 4:54 pm

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