Friday 22 September 2017

For Hiroshima survivor, 70th anniversary rekindles memories of terror, taboos

Hiroshima City Mayor Kazumi Matsui (R) and a representative of the A-Bomb victims dedicate the name books of the atomic bomb victims to the stone champer at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on the day of the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima
Hiroshima City Mayor Kazumi Matsui (R) and a representative of the A-Bomb victims dedicate the name books of the atomic bomb victims to the stone champer at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on the day of the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima

Danielle Demetriou

It was a warm summer morning, and five-year-old Yukiko Nakabushi was the first to arrive at nursery school. She sat playing quietly as she waited for her friends to come through the door. Except they never arrived.

Instead, at precisely 8.15am, she saw a sudden flash accompanied by a deafeningly loud bang - and in an instant, the world's first atomic bombing transformed the Japanese city of Hiroshima into a living hell.

Mrs Nakabushi (76) is one of the nation's remaining 183,519 survivors of the 1945 bombing - known as hibakusha - for whom the events of that exact moment are etched in their memories with haunting clarity.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Don't Miss