Monday, April 06, 2009

Japanese man survived both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings.

This week i and TV reporter Roberto Kovalick flew to Nagasaki city in Japan to make a report about Mr. Tsutomu Yamaguchi, a Japanese man, who is one of the few people who survived both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings.

Yamaguchi, an engineer in Hiroshima on a business trip for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on August 6, 1945 was just stepping off a tram when the atomic bomb Little Boy was dropped over the city just 3 kilometers away. The resulting explosion destroyed his eardrums, blinded him temporarily, and left him with serious burns over the left side of the top half of his body. He was wrapped in bandages for his skin wounds, and he went completely bald. Like many of the survivors of the atomic explosions, Yamaguchi suffered agony for much of his life. His wife was also poisoned by black rain. Yamaguchi spent a fitful night in an air raid shelter before returning to his hometown of Nagasaki the following day. Yamaguchi was once again 3 kilometers away explaining to his supervisor how close he came to death just a few days before when the second bomb, Fat Man, was dropped.

"It was my destiny that I experienced this twice and I am still alive to convey what happened. I can't understand why the world cannot understand the agony of the nuclear bombs. How can they keep developing these weapons?"
- Tsutomu Yamaguchi -

This report was transmitted in Brazil by the TV show called Fantastico.

From left to rigth: Helio Yoshida, Tsutomu Yamaguchi and Roberto Kovalick.


January 06, 2010 - BBC NEWS

Atom bomb survivor dies, aged 93

The only person officially recognised as having survived both atomic bombings in Japan at the end of World War II has died from stomach cancer, aged 93.

Tsutomu Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a business trip on 6 August 1945 when a US plane dropped the first atomic bomb.
He suffered serious burns and spent a night there before returning to his home city of Nagasaki just before it was bombed on 9 August.
He said he hoped his experience held a lesson of peace for future generations.

It was already recorded that Mr Yamaguchi had survived the Nagasaki bomb, but in March last year officials recognised he had been in Hiroshima as well.

'Precious storyteller'

A handful or Japanese people are known to have lived through both attacks, but Mr Yamaguchi is the only one formally recognised by the Japanese government to have done so.

Certification as a hibakusha or radiation survivor qualifies Japanese citizens for government compensation, including medical check-ups, and funeral costs.
On learning of his official recognition last year, Mr Yamaguchi said: "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."
In his later years, Mr Yamaguchi gave talks about his experiences as an atomic bomb survivor and emphasised his hope nuclear weapons would be abolished.
About 140,000 people were killed in Hiroshima and 70,000 in Nagasaki.
Survivors fell sick with radiation-related illnesses, including cancers, for years after the bombings.
The Mainichi newspaper reported that last month Mr Yamaguchi was visited in hospital by James Cameron, the director of Titanic and Avatar, who is apparently considering making a film about the bombings.
Commenting on Mr Yamaguchi's death, the mayor of Nagasaki said on the city's website that "a precious storyteller has been lost".

Rest in peace, Mr. Tsutomu Yamaguchi
Helio Yoshida

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