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Friday, August 06, 2010

Books on Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Attack


Today is the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945.

Remembrance ceremonies will take place in Hiroshima's Peace Park and in other towns and cities in Japan throughout the day and night to honor the approximately 140,000 victims of the world's first atomic bomb attack. Three days later a second bomb was dropped on the historic city of Nagasaki on the western coast of Kyushu, effectively ending the Pacific War.

Thousand Origami Cranes

There is an extensive canon of literature surrounding this pivotal event in history by both Japanese and foreign writers, including such works as the comic book Barefoot Gen by Keiji Nakazawa, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by American novelist Eleanor Coerr, which tells the tragic story of Sadako Sasaki, who died from leukemia in 1955 brought on by radiation poisoning from the Hiroshima atomic bomb and Masuji Ibuse's harrowing Black Rain, based on actual diaries kept of the event.

Other recommended books include John Hersey's excellent Hiroshima - an account of six men and women who survived against all odds and Last Train From Hiroshima by Charles Pellegrino with eyewitness accounts of those who experienced the atomic explosions firsthand including Tsutomu Yamaguchi, who endured and survived both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs.

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