Sep 22, 2007

Hiroshima survivor to visit Los Alamos

Monitor Assistant Editor

A public meeting Sunday sponsored by the Los Alamos Study Group brings to Los Alamos a rare and remarkable individual.

Shigeko Sasamori is one of the few remaining survivors of the first atomic bomb explosion over Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. She came to the United States in 1955, as one of the highly publicized Hiroshima Maidens, a group of Japanese women for whom reconstructive surgery was provided a decade after the war. She says in the film that she had 30 plastic surgery operations, "maybe more." She was adopted by "Saturday Review" editor Norman Cousins and made a career in the U.S. as a maternity nurse.

Her story is featured in a new (August 2007) documentary, available on DVD and throughout this month on the HBO Signature channel. The film "White Light, Black Rain" was directed by Steven Okazaki, who won an Academy Award in 1990 for "Days of Waiting," a film about one of the few Caucasians to be interned with Japanese-Americans during the war.

As featured in this new production, subtitled "The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki," Shigeko Sasamori is one of a handful of survivors interviewed in depth about her personal story -- where she was, what she saw and what she suffered after the "pillar of fire" engulfed her.

The contentious ending to the World War II, involving as it did the only use of atomic weapons in war, is of fundamental interest, not least to the people of Los Alamos, who have inherited part of the legacy of those events.
[Time and location of the event are here.]


Anonymous said...

I'm sure Ms. Sasamori will be pleased to visit the place where her bomb was designed and built. I'm also certain that she will enjoy meeting the people who are pressing to turn Los Alamos into a veritable bomb pit factory.

I imagine these same people, though, will be less eager to meet Ms.Sasamori. Los Alamosans don't have much conscience, but I suspect they do have a tiny bit tucked away somewhere.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure this nice lady went through some horrific events. However, if the US was ever in the same situation, I'm sure we would take the very same action. War is like that, which is why statesmen should do everything possible to avoid it.

WWII was a frightening time which was caused by the actions of both Germany and Japan. The dropping of the the two atomic bombs was just a small part of the horrors that occurred during the these awful years. Let's hope nothing like this war ever has to happen again. No one should rejoice when it is necessary to turn civilians into pieces of Kentucky fried chicken.

Anonymous said...

I would like to hear what Ms. Sasamori has to say about her government's having started the war. Without the bombing of Pearl Harbor, there would have been no bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Without Japan's insistence on fighting to the bitter end, there would have been no bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We faced the choice of losing up to one-half million troops in an invasion. Our choice was to drop the bombs. I would do it again.

Anonymous said...

We'll see you there, then. I can't wait to hear this.

Anonymous said...

Chill out 7:04.

You can't hug your children with nuclear arms.


Anonymous said...

The poster of 9/23/07 7:04AM is exactly

So many times we hear the wailing and
gnashing of teeth by those saying that the
USA was terrible for dropping the bombs on
Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The terrible confict which culminated in
the USA dropping of the atomic bombs was
started by the Japanese with a sneak
attack on Pearl Harbor.

Additionally recall that the orders to
General Kuribayashi, who was the
Japanese commander on Iwo Jima was to
make the USA pay dearly for the island
of Iwo Jima, so that the USA would have
second thoughts about invading the
Japanese homeland.

He was successful, the USA DID have
second thoughts about invading the
Japanese mainland. Unfortunately for
the Japanese, the USA had a "Plan B";
and a new weapon in our quiver that the
Japanese weren't counting on.

They reaped the whirlwind of what they

So lets not forget where the ultimate
blame for the plight of Hiroshima and
Nagasake belongs - the blame belongs to
the Imperial Japanese Government.

Anonymous said...

You can't hug your children with nuclear

You may not be able to hug your children
with nuclear arms - but you can do
something infinitely more practical -
you can PROTECT them with nuclear arms.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like 7:04, 2:54 and 2:56 all needs hugs.

Maybe a group hug.

Anonymous said...

> You can't hug your children with nuclear arms.

On the other hand, colorless green ideas sleep furiously.