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Testimonies of the A-Bomb Victims and Voices of Support

The voices of the A-bomb survivors, or in Japanese “hibakusha”, continue to be an important source of information and inspiration for people who are trying to understand and learn from what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In this section of the web site we provide you with a sampling of some survivors’ testimonies.


*Memorial Cenotaph. For survivors, this Memorial Cenotaph, where the names of all the A-bomb dead are recorded in the Book of the Past, serves as a sacred focus for the abhorrence of nuclear war and the fervent hope for peace. The Book of the Past, stored in a stone chest under the arch, bears this inscription: “Let all the souls here rest in peace, for we shall not repeat the evil.” (Photo credit: J. Levin)

In a collection of testimonies titled Hiroshima, In Memoriam and Today, the editor Hitoshi Takayama, himself an A-bomb survivor, summarizes the importance of listening to the survivor’s voices:

“The atomic bomb is the most cruel and inhumane thing ever imposed on humanity. Today, needless to say, nuclear bombs can completely destroy any country. The hibakusha naturally feel great anxiety and fear for the present and futures of the world, as the nuclear nations race to produce and stockpile ever more powerful nuclear weapons. The hibakusha and other citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been trying to share their A-bomb experiences with others outside Japan, but their real intentions were not always fully understood, or sometimes were misunderstood. Besides, responses from various peoples have often been very poor…” (Introduction, p. 29)

Mr. Takayama goes on to point out that, from his point of view as an A-bomb survivor:

  • Nuclear weapons have become a global issue that affects the survival of all human beings.
  • The nuclear deterrence theory has helped to accelerate the nuclear arms race. It has become rather difficult to protect even our own non-nuclear country [Japan].
  • The A-bomb experiences of Hiroshima are closely connected with the survival of our people and humanity as a whole, both now and in the future.
  • We are, as citizens, responsible for government policies.

Excerpted from Hiroshima, In Memoriam and Today, edited by Hitoshi Takayama with the cooperation of Hiroshima citizens, 2000.

Here are some A-bomb victim testimonies and supportive voices from around the world included here with the gracious permission of Mr. Hitoshi Takayama. Click on the link to read the details.

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