Today we were able to listen to another Hibakusha story. As I hear more and more of these stories, I continue to hope that there will be something within these stories that will allow me to develop my research fully. I like to think that they have already begun to shape the way in which I view the event of the atomic bomb and surely have begun to contribute to how my research has started to take shape. I keep thinking back on what I knew before and what I know know and I realize each time that my perspective has changed as more information has been added. I realize each time that I am surprised at what information I know now was information that I did not know before I came.
Today we listened to Goro-san’s story. Goro means five and as he enjoyed pointing out, he was the fifth son in his family. His story was intriguing in that he actually lived right outside the zone that the atomic bomb destroyed.
As he pointed out two if not three times, he was very lucky because his entire family survived the blast. It honestly seems like it was all due to luck because his mother and sister should have died, but his mother had gotten up early enough in the morning that she was able to make it back to the house before the bomb was dropped and his sister was mobilized to work in a shoe factory and so was not within the zone of the blast. Goro-san himself, being only around 4 years old, managed to get into the shadows of a house and was able to avoid the heat rays that are one of the three affects of the atomic bomb, according to Goro-san. One of his friends died and another was horribly burnt, but he was left unscathed.
He never developed any illnesses or cancers and will turn 76 this year. His mother lived 14 years after the bomb was dropped only because she entered the “rubble town,” as the city of Hiroshima was referred to, shortly after the bomb was dropped and was exposed to radiation. His elder brother lived into his 90’s.
There were several times when he was talking and he would actually get a smile on his face and even begin to laugh a little. I have noticed it other times as well…with people retelling their stories or leading people through the peace park tours. It is really encouraging to see and gives you hope. Even though it has been 70 years since the event and that surely has been a factor as to why the people of Hiroshima can talk about the A-Bomb in such a way….it gives you hope that people can overcome the violence that they have gone through no matter the nature. Finding the seeds of that hope is what I think I am searching for. If peace is going to be spread, one needs to be able to locate the seeds so they can be borne by the wind .