Seven Decades after the Bomb, Children of Hiroshima Victims Still Worry about Hidden Health Effects

Ibby Caputo
March 26, 2019
PRI’s The World

“Nakatani Etsuko says her father rarely spoke of the day that the world’s first atomic weapon killed 140,000 people in his city of Hiroshima, Japan. But she says he did mention one thing: ‘That there were so many dead bodies in the river, you couldn’t see the water.’

Etsuko’s father was a teacher in Hiroshima. He was out of town when the bomb fell on Aug. 6, 1945. But he returned to the city the next morning to check on his school. It was gone. All 319 students were dead. He couldn’t save anybody, but Etsuko says he stayed to help cremate the bodies and collect the bones to give to the parents. But that meant that he was exposed to radiation lingering in the city after the bombing.”

Read the full story at PRI’s The World.

A United States Air Force map of Hiroshima, Japan, before the dropping of the world’s first atomic weapon on the city on Aug. 6, 1945. Credit: US National Archives and Records Administration

Ibby Caputo is an independent journalist and a 2018 US-Japan Journalism Fellow.