The gripping documentary “Twice Bombed, Twice Survived: The Doubly Atomic Bombed of Hiroshima and Nagasaki” will be screened at the Japanese American National Museum, First and Central in Little Tokyo, on Saturday, Jan. 21, beginning at 2 p.m.
This program is sponsored by the Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation in partnership with JANM.
Hideo Nakamura’s film reveals a little-known story connected to the two atomic bombings of Japan by the U.S. military at the end of World War II. The first bomb fell on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, followed three days later by the bombing of Nagasaki. The devastation was widespread, with 200,000 dead and thousands maimed and scarred.
Remarkably, a group of perhaps 200 Japanese were present for both atomic bombings. Nakamura’s film looks at their stories and how they were lucky to have survived two massively lethal events, but then had to live with their experiences. In particular, the film focuses on Tsutomu Yamaguchi, an engineer for Mitsubishi Heavy Industry, who lived into his 90s. However, he also suffered through the deaths of his wife and son from the after-effects of the bombings.
Yamaguchi, the only hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor) to be recognized by the Japanese government for having suffered through both bombings, testified before the United Nations to advocate against the use of nuclear arms or even nuclear power. “The bottom line is, there shouldn’t be nuclear in our world,” he stated.
He also explained that his motto is “One for All, All for One” and felt he had done his duty when he extracted a commitment from famed movie director James Cameron to create a feature film about the atomic bomb survivors.
This program is free to JANM members or with admission. The Tateuchi Public Program series develops presentations that explore the connections between Japan and the U.S. in the context of politics, art, music, and culture.
For more information, call (213) 625-0414 or visit www.janm.org.