Their Legacy of Hope

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Sumiteru Taniguchi holds a photo of himself showing the burns he suffered from the atomic bomb blast in Nagasaki in August 1945. He was 16 years old and delivering mail on his bicycle, 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles) from the hypocenter, when the bomb exploded. For almost four years, he was moved from aid station to aid station, spending life on his stomach while being treated for severe burns on his back. (Photo by Darrell Miho)

In recognition of International Peace Day, the American Society of Hiroshima-Nagasaki A-bomb Survivors (ASA) will host an exhibit from Saturday, Sept. 21, to Sunday, Sept. 29, in the Doizaki Gallery at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in Little Tokyo.

“Hibakushas’ Legacy: Hope for Peace” focuses on the real-life experiences of the hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) and how they were affected by the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Portraits of survivors and a video of them describing their personal experiences will be on display as well as other information from the ASA archives.

The goal of the exhibit is to show how nuclear weapons affect people’s lives. While most people have seen photos of the destruction or the mushroom cloud, most people don’t know what happened to those who survived. This exhibit will give them a glimpse into what one hibakusha described as “a living hell.”

“The more people understand about what happened, the more they will understand that we cannot repeat the tragic events of the past and we need to strive for a world of peace and a world free of nuclear weapons,” exhibit organizers stated.

Photographer Darrell Miho, a volunteer who serves as the project director, is traveling around the world photographing and interviewing hibakusha living in the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea and Brazil.

At 2 p.m. on Sept. 21, hibakusha will be present at an open forum to personally talk about their experiences. The forum will be followed at 5 p.m. by an opening reception where Miho will give a brief talk about the project and the importance of preserving the hibakushas’ experiences.

Admission is free to all the events. The JACCC is located at 244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles. More information is available at www.jaccc.org.

The American Society of Hiroshima-Nagasaki A-bomb Survivors is a non-profit organization representing over 200 hibakusha living in Southern California.

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  1. I think the bombings were so horrible one really has to see photographs to come even close to seeing the extent to which victims were affected physically.

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