JAPANESE

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From Asahi Shimbun

So tell me about Hiroshima

The column "So tell me . . . about Hiroshima" started with the April 2008 issue of the Hiroshima Edition of The Asahi Shimbun. The reporters followed the lives of the victims and asked them their thoughts. The words of those who have been forced to live as A-bomb survivors ring true to us as we live in the nuclear age. They also approach the thoughts of those who lived through the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Articles appear in the newspaper basically once a week and continue to be posted. In uploading, the ages and titles of the people being interviewed are those from when the article was published.

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    My Redeemable Youth  -Hiroko Nishimoto (76 years old)

    "In the past, I couldn't appear in public." Ms. Hiroko Nishimoto (maiden name, Iwami) living in Hiroshima said as she showed me some photos of herself dancing hula. I stated, "You look so young." Ms. Nishomoto smiles and replies, "I've been redeeming my deprived youth."
    Sixty-six years ago, Hiroko was a fifth-grade pupil at an elementary school. On the morning of August 6, she was playing by herself in front of her house in Hiratsuka-cho (present-day Naka Ward) in Hiroshima. She looked up to see U.S. fighter planes flying overhead and immediately after that, everywhere turned all white in a second and she was blown to the entry way inside of her house. ……

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    Turning Despair into Strength  -Kazuo Okihara (71 years old)

    There is a man who replaced the anger, hatred, and despair he felt having lost his mother to the A-bomb at age five with his own zest for living, and who goes on living positively even today.
    I first met Mr. Kazuo Okihara to interview him for another subject some time ago. He had previously worked as a technical engineer at Mazda Motors, including some experience working overseas, and was still working today, having changed his workplace two times. During our chat, I noticed that his experience of having been hit by the A-bomb underscored his life, so I asked him to take part in another interview about those early days. ……

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    I Saw Hell Itself  -Katsufumi Shintaku (81 years old)

    It has been twelve years since I became a newspaper reporter. During those twelve years I have been introduced to many A-bomb victims by some of the people I have interviewed; Katsufumi Shintaku is one of those victims. He was exposed to the A-bomb 1.2 kilometers [0.75 mile] away from the hypocenter. The day after his exposure he kept walking around near the A-bomb Dome. Later in life he became successful in the construction industry; however, he liquidated his company a few years ago. Today he lives as a witness of the A-bomb exposure displayed at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and lectures about his experience at schools all over Japan. ……