Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Hiroshima bomb had long-lasting impact on writer's family

Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park includes a bombed out shell of a building (background).
TO JOHN NISHIO, the Aug. 6 anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bomb is more than a date in history. It's personal. He shares his thoughts with AsAm News:
Every August 6th, since I was a kid, I get a knot in my throat. The same goes for December 7th. I used to dread having to go to school if it was a December 7th, as I knew there would be stares and comments directed at me. We avoided going shopping or eating at regular restaurants, except the Far East Cafe, for the same reasons, on Dec. 7th.

I visited Japan, four times from 1965 – 1973, living there two whole summers. I spent much of our time, when not sightseeing or studying Japanese art and architecture, visiting relatives on my mom’s side.

Of course, we always visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and saw the Atom Bomb museums there. Looking at the artifacts, and photos of the destruction and victims, I always teared up, but it didn’t seem personal. I didn’t think it involved my family.

When I went back to Japan with my Dad, in 2005, and again in 2006, with both my parents, we were on a mission to gather genealogical information about the family, to get to know the Nishio side of the family, and to take a lot of photos for the family back home.

It was only then, when my relatives took us to the Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum, that I learned just how personal the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima really was.

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Read the rest of his commentary here.