A-Bomb Survivor Panel Discussion & Live Webcast

May 21, 2010 - May 21, 2010
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For Schools interested in viewing this live event, Japan Society’s IP address is

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Students have the rare opportunity to hear a select group of survivors of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, called hibakusha in Japanese, give first-hand accounts of their experiences.  Touching on peace and reconciliation, nuclear issues, long term social ramifications and more, this discussion presents issues relevant to this day in a personal context. Select local school groups will attend the program in person, which will also be broadcast live on the web and available free of charge to schools nationwide.  There will be an opportunity for students to e-mail questions for the hibakusha live during the event.

Click here for panelist information

Students are now invited to submit their questions ahead of time.  Please provide your name, student grade level, and location.  Please limit your question to 50 words or less.

Ms. Setsuko Thurlow
was born and raised in Hiroshima and experienced the atomic bombing at the age of 13. She remembers vividly August 6th, the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, and the hardships many survivors endured physically and mentally thereafter. Subsequent to the atomic bombing, Ms. Thurlow started attending a local Christian church in Hiroshima in the hope of finding meaning in life. Professionally, she practiced social work in the USA and Canada. She is married with two sons and two granddaughters and currently lives in Canada. She has devoted over 40 years of her life to nuclear disarmament.

Ms. Shigeko Sasamori was 13 years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Upon hearing the sound of a plane, she looked up to see a B-29 flying over head — seconds later she was knocked unconscious by the blast. When she came to, she was so badly burned that she was unrecognizable. Ms. Sasamori repeated her name and address over and over until she was finally found by her father. She underwent a lengthy recovery process and miraculously survived. Years later, she traveled to the United States in 1955 as part of a group of 25 young women known as the “Hiroshima Maidens” and was treated at Mt Sinai Hospital in New York City. While in New York, she underwent numerous plastic surgery operations and met her adoptive father, Dr. Norman Cousins. Her story is featured in Steven Okazaki’s award winning film White Light Black Rain.

Mr. Takahisa Yamamoto
was exposed to the nuclear bomb when he was 16 months old. Although he was not in Hiroshima when the bomb was dropped, his mother, carrying him on her back, entered Hiroshima two days later in order to look for his father. Both were exposed to radiation at this time. His father miraculously survived the bomb and they were reunited. Mr. Yamamoto feels that the subsequent effects of radiation on those who entered Hiroshima in the days following the blast have not been as widely discussed as they should be, compared to the immediate and after effects of those who were exposed to radiation on August 6th.

Dr. James Orr
, professor, associate professor and Chair of the Department of East Asian Studies at Bucknell University, teaches a broad range of courses on Japanese history, East Asian civilization, international relations, and war in East Asia. Dr. Orr specializes in remembrance of World War II in the formation of Japanese national identity, with particular interest in the overlap between politics and culture. He is the author of The Victim as Hero: Ideologies of Peace and National Identity in Postwar Japan (University of Hawaii Press, 2001).

Co-organized by Japan Society Education Programs, Hibakusha Stories, and United Nations Cyberschoolbus.

Only school groups may reserve seats at the Japan Society auditorium.
Space is limited.

For more information, please visit call (212) 715-1275 or email [email protected].

  • May 21, 2010 at 1:30 pm