Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu!
This year will mark the 65th year since the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and we are moving forward to document the stories of the hibakusha.

My good friend Jana Katsuyama did a story on atomic bomb survivors that aired December 23, 2009 on KTVU Oakland. She interviewed 2 survivors, Jack Dairiki and Masako Kawasaki, a second generation survivor, Deborah Yamasaki, Dr. Jitsuro Yanagida from Japan and me. 

You can view the video clip here.

I’m hoping that this is a permanent link, but if for some reason the link does not work, please let me know and I will try and update it. I am also trying to get permission to post the video on this blog.

On a sadder note,Tsutomu Yamaguchi lost his battle with stomach cancer and passed away on January 4, 2010 at the age of 93. Yamaguchi has the unfortunate distinction of being the only certified survivor of both atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

As an engineer for Mitsubishi, Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima for business when the first atomic bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945. Despite his wounds, he returned to his hometown of Nagasaki the next day and went back to work on August 9 when the second bomb was dropped.

I was looking forward to interviewing Yamaguchi for this project, but unfortunately, I will not have the opportunity to document his story. I’m sure it is documented somewhere and I hope that someday, I will get to learn about his experience.

You can read more about Yamaguchi here.

It is also being reported that director James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar) recently visited Yamaguchi in December to discuss a film on nuclear weapons based on the book “The Last Train to Hiroshima: The Survivors Look Back” written by Charles Pellegrino.
また、映画監督のジェームズ・キャメロン(タイタニック、アバター)が12月に山口氏を訪問して、原爆をテーマにしたチャールズ・ペレグリーノによる本「The Last Train from Hiroshima: The Survivors Look Back」の映画化について対話をしたと報道されています。

It will be interesting to see if and how Cameron depicts the fateful events of 1945. Will it be in 3D like his latest box office blockbuster Avatar? We can only hope that it is done with respect to the survivors and brings attention to their hope for peace.

Let’s hope that 2010 will bring a lot of changes towards a peaceful world.