Do you know the Japanese man who survived not just one nuclear bomb, but both bombs, even though he was close to ground zero? In this article, we are going to talk about the Immortal Tsutomu Yamaguchi, the man who survived Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Yamaguchi Tsutomu [山口彊] was only 28 years old when the first nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, he was about 3 kilometers from the exact point of the nuclear explosion, where is currently the Hiroshima Peace Museum.
He was walking through a potato field, until he saw a woman in black clothes and a flash, not knowing what happened, he hid in an irrigation ditch and covered his ears and eyes.
In that incident his eardrums burst, losing the hearing in one ear. The force of the bomb threw Tsutomu Yamaguchi out of the ditch to a height of more than 1 meter. He was left with half his body burned to dark brown.
Running to Nagasaki
After that terrible explosion that shook the world, Tsutomu Yamaguchi thought of nothing but returning to his family in Nagasaki City and seeing his wife and son. He stayed at the city's air raid shelter and the next day went to Nagasaki for treatment.
Unfortunately, 3 days later on August 9, 1945 another nuclear bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, the city where Yamaguchi was. Again he was close to ground zero and even then he survived inside a MItsubishi factory.
His wife and son also survived the blast, but both died of cancer caused by radiation many years later. Amazingly, Tsutomu Yamaguchi lived until the age of 93 and only died on January 4, 2010.
He really was a very lucky man, as many people who were even 7 kilometers away died instantly from the bomb blast. In the end he lived longer than most people do and died of stomach cancer.
Tsutomu Yamaguchi won from the government the title of Hibakusha [被爆者] which literally means victim of the bomb. As of 2008, about 243,000 people who survived the explosion were lives with an average age of 75 years.
Although many thought the Hiroshima explosion was the strongest, research claims that the Nagasaki explosion was twice as big as the Hiroshima explosion. Fortunately the city of Nagasaki had a much smaller population.
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Trivia about the life of Tsutomu Yamaguchi
In addition to all this happening involving the nuclear explosion of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Tsutomu Yamaguchi has a very interesting and troubled history. In his youth, he never imagined that Japan would go to war.
His life was shaken because of the war, his job at Mitsubishi was very troubled. Because of the problems of the war, Yamaguchi even considered committing suicide together with his family through an overdose of sleeping pills.
After the explosion, even though he was badly wounded, he worked as soon as he arrived in Nagasaki, which may have been responsible for his second survival from the nuclear bomb. With the city desolate and a lack of doctors, he suffered from a fever for weeks.
After the war, he worked as a translator for the American occupation forces, responsible for the attack that changed his life and destroyed the lives of thousands. He has also worked as a teacher and then returned to work at Mitsubishi.
During his lifetime Yamaguchi became an advocate of nuclear disarmament, writing books and documentaries about his experience and the experience of others who survived the nuclear bombing of both cities.
He even helped James Cameron and Charles Pellegrino make a film about nuclear weapons. He lived with his wife and they had several children during his lifetime. His wife left early in 2008 at the age of 88.
Yamaguchi lost hearing in his left ear, went bald, had cataracts and acute leukemia because of the incidents involving the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs. His daughter comments that she saw her father wearing bandages all the time during her childhood.
The last train from Hiroshima
Despite Tsutomu Yamaguchi being the only Japanese officially recognized as a survivor of the two bombings. Another 160 people are believed to have been hit and survived by the two bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Many Japanese after the Hiroshima disaster took a train to Nagasaki, a nearby city. Several Japanese probably escaped from Hiroshima, but were soon killed by the second tragedy in Nagasaki.
The story of people who fled the effects of the Hiroshima bomb by taking a train to Nagasaki is in the book written by American scientist Charles Pellegrino. If you want to purchase this and other books on the case of Hiroshima, let's leave them below:
If you liked the article, we appreciate you sharing it on social media and leaving your comments. We cannot let this sad story die, we must always remember this tragic case that completely changed Japan.
Finally, let's leave a video about Tsutomu Yamaguchi: