Do you know the Japanese who survived not just a nuclear bomb, but both bombs, even though they were 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 fell on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, he was about 3 kilometers from the exact point of the nuclear explosion, where he 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 hearing in one ear. The force of the bomb threw Tsutomu Yamaguchi out of the ditch at a height of more than 1 meter. He had half his body burned in dark brown.
Running to Nagasaki
After this terrible explosion that shook the world, Tsutomu Yamaguchi had no other thought than to return to his family in Nagasaki City and see his wife and son. He stayed in the city's air raid shelter and the next day went to Nagasaki to seek 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 still survived inside a MItsubishi factory.
His wife and son also survived the explosion, but both died of radiation cancer 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 seven kilometers away died instantly from the bomb explosion. In the end he lived longer than most people do and died of stomach cancer.
Tsutomu Yamaguchi won the government's 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 think Hiroshima's explosion was the strongest, research says Nagasaki's explosion was twice as large as Hiroshima's. Fortunately, the city of Nagasaki had a much smaller population.
Curiosities 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 very shaken by the war, his job at Mitsubishi was very troubled. Because of the war problems, Yamaguchi even considered committing suicide together with his family through an overdose of sleeping pills.
After the explosion, even though he was badly injured, he worked as soon as he arrived in Nagasaki, which may have been responsible for his second nuclear bomb survival. With the city desolate and lack of doctors, he suffered from fever for weeks.
After the war, he worked as a translator for the American occupation forces, those responsible for the attack that changed his life and destroyed the lives of thousands. He has also worked as a teacher and later returned to work at Mitsubishi.
During his lifetime Yamaguchi became an advocate for nuclear disarmament, wrote books and documentaries about his experience and the experience of others who survived the nuclear bomb in both cities.
He even assisted James Cameron and Charles Pellegrino in making a film about nuclear weapons. He lived with his wife and had several children during his lifetime. His wife left early in 2008 at the age of 88.
Yamaguchi lost his hearing in his left ear, went bald, had cataracts and acute leukemia because of the incidents involving the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs. Her daughter comments that she saw her father wearing bandages all the time during his childhood.
The last train from Hiroshima
Although Tsutomu Yamaguchi is 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 taking a train to Nagasaki is in the book written by American scientist Charles Pellegrino. If you want to acquire this and other books about the Hiroshima case, we will leave it below:
If you liked the article, we would appreciate it if you share it on social media and leave your comments. We cannot let this sad story die, we must always remember this tragic case that completely changed Japan.
To finish, let's leave a video about Tsutomu Yamaguchi: