Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1715/

His parents had little hope that he had survived the atomic bomb

My parents were in Poston, Arizona as I mentioned. When the A Bomb was dropped, evidently they got hold of a newspaper, which had the aerial view of…totality of [the] Hiroshima area. And within that aerial view, there were rings of destruction. Like the center painted in red would be the area of total destruction. Then maybe...quarter miles later it would be 75%. I'm kind of making up the percentage, then it kind of expands out. But the problem was that we were in the first ring of total destruction. And they could pinpoint where we were exactly, because it’s a junction of two major rivers. And they'd say whoa, that's where we were living, so they had little hope that we had survived.

However, they did initiate a search through various organization to find us. And it was through the American Red Cross, several months later, it wasn’t immediate, they told us that it took them quite a bit of time. I never found out exactly what quite a bit of time is, but I would think it’s measured in months, before they found out that we have survived.


atomic bomb atomic bomb survivors hibakusha Hiroshima (city) Hiroshima Prefecture Japan World War II

Date: September 3, 2019

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Masako Miki

Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

Interviewee Bio

Howard Kakita was born in 1938 in East Los Angeles, California. His family took him to Japan in 1940. His parents and younger brother came back to the United States in 1940, to take care of the family business, but Howard and an older brother, Kenny, stayed in Japan.

When the war broke out, his family in the U.S. were incarcerated in Poston, AZ. On August 6, 1945, the Atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima. Howard was 0.8 miles from the hypocenter and survived. He and Kenny came back to the U.S. and reunited with their family in 1948.

Howard pursued a career in computer engineering. After his retirement, he joined American Society Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivors (ASA) and has been actively sharing his A-bomb experience. (September 2019)

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Conditions of assembly centers

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Visit to assembly centers by E. Stanley Jones

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Postcards to Nisei soldiers

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Hiding what happened in camp

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Arrest of father

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Camp as a positive thing

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Mr. Finch, godfather of the 442nd

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Finding work in the assembly center

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Train ride to Jerome Relocation Center

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Atmosphere in his Merrill’s Marauders unit when surrounded by Japanese soldiers

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Finding his relative among Japanese prisoners

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