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Witnessing the atomic bombing of Hiroshima

And it was soon after that that Hiroshima was bombed. And, but that was the time that we didn't know what it was. But it was the most beautiful -- in the morning; it was the most beautiful orangey, pinkie, red. I mean, there was... I don't know what you call it. The whole sight was beautiful. Only to hear that it was a atomic bomb, all the buildings burning. Now we didn't see the cloud, but it was the skyline that was all red. But it was after you... hearing what had happened, it makes you choke to think that... and we didn't have any relatives living in Hiroshima so it didn't touch you to that degree, but however, the enormity of it all, we didn't know.


atomic bomb bombings bombs Hiroshima (city) Hiroshima Prefecture Japan

Date: August 3 & 4, 2003

Location: Washington, US

Interviewer: Alice Ito

Contributed by: Denshō: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

Interviewee Bio

Nisei female. Born December 30, 1927 in Seattle, Washington. Lived in Japan for fifteen months as a child, before returning to Seattle to attend junior high school. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, father was picked up by the FBI and taken to the Department of Justice camp at Missoula, Montana. Removed to the Puyallup Assembly Center, Washington, before being reunited with father at the Minidoka incarceration camp, Idaho. Family volunteered to leave for Japan in 1943 on the U.S. government's exchange ship, the USS Gripsholm. Attended high school in Japan, and participated in military and air raid drills. During the U.S.'s postwar occupation of Japan, attended Doshisha University and worked for a U.S. army station hospital library. Returned to the U.S. and enrolled at St. Mary's teaching hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. Denied redress because of expatriation to Japan, but succeeded in obtaining redress in 1996 after filing a class-action lawsuit.

*The full interview is available Denshō: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

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Howard Kakita

Overcoming trauma and speaking about his A-Bomb experience

(b. 1938) Japanese American. Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor

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Howard Kakita
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Howard Kakita

On telling his wife he had radiation sickness and his son’s cancer

(b. 1938) Japanese American. Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor

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Howard Kakita

His views on nuclear weapons

(b. 1938) Japanese American. Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor

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