The Asahi Shimbun: “Memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – Messages from Hibakusha” is the website managed by the Asahi Shimbun
post date : 2012.04.01
“Memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – Messages from Hibakusha” is the website managed by the Asahi Shimbun to record the experiences of A-bomb survivors. The website was established in November 2010, based on responses to the 2005 Asahi Shimbun survey conducted in cooperation with the Japan Confederation of Atomic and Hydrogen Bomb Victims Organizations to study the effects of radiation 60 years after exposure, as well as on survivors’ memoranda contributed later. Messages and accounts from 1,651 survivors, together with articles and other materials, were posted on the website.
In order to share those experiences of survivors with the world, the English version of the website was set up last September.
Over 400 volunteers, both in Japan and overseas, cooperated in translating and proofreading documents. The English version contains 377 memoranda. Accounts are classified into those dealing with chokubaku (immediate exposure at or near the center of explosion) and those dealing with nyushi hibaku (exposure that resulted from going into the vicinity of the hypocenter). The survivor’s age and the distance from the hypocenter are shown when they can be identified. Notes compiled by the alumnae association of Hiroshima Jogakuin were also added to the website.
This bilingual website breaks through language barriers to enable the reader to experience the reality of radiation exposure and feel the survivors’ desire for peace. The website also has links to various museums and research institution sites promoting peace and offers much information on topics related to the atomic bomb or peace.
Survivors have high hopes for this website and have expressed their happiness as their thoughts can be more readily conveyed to people all over the world. The website has been made possible through the cooperation of people around the world. At one university, class time was used to translate messages from the website into English, and at a high school, a group of students took part in English translation, which has led to a greater awareness of atomic bombs among the younger generation. A volunteer translator from Michigan said, “It’s my honor to be part of the passing on of memories beyond borders and generations.”
The Asahi Shimbun would like to contribute to energizing the international debate on the abolition of nuclear weapons by sharing the reality of radiation exposure and survivors’ wishes for peace in the world.