The Pain of Survival and Aunt Michie – Part I

In THE RED KIMONO, Mama returns to Hiroshima (after the bombing and after her release from Rohwer Relocation Center,) to find her parents. This blog post helps me to see what life might have been like for Sachi’s grandparents during and after the bombing.

Often, we don’t stop to look at all sides, or to consider how an event affected everyone–not just ourselves. It’s easy to accept what we learned from our history books as the ONLY truth, and without question. Thank you, Koji, for your poignant post which shows the history of Hiroshima from a different perspective.

Masako and Spam Musubi

img_0152_1_original Uncle Yutaka and darling little Aunt Michie in Hiroshima. Circa 1918.

Life in Hiroshima was uncertain and grueling in 1945 – especially for women and children.  It is a fact that nearly all the men up to the age of 35 had been taken by the Japanese military.  For many, it was truly day to day.

Little food, clothing and medical care.  It all went to the military…and then there were the B-29’s and the bombings.  Devils associated with being on the losing side of war.

But at 8:15 AM on August 6, 1945, my Aunt Michie’s already tough life would be cast into wretchedness to test her mortal soul.  She was in her farm’s field clearing old crops on that hot summer morning.  There was an intense flash of light then the atomic bomb’s shockwave traveling close to the speed of sound slammed into her.  She was catapulted and…

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