"Hibakusha" is a Japanese term that refers to the survivors of the bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. This resource page connects with the testimony of Hibakusha and their message of peace to the Central Michigan University Community.
Past Hibakusha Testimonies at Central Michigan University sponsored by The Center for International Ethics:
I only have a little time left in my life, but I believe that communicating the truly inhumane horror of the atomic bomb is the only path to world peace, and to that end I intend to continue with my A-bomb testimony activities in Japan and overseas.
On April 21, 2021, during Earth Week (April 18-24, 2021) Hibakusha Kunihiko Iida presented his eye-witness testimony of the bombing of Hiroshima to the CMU Community via Zoom. Mr. Iida was 3 years old and at his Hiroshima home, 900 meters from the hypocenter, on August 6, 1945.
Mr. Iida lost his mother and his oldest sister to the bombing and was raised by his grandmother uncle, and aunts. His father had died earlier in the battle of Okinawa (1945). Mr. Iida is committed to sharing his witness of the bombing in Japan and overseas in the hope that no one endures the suffering as he did. To learn about Mr. Iida click here and here.
On October 21, 2020, Ms. Kiyomi Kono presented her witness to the Central Michigan University via Zoom. Students from CMU's Honors Program asked questions. The video of that event is above. We are most honored and humbled to hear Ms. Kono's witness.
Ms. Kono was born in 1931 in Asakita Ward, Hiroshima City. She was exposed to the atomic bombing when entering Hiroshima City as a 2d year student at a girls' school on August 7, 1945. She recorded her memories of the bombing in "A-bomb Drawings by Survivors". She also published a picture book "watashi wa wasurnai ("I will never forget that day"). She began providing her witness testimony in 2003 to junior high school students. Among those she has educated are U.S. students Missouri, Washington, Oregon and New Mexico.
Corpses of junior high school students piled up like lumber in "A-Bomb Drawings by Survivors" by Ms. Kiyomi Kono.
In 2014, we were blessed to learn from Ms. Sachiko Masuoka of Chicago. Ms. Masuoka, another Hibakusha, presented her witness of the bombings. Photos of that event are below.
Hibakusha testimony in 2014. Ms. Sachiko Masuoka, Hibakusha, provides her testimony to the Central Michigan University Community in 2014. Dr. Yuki Miyamoto author of "Beyond the Mushroom Cloud," joins her.
* We are so very deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Hibakusha Emiko Okada (1938-2021). Ms. Okada was scheduled to present her witness to the CMU Community on 4/21/21.
In his 2021 message for the annual raising of the Peace Flag, President Bob Davies acknowledged the passing of Emiko Okada. You can watch that message here.
We are grateful that Okada-san's testimony reached many people and has been preserved to benefit future generations. We send condolences to Ms. Okada's friends and family during this difficult time of mourning. To learn more about Ms. Okada, click here, and here.
The whole city of Hiroshima was wiped out. They say that 70,000 people died straight away, but it’s not like anyone ever counted them. It’s all just estimates. There are seven rivers running through the city and everyone just jumped into them, they could have been washed out to sea. No-one knows how many people died in Hiroshima. With just a single nuclear bomb, not just people, but many forms of life, flowers, trees, animals, they were all wiped out.