Daughters of the bomb: my reckoning with Hiroshima, 75 years later

On the 75th anniversary of the A-bomb, a Japanese American writer speaks to one of the last living survivors – and traces connections from Malcolm X to the fight to end nuclear war

I keep a red file folder, its edges faded from nearly three decades of exposure to dust and light. Inside, the title words I typed in 1991: “The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima.” It is the first research paper I ever wrote. Tucked inside of the folder’s front flap are three stapled index cards, each with reference titles written in smudged pencil. The first book listed is the one that mattered to me most: the journalist John Hersey’s 1946 nonfiction classic Hiroshima. The book’s scenes, vivid and wrenching, are lodged inside my memory. Particularly this one, about the Rev Kiyoshi Tanimoto, pulling bomb victims from a sand pit: “He reached down and took a woman by the hands, but her skin slipped off in huge, glove-like pieces.”

I know that a single soul can hold within it two opposing sides of the same war. I know too that one side always wins

Neutrality is not a stance on racism. There cannot be racists on one side, anti-racists on the other

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