Library of Testimonies by Atomic Bomb Survivors

Introduction

Mushroom Cloud taken by the US Army
(Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum)

The time was 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945. That was when the American military dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
In an instant, Hiroshima became a city of death. Many lives were taken in the destruction. The weapon produced a massive amount of radiation, a powerful bomb blast, and a surface temperature of 4,000 degrees Celsius at the hypocenter. Today, those who managed to live through it all still face discrimination and suffer from atomic bomb disease. The registry of atomic bomb victims published annually by the City of Hiroshima lists 303,195 individuals as of August 6, 2016.

Testimonial movies

Sixty years after the end of World War II, the Soka Gakkai Hiroshima Women’s Peace Committee embarked on an effort to preserve and record this history by collecting video footage of the war’s survivors telling their stories. The video recordings contain the testimonies of 186 people, who tell of such events as the atomic bombing, evacuations, the wartime mobilization of Japanese children, and the air raids. The contents were edited in 2006 and released as a DVD entitled “For the Sake of Peace: Women’s War Testimonies.” This was followed up by “Testimonies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Women Speak out for Peace,” an edited version of the DVD that features excerpts on tales of surviving the atomic bomb so as to urge the world to abolish nuclear weapons. This DVD is available in five languages: English, Spanish, French, Chinese (with subtitles in traditional and simplified characters) and Japanese. The video presents the accounts of four women.