Mitchie Takeuchi’s mother and grandfather survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima 70 years ago. Miyako Taguchi’s parents survived the bombing of Nagasaki three days later. Takeuchi and Taguchi both are part of the second generation (and in Takeuchi’s case also the third generation) of hibakusha—the Japanese term for people who were exposed directly to one of the two bombings or their radioactive fallout or who were exposed while still in their mothers’ wombs. Although many hibakusha have been reluctant or unwilling to discuss the bombings with their children, some have not only talked about their experiences with family members but also become active in groups such as Hibakusha Stories—which brings survivors into New York City schools to discuss their experiences with students. In this pair of interviews, Takeuchi and Taguchi talk about what it’s like to be the child of a survivor and why they feel a responsibility to share their family stories and to speak out about nuclear weapons.
The Bulletin elevates expert voices above the noise. But as an independent, nonprofit media organization, our operations depend on the support of readers like you. Help us continue to deliver quality journalism that holds leaders accountable. Your support of our work at any level is important. In return, we promise our coverage will be understandable, influential, vigilant, solution-oriented, and fair-minded. Together we can make a difference.