Sixty years after the world’s first atomic bombing, on Hiroshima in western Japan, survivors are vowing to keep the memories alive. Ahead of the start of official commemorations, they have been showing children around the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The average age of the survivors is now well over 70. But the exhibits will continue reminding the world of the horrors they experienced, for example how the blast killed thousands of people instantly. At the museum, nine-year-old Mikoto says: “I learnt here how difficult life was in the past when there was war and thought how sad it was that all these people got sick.” Many bomb survivors hope their experiences will ensure Japan maintains its pacifist stance. Another Japanese schoolgirl looking at the exhibition said: “I wish the war had not happened. But I heard from a friend that Japan had actually started the war so in a way I think Japan is at fault.” It is hard to tell how many survivors or “hibakusha” there are; many kept quiet because of the discrimination they faced from Japanese society. But others are determined to keep recounting what they lived through.
Hiroshima survivors pass on memories of first atomic bombing