Translated A-bomb book reminds us of the horrors of war


By Mie Sakamoto

A recently released English translation of a Japanese book about 321 junior high school students killed by the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima is a poignant reminder of the inescapable suffering and militaristic indoctrination of youth at the time.

“Ishibumi” — meaning “cenotaph” — was first published in 1969, following a Hiroshima Television Corp. documentary about the bombing, and the first English translation of the text was published last December.

The motivation to produce an English edition almost five decades after the original was released came after former U.S. President Barack Obama visited Hiroshima on May 27 last year, said the book’s editor, Naomi Saito. At the time, outspoken Japanese writer Ayako Sono wrote in a newspaper column that “Ishibumi” was the “only book” that needs to be given to the president. Read more

Source: Japan Times

 

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