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Survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bomb discuss the event and nuclear nonproliferation

BROADCAST: May. 31, 1982 | DURATION: 00:54:57

Synopsis

Discussing Hiroshima and nuclear nonproliferation with survivors of the Hiroshima bomb of August 6, 1945 and activists organizing against nuclear proliferation.

Transcript

Tap within the transcript to jump to that part of the audio.

OK

Studs Terkel As, uh, politicians and military men, presumably sane, talk calmly of a possible nuclear war, we have as guests around the microphone two survivors of a bomb that was a firecracker compared to what is available today for destroyers. Survivors, Hiroshima, the atom bomb that fell upon humans. Not something that Mr. Einstein contemplated. August 6th, 1945 and its Hideko Tamura, who's now living in the United States. Tammy, Tammy Friedman, Hideko Tamura, as well as, uh, Mr. Kito, Hajimi Kito who is visiting from Japan. There's also a student visiting Japan, who's leading an anti-nuclear bomb movement, Masami Nakajima and with them are two interpreters, [Yasu Hirasawa?] and Anne Terry, who has lived in Japan for some 20 years, and perhaps just their thoughts. They're recalling their time on the implications for today. We'll tell you about the mission indeed and the work of Mr. Kito in a moment as well as a young student, Masami Nakajima. This is in conjunction with the fact that, as you know, there will be a tremendous rally in Washington and a demonstration of perhaps a million people in front of the U.N. during the disarmament session on June 12th. And of this sometime during the conversation. In a moment, our guests and their reflections after this message. [pause in recording]

Woman Hiroshima Survivor [Japanese]

Woman Interpreter They were looking up in the sky trying to spot the airplane.

Woman Hiroshima Survivor [Japanese]

Woman Interpreter But and but and then she thought that there was a very big flash. In the sky, so she hit her face on the ground.

Woman Hiroshima Survivor [Japanese]

Woman Interpreter She remembers that she she must have been blown away with, by the impact.

Woman Hiroshima Survivor [Japanese]

Woman Interpreter And when she regained her consciousness, she couldn't find most of her friends. They were either blown to bits or burnt or

Woman Hiroshima Survivor [Japanese]

Woman Interpreter She says that all her clothes were torn away except the very undergarment, and her skin where she has all her burns, the skin was just peeled off and hanging from her body. When she has that on her arms and legs and on her face.

Woman Hiroshima Survivor [Japanese]

Woman Interpreter And she said it was so, such an intense heat that she jumped into the nearby river, the small river that was running through the city.

Woman Hiroshima Survivor [Japanese]

Woman Interpreter She said that the, that her friends were in the river. I don't think I can say. [pause

Studs Terkel I know this is difficult, hearing the voice of that young girl. It was 1962. The young woman who survived Hiroshima recalling that moment. And there was a song you sang before that. I was thinking, Tammy in hearing that voice, I suppose all sorts of -- I know this is difficult, but it has to be done. That you recall. You too were there.

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Yes, I was.

Studs Terkel What about that song that you and your colleagues around the table were singing, that children's song?

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Well, that was actually a much happier song of a happier time. It's a song sang by children and it's about coming home, because the sky is blazing now, the sun is setting, let us hold our hands together and be our [way?] home.

Studs Terkel So that was a happy children's song. You said the sky is blazing.

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Yes, in sunset.

Studs Terkel I was thinking of the irony, of course, of two different skies, both blazing.

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Yes, I I think Mr. Kito, probably who stayed on there, could also tell you about that.

Studs Terkel Mr. Kito, who, by the way, leading a movement, a signature campaign to abolish nuclear weapons and has gathered already I understand 30 million signatures have been gathered, and we'll we'll know more of the Japanese anti-nuclear -- 400,000 people showed up recently and Mr. Kito, perhaps to ask Mr. Kito, in hearing that young woman's voice. What is his first thought in his own memory?

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry When I heard that young woman's voice just now, I could immediately recall the the moment 37 years ago.

Studs Terkel Well, perhaps just reflect generally. You need not wait for questions, you know, thoughts that come to your mind. What was it -- do you recall? Of course, we live today when that atom bomb is just a firecracker compared to what is today.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry From my own experience, I would say that we -- in this day and age we're thinking too easily, too facilely about nuclear weapons, nuclear bombs.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry And we we seem to focus a lot upon the destructive power of the weapon itself.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry But even if one were to survive with all the residual radiation, tremendous amount of diseases and symptoms people will die eventually anyway, even after the fact.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry From my point of view, those who say that it will be safe enough if you can stay in a shelter for the time period, these are people who are talking without knowing the experiences of the hibakusha, and this is really just an illusion.

Studs Terkel The hibakusha are the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry That's right.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry There are four different kinds of hibakusha in Japan. Survivors.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry One is the one group would be the people who directly were affected.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry A second group would be those who came afterwards into the city limits where the bomb had been dropped, to either find relatives or friends or to help rescue the others.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry The third would be those who remained outside of the area, but who were taking care of people who were brought away from the city.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry And the fourth fourth group would be those who were in their mother's womb at the time, for all three of these groups in utero exposure.

Studs Terkel So

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry These are the four groups of people that we call hibakusha in Japan.

Studs Terkel Yeah, I'm going to ask of course, Mr. Kito as well as Tammy, how each group were affected, perhaps even personal. Tammy, your own personal experience. Your memory. You were a little girl

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Yes, I was in my home, which happened to be a very protective kind of a shelter for me, because my grandfather was an industrialist and we lived in a huge, on a huge estate, with very thick roof, very thick walls and then huge beams, and the house did not collapse to the ground, and the thickness of the wall protected me against the effects of radiation. Although I was affected, it was not as intensely as it might have been if I had lived in a smaller

Studs Terkel You were one of the fortunate few.

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura That's right.

Studs Terkel That's a rarity

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Excuse me.

Studs Terkel Could you perhaps as you're talking. You heard that young woman's voice before.

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Yes.

Studs Terkel Hibakusha. As you are.

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Yes. You noticed I sort of kind of a gave the baton to Mr. Kito and, uh, part of the reason was it's very difficult for me to brought back right into it emotionally. And and I think I needed to stand outside a little bit for a few minutes to kind of think about it.

Studs Terkel All right.

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Yes, which, as he was talking, I was given so I can tell you some things. Yes, I think that had it been myself 10 years ago or longer, I think I would just have walked out. I don't think I would have been able to really bear it. You know.

Studs Terkel This program, you mean?

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Well, listening to it. Listening to it. Yes. Uh, and I would have to have a very private time all to myself for quite a while. It is a very difficult kind of a thing emotionally to go back to it. And to some extent, you have to a little bit desensitize when you get talking about it. However, um, most of the survivors at the time did the very thing I was describing to you. The psychic numbing. And therefore, they were able to function enough if their body was able to bring themselves out of the chaotic situation. Uh, physically, it was the most horrendous devastating sight that one would ever I'm sure the people who experienced it would be -- never again will we ever see anything like that.

Studs Terkel I was thinking, Tammy, I know that. Why don't you just -- chime in whenever you feel up to

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura it. Yes,

Studs Terkel You're recalling this now publicly for the first time on the radio for some time, and the voice in the background is Masami Nakajima interpreting for Mr. Kito and the young student, [Yasi Hirasawa?] and Anne Terry, the other interpreter. I was thinking, since Mr. Kito, this to give Tammy time to to find her way of talking more about that moment. I want to ask about her mother.

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura That's all right.

Studs Terkel Mr. Kito, you're right in the middle of it. You, how old? You were a young man or a boy, young boy, 1945.

Studs Terkel [Japanese]

Anne Terry I was 19.

Studs Terkel You were 19. Can you recall? You heard the voice of your young fellow Hiroshiman, fellow hibakusha. Do you recall that? In your own words, remember what happened to you and your friends and others.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry I was there in the army at the time, and when the when the bomb was dropped, young children were coming to the area where I was, mostly.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry And I remember hearing lots of voices as we heard just now, because young children elementary school or junior high school children were coming to us for rescue.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry What I what I remember most is an agonizing scream, screams, asking for water.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry But the problem was that there were so many people, I mean you couldn't possibly try to provide water for a fraction of them, because -- but and it was just an impossibility, and they did die.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry And we had to work to carry these bodies and burn them, cremate them in some way because they were corpses now. Many hundreds.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry I still can hear that, those voices of the children very clearly in my mind.

Studs Terkel You know, the the atom bomb that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a, 1000th of the power of some of the missiles today. So it will be a be a thousand Hiroshimas.

Hajimi Kito

Anne Terry As, uh, politicians and military men, presumably sane, talk calmly of a possible nuclear war, we have as guests around the microphone two survivors of a bomb that was a firecracker compared to what is available today for destroyers. Survivors, Hiroshima, the atom bomb that fell upon humans. Not something that Mr. Einstein contemplated. August 6th, 1945 and its Hideko Tamura, who's now living in the United States. Tammy, Tammy Friedman, Hideko Tamura, as well as, uh, Mr. Kito, Hajimi Kito who is visiting from Japan. There's also a student visiting Japan, who's leading an anti-nuclear bomb movement, Masami Nakajima and with them are two interpreters, [Yasu Hirasawa?] and Anne Terry, who has lived in Japan for some 20 years, and perhaps just their thoughts. They're recalling their time on the implications for today. We'll tell you about the mission indeed and the work of Mr. Kito in a moment as well as a young student, Masami Nakajima. This is in conjunction with the fact that, as you know, there will be a tremendous rally in Washington and a demonstration of perhaps a million people in front of the U.N. during the disarmament session on June 12th. And of this sometime during the conversation. In a moment, our guests and their reflections after this message. [pause in recording] [Japanese] They were looking up in the sky trying to spot the airplane. [Japanese] But and but and then she thought that there was a very big flash. In the sky, so she hit her face on the ground. [Japanese] She remembers that she she must have been blown away with, by the impact. [Japanese] And when she regained her consciousness, she couldn't find most of her friends. They were either blown to bits or burnt or -- [Japanese] She says that all her clothes were torn away except the very undergarment, and her skin where she has all her burns, the skin was just peeled off and hanging from her body. When she has that on her arms and legs and on her face. [Japanese] And she said it was so, such an intense heat that she jumped into the nearby river, the small river that was running through the city. [Japanese] She said that the, that her friends were in the river. I don't think I can say. [pause I know this is difficult, hearing the voice of that young girl. It was 1962. The young woman who survived Hiroshima recalling that moment. And there was a song you sang before that. I was thinking, Tammy in hearing that voice, I suppose all sorts of -- I know this is difficult, but it has to be done. That you recall. You too were there. Yes, I was. What about that song that you and your colleagues around the table were singing, that children's song? Well, that was actually a much happier song of a happier time. It's a song sang by children and it's about coming home, because the sky is blazing now, the sun is setting, let us hold our hands together and be our [way?] home. So that was a happy children's song. You said the sky is blazing. Yes, in sunset. I was thinking of the irony, of course, of two different skies, both blazing. Yes, I I think Mr. Kito, probably who stayed on there, could also tell you about that. Mr. Kito, who, by the way, leading a movement, a signature campaign to abolish nuclear weapons and has gathered already I understand 30 million signatures have been gathered, and we'll we'll know more of the Japanese anti-nuclear -- 400,000 people showed up recently and Mr. Kito, perhaps to ask Mr. Kito, in hearing that young woman's voice. What is his first thought in his own memory? [Japanese] When I heard that young woman's voice just now, I could immediately recall the the moment 37 years ago. Well, perhaps just reflect generally. You need not wait for questions, you know, thoughts that come to your mind. What was it -- do you recall? Of course, we live today when that atom bomb is just a firecracker compared to what is today. [Japanese] From my own experience, I would say that we -- in this day and age we're thinking too easily, too facilely about nuclear weapons, nuclear bombs. [Japanese] And we we seem to focus a lot upon the destructive power of the weapon itself. [Japanese] But even if one were to survive with all the residual radiation, tremendous amount of diseases and symptoms people will die eventually anyway, even after the fact. [Japanese] From my point of view, those who say that it will be safe enough if you can stay in a shelter for the time period, these are people who are talking without knowing the experiences of the hibakusha, and this is really just an illusion. The hibakusha are the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. [Japanese] That's right. [Japanese] There are four different kinds of hibakusha in Japan. Survivors. [Japanese] One is the one group would be the people who directly were affected. [Japanese] A second group would be those who came afterwards into the city limits where the bomb had been dropped, to either find relatives or friends or to help rescue the others. [Japanese] The third would be those who remained outside of the area, but who were taking care of people who were brought away from the city. [Japanese] And the fourth fourth group would be those who were in their mother's womb at the time, for all three of these groups in utero exposure. So [Japanese] These are the four groups of people that we call hibakusha in Japan. Yeah, I'm going to ask of course, Mr. Kito as well as Tammy, how each group were affected, perhaps even personal. Tammy, your own personal experience. Your memory. You were a little girl Yes, I was in my home, which happened to be a very protective kind of a shelter for me, because my grandfather was an industrialist and we lived in a huge, on a huge estate, with very thick roof, very thick walls and then huge beams, and the house did not collapse to the ground, and the thickness of the wall protected me against the effects of radiation. Although I was affected, it was not as intensely as it might have been if I had lived in a smaller -- You were one of the fortunate few. That's right. That's a rarity Excuse me. Could you perhaps as you're talking. You heard that young woman's voice before. Yes. Hibakusha. As you are. Yes. You noticed I sort of kind of a gave the baton to Mr. Kito and, uh, part of the reason was it's very difficult for me to brought back right into it emotionally. And and I think I needed to stand outside a little bit for a few minutes to kind of think about it. All right. Yes, which, as he was talking, I was given so I can tell you some things. Yes, I think that had it been myself 10 years ago or longer, I think I would just have walked out. I don't think I would have been able to really bear it. You know. This program, you mean? Well, listening to it. Listening to it. Yes. Uh, and I would have to have a very private time all to myself for quite a while. It is a very difficult kind of a thing emotionally to go back to it. And to some extent, you have to a little bit desensitize when you get talking about it. However, um, most of the survivors at the time did the very thing I was describing to you. The psychic numbing. And therefore, they were able to function enough if their body was able to bring themselves out of the chaotic situation. Uh, physically, it was the most horrendous devastating sight that one would ever I'm sure the people who experienced it would be -- never again will we ever see anything like that. I was thinking, Tammy, I know that. Why don't you just -- chime in whenever you feel up to it. Yes, You're recalling this now publicly for the first time on the radio for some time, and the voice in the background is Masami Nakajima interpreting for Mr. Kito and the young student, [Yasi Hirasawa?] and Anne Terry, the other interpreter. I was thinking, since Mr. Kito, this to give Tammy time to to find her way of talking more about that moment. I want to ask about her mother. That's all right. Mr. Kito, you're right in the middle of it. You, how old? You were a young man or a boy, young boy, 1945. [Japanese] I was 19. You were 19. Can you recall? You heard the voice of your young fellow Hiroshiman, fellow hibakusha. Do you recall that? In your own words, remember what happened to you and your friends and others. [Japanese] I was there in the army at the time, and when the when the bomb was dropped, young children were coming to the area where I was, mostly. [Japanese] And I remember hearing lots of voices as we heard just now, because young children elementary school or junior high school children were coming to us for rescue. [Japanese] What I what I remember most is an agonizing scream, screams, asking for water. [Japanese] But the problem was that there were so many people, I mean you couldn't possibly try to provide water for a fraction of them, because -- but and it was just an impossibility, and they did die. [Japanese] And we had to work to carry these bodies and burn them, cremate them in some way because they were corpses now. Many hundreds. [Japanese] I still can hear that, those voices of the children very clearly in my mind. You know, the the atom bomb that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a, 1000th of the power of some of the missiles today. So it will be a be a thousand Hiroshimas. [Japanese] Exactly.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry I think it would be perhaps even worse than that.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Ann Terry I think that human beings would -- will not be able to survive.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry I think what would happen is that even if one were to survive, what would happen is you would be living the rest of your life from the polluted -- pollution of the Earth, from the pollution of the atmosphere, we would continue to suffer for the rest of our lives.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry My feeling is that we just simply have to tell people from our own experience what this can do, and that the greatest thing that we have to work toward is for survival, never to produce and deploy atom bombs.

Studs Terkel Sometime during this program, Mr. Kito, you and Hideko Tamura, Tommy [sic] Friedman, Tommy [sic] will also recount what happened to relatives, friends there. And also about the four -- how each of the four groups is affected. But there's a young student here, Masami Nakajima. There's -- who was born after the bombing of August 5th, '45. Is Masami from Hiroshima? Masami?

Anne Terry No, I'm not from Hiroshima.

Studs Terkel Could you tell us what is happening now among the young students? Because you were one of the leaders of the anti-nuclear weaponry student movement. A member of the

Masami Nakajima -- [Japanese]

Anne Terry Students now don't have any atomic bomb experience.

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry But what's happening now is that we're taught about Nagasaki and Hiroshima in our schools, elementary and junior high school classes.

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry And we go visit those cities on school excursions.

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry Through, in that way, we have been able to learn about the experiences of hibakusha.

Studs Terkel They're all students, by [the way?], when you say students, you're at the university in Tokyo. This apply to high school and elementary school students, too?

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry Yes, that's the case. Elementary and junior high and

Studs Terkel So they know. Tell me about what's happening now. The student move-- because you were one of the leaders of the group at which 400,000 gathered. May. Uh

Anne Terry Third.

Studs Terkel May. This -- what, a week ago? About about a week ago.

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry Yes, that's right. I was.

Studs Terkel What have you found? I was going to ask Masami Nakajima, how long you've been here in the United States on the tour?

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry Just about a week.

Studs Terkel A week. Have you -- I realize you're traveling quickly, so you haven't had a chance to talk to many Americans. Do you sense anything here? Curious as far as feeling is concerned?

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry What I what I have sensed so far is that the student sensitivity, their consciousness is not very high. That's what I gather.

Studs Terkel You know, I wonder, as as he says, that, Masami, as you say, that, see, this country has never been bombed. Nor has it been invaded. Nor is there rubble where once planes passed through. And so the big challenge is, how can people who have not suffered a similar experience be aware of the horrors of it?

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry What I believe is that if a nuclear war were to take place now, that there would be no winner, and there's no way to think of a winner in a nuclear war.

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry And that's true, that can be applied to America, too.

Studs Terkel Masami probably realized that many of the scientists, those I consider sane, agree with him, of course. That includes President Eisenhower's chief science adviser, George Kistiakowsky, who is considerably older than Masami. He believes that, as do indeed so many.

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry Our purpose for coming here beforehand, before the United Nations session takes place, is to travel with the hibakusha, as I have been doing here, to tell the people in America about the actual experiences of hibakusha, and to join hands with the American people, people in the movement.

Studs Terkel What does hibakusha mean? Hibakusha? Mr. Kito.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry The word hibakusha indicates those people who were exposed to the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Studs Terkel And I thought that was a literal translation. Yes.

Anne Terry Yes.

Studs Terkel Does it involve a crane, a symbol of the crane?

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry We have adopted the symbol of the crane as our trademark, so to speak. Um, and this is a, the symbol that you see is a paper folded crane, origami

Studs Terkel Among the many buttons that Mr.

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura You know the meaning of it, don't you? When the Japanese are terminally ill, if your friends can make 1000 cranes for you, you may get better.

Studs Terkel Ahh, that's the idea. A thousand cranes.

Studs Terkel And so there's a symbol of it there that Mr. Kito is wearing.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry And also including the meaning of praying and wanting for peace.

Studs Terkel I thought, if we just pause for a moment for a message and return, and we're talking to two hibakusha. What's plural for hibakusha?

Anne Terry No plural.

Studs Terkel No plural. Two

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Japanese don't have plurals.

Studs Terkel Two survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Hideko Tamura and uh, who lives here, by the way, western suburb, who's a therapist. I'll ask you about that, too, when -- as well as Mr. Kito, Hajimi Kito, and the young student leader of the anti-nuclear weapon removement [Yasu Hirosawa] of Tokyo, and two interpreters, Anne Terry and Masimi Nakajima, whose voice you hear in the background and we'll resume -- this is in connection with the peace rally before the United Nations disarmament gathering that's June 12th. And by the way, the Peace Council of Chicago and other groups, I imagine the American friends are all cooperating here. Uh, it's, they're having buses go, round-trip for 75 bucks. If you haven't got the dough, well, you just call up 6-6-3-0-8-7-9, they can work something out. The plane, by the way, the plane round-trip is this part of this charter flight, I'm sure, is $180 including lodging, which is, as you say, Tammy, a bargain. So we'll resume in a moment with recollections after this message. [pause in recording] So we're resuming with memories of a --of a moment that to us seems abstract, unfortunately, but very specific and traumatic to my guests around the table. Especially Hideko Tamura, who's Tammy Friedman married to an American living here, and Hajimi Kito, who was a young 19-year-old guy then. You were a very little girl then.

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Yes, I was eleven years old.

Studs Terkel Now, you were 11. Now, perhaps, could you recall, you said -- remember we sang a song in the beginning?

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Yes.

Studs Terkel And you said another song came to your mind.

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Oh, um, this was in conjunction, not at the moment of this horrendous event, but I was -- as I was driving today to be with you this morning, I was, of course, looking back of the time 37 years ago. And the thing that came out most was I was thinking about the time I was a few days later, when I, uh, was by myself looking for my mother, and uh, this is sort of skipping what happened to me, but it was a, it was one of the hardest things that I have ever done, going through places amongst the people who were not getting the aids. I've heard comments made, incidentally, that when the bomb was dropped in in Hiroshima, the surrounding communities were intact, therefore, could give aid, and the painkillers and medications and food and so forth. It was -- nothing could be so inaccurate as as this, uh, we had very, very little help. It was just completely overwhelming to any community resources because, you know, we had very depleted resources to begin with, people were barely having food to eat for themselves, and enclosing themselves. And even for myself, I didn't even get a drink, a cup of tea to be held. All I had was about five grains of dried beans in my hand that I clutched for that day. Anyway, and I was well enough to be on my feet. Go back to what I had been saying. Uh, so many people were laying on the spaces where they could possibly like school yards or other public places, and I was going around looking from place to place, calling for my mother and asking, "If you hear, if you are there, please answer me," you know, and my thought of course, was I, I would be devastated if somebody answered "Yes," because I wouldn't have known what to do. And to help. And anyway, and, uh, and yet, you know, a child is desperately looking for her mother, and, uh, to feel like I could be doing something because I felt so hopeless and helpless. I, I devised something in my own head, and I thought I was playing sort of like a magic. I thought I would sing some lullabyes or some songs that she loved singing. She used to sing to me, and I said to, in my head, "God, I ask you now, I would hum these songs that she used to sing to me, and would you sort of like a by a wind carry the tune and comfort her as if she could hear it?" And that's the time I was kind of remembering, and I believe it was because it was one of the hardest experiences. And although, you know, the business of psychic numbing and desensitizing and that help people function, I remember really crying and sobbing as I was singing. That's the time I think I came back to my feelings, and probably in later years kind of helped me, see, you know, that I didn't completely numb myself. And perhaps a part of the theme that came through as my, uh, effort in trying to be helpful to other people and helping other people with their pains.

Studs Terkel Do you remember the song?

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Well, there were several ones. If, if you want me to, I'll sing it for her again. All right? And if any of you remember the songs, you help me too, you, you sing it for my mother again, will you? One was about going through a Kamakura beach. You know, Kamakura is filled with Japanese histories all through the years. And my mother and I used to

Studs Terkel -- It's

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura It's a beach near Tokyo, you know, we were from Tokyo, although we happened to be in Hiroshima at the time. And we used to walk along the beach and base and collect seashells and it had lots of memories. And I thought she would kind of like that. Okay, it goes like this: [pause in recording] The song goes back to remembering.

Studs Terkel Oh, beautiful song. That's the one you were the 11 year old girl, and so I take it familiar song. Mr. Kito knows that, too.

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Yes, yes.

Studs Terkel Did you find your mother?

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura No, uh, she she's still listed among the missing. Although my father ran into a woman who thought that she knew where my mother might have fallen. My mother had to be with the, uh, a group of the people of the block group. You know, we had what was called [Japanese], the neighborhood block groups were organized, and because there was the a mass evacuation in the city blocks, you know, the certain blocks had to evacuate, there was no no choice about staying, perhaps, or they just had to move. And so there were empty houses all over, and they had to be taken down because it was fire hazard. You know, for incendiary bombs, it would just simply burn, and my mother, uh, from our family, was the one who had to go. So she left, like, 7:30 in the morning, and the location where she was was very close to the center of the explosion, but, she was in a building watching after I understand lunches for the people for who were outside. And when the bomb exploded, this woman was not too far from her. And, uh, she, the woman had small children, and she just bent over to protect her children. My mother with the flash, put her hands over her ears and then ran inside. And then she saw the concrete falling on my mother. And it -- this tale was told to my father about a week -- excuse me, about a month after the explosion. And it's it's prob -- most likely that this -- she also died, but my father went back to the place where she took her. She thought it was close to the building where they were, and he said there were a number of remains, but they were either, you know, burned or changed so much that it was very difficult to tell which one might have been, so he collected little bones from each remains and brought home, and we kind of buried this as my mother.

Studs Terkel Mr. Kito, I know you've been listening to to Tammy. I suppose your, your own -- what about your family or friends?

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry All my family were in the city of Nagoya, so none of my family were injured by these bombs.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry But my friends in the army with me, there there's no trace of what happened to them. We don't know what happened to them.

Anne Terry [Japanese]

Anne Terry But the thousands of people who came to the place where I was at the time, from about the next day, I would say from about the seventh of August, thousands of maggots would infest their wounds, their injuries.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry And as the maggots would squirm on the surface of these injuries, it was very painful for these survivors.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry And they would scream to us, to ask us, they would plead with us, "Please take the maggots off our bodies."

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry But when there are maggots from head to toe on all these bodies

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry It was impossible for me, one soldier, to try to help these hundreds of people.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry We consulted with the doctor, the military doctor.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry And all the medications had been used up. There was no supply left.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry And we asked him, "What should we do? What should we do about this problem?"

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry And the doctor said

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry This is impossible. This is, you know, we can't possibly do anything. So we should sterilize it with salt water, sterilize their wounds with salt water.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry So we boiled water in a large pot.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry And put in a whole jug full of salt.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry And since it was the whole bod-- the entire bodies that were infested

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry We just used a broom, we couldn't possibly be doing each part of the body with our fingers. We just took a broom and took -- dipped that in the salt water and just painted over the bodies with a broomstick.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry Then children who had been lying there unable to move just leaped up.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry And in the local dialect, they would say, "I'm going to run. I have to run."

Mr. Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry And I still remember that scene very clearly.

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura "Hasido" means "hurts."

Anne Terry Oh, I'm sorry. In the Hiroshima dialect, it means it hurts. It hurt.

Studs Terkel It

Anne Terry Hashido, yeah, the word. Thank you.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry And since I was a military man in Hiroshima at the time from Nagoya, I didn't understand that dialect.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry And I and I was saying, you know, "Take care of yourself, you know, come to," I thought they were saying that they had to go run. So I was trying to hold them in place and trying to keep them still since I didn't understand their dialect.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry Then shortly they died. One by one.

Mr. Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry And of course, there were no family members of these children and other people to take back their their dead and injured.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry And what we did was to take a take the timber from buildings nearby, there was a shooting range nearby, and we built up a pyre. A funeral pyre to burn these corpses.

Studs Terkel I suppose -- how does one -- I suppose, Tammy, this this this scene that Mr. Kito described is familiar to you?

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Yes, because I was going through those places looking for my mother.

Studs Terkel What happens then, to those who survive? You mentioned the four groups, Mr. Kito. Oh by the way, Masami, we didn't mean to neglect you, you know, but this is -- did you, did you know, did you know some of your colleagues? I suppose it was grandparents or parents were from that area?

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry No, I don't.

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry But there are plenty, many many young people in Japan who don't know about the hibakusha's experience.

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry But there are second-generation hibakusha.

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry Which means that their mothers were hibakusha.

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry The second generation hibakusha that I'm thinking of now is a person who is not very strong. He's not. He's a little weak in his own constitution.

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry And there is also some social discrimination in Japan against hibakusha. Second generation hibakusha as well.

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry What I mean is in terms of marriage and employment opportunities, there is discrimination against them.

Studs Terkel You mean there is discrim-- in marriage because of the fear that perhaps it might be genetic? Is that the point?

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry That's right. Yeah,

Studs Terkel Do you know a number of them, so physically they've been affected. Second generation. But there, but there is employment discrimination, too?

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry That's right.

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry There are several examples of members of my own group, the association that we have formed of hibakusha, not only the members, but the children of these members have been refused employment because they are hibakusha.

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry And there are many among them who don't want it known that they are hibakusha.

Studs Terkel So it affects a society in every way, doesn't it, physically, health, socially, politically? Every way. Mr. Kito.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry That's right.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry My own feeling is that it's really it doesn't really help to advance the cause when you when you hide the fact that you're a hibakusha. That this is something that you have to try to reflect upon and get away.

Studs Terkel You say that also there are young young Japanese children who don't know about this? Who don't know about this?

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry Yes, that's right.

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Masami Nakajima Sure, there are children in Japan who don't know about the atomic bombings.

Studs Terkel You know I was thinking of several things come to my mind, something that Tammy said about psychic numbing. It's a phrase used by the American psychiatrist who was there, Robert Jay Lifton, when he visited Hiroshima. Psychic numbing. What, you -- how would you describe it?

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura I I think it happens in the immediate situation as well as a prolonged periods of time when something is very devastating to your system. You're in a shock, and in order for your senses to function, it has to be somewhat desensitized. So you you might feel dazed and then you may be moving, uh, automatically practically, with simply the instinct to survive. But you may not have felt as if you were in the real situation. You feel like as if something this, I can't believe what's happening to me, but you're functioning. And then you remember as if you're looking at ah, the television, something detached, outside of your very subjective feeling senses.

Studs Terkel So that has to do then with suppressing.

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Yeah, and detaching yourself

Studs Terkel -- And

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura From the impact

Studs Terkel It's an unhealthy

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Yes.

Studs Terkel To be detached completely.

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Yeah.

Studs Terkel To survive.

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Yeah, yeah.

Studs Terkel Unhealthy at the same time to survive without, I suppose, going crazy.

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura That's right.

Studs Terkel Mr. Kito. Does that ring a bell to you? That phrase, that idea that emotion. Did you experience that? You've been in the middle of the battle, I understand that.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry What happened to me was that I didn't, I couldn't and didn't think of myself as transporting corpses when I was going through that task of cremating them, but that I was just carrying an object, some thing.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry So how I was, I was thinking about, well, okay, today I carried x number of corpses. This is what I did today. This is how objectively I felt about it.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry What happened was that any sense of sympathy or, uh, pathos about what's happened to these human beings, that was just blown away somewhere. I was just just doing the task.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry And I needed a very long, pretty long period of time in order to return to a sort of normal state.

Studs Terkel I know that, Tammy, you Hideko, work as a therapist, too. In your work is there a -- did you also deal with people who have had this experience?

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura There is a commonality in the consequences, the effects of a survival experience, survival over a death encounter, so that I have been able to help not great many, a large population because these rare cases, but in different circumstances when people had the survival experience over death encounter. Uh, and it actually includes a large uh, actually, when you think of, for instance, like someone losing, uh, you know, parents, children, uh, by a drastic incident, or maybe by terminal illness and having a terribly difficult time, I've been able to work very effectively at helping these people.

Studs Terkel You know, before we went on the air, you said something about there was a period of and I suppose is the key to this, a period of survivor, you experiencing guilt.

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Oh, yes. Uh huh. Um, I understood intellectually from many researchers that one of the ways that we integrate our -- this kind of experiences is taking over some feeling of guilt for having survived while others died in a terrible way. And, um, I guess I was no exception. I had a feeling of guilt. I had a quite a core depression about that for a long, long time. But, um, in sorting these feelings out, it was not until quite many years later I truly understood by my body feelings, why I was feeling guilty, and uh, the way I found out the contents of my feeling of guilt was through experience of hypnosis. I had learned this mode of treatment some time ago and one of the ways I tested how effective or helpful it might be was to use it on myself. And I went through a hypnosis, and hypnotized myself and relived, uh, the time of the event of Hiroshima explosion. And at that time, rather than remembering it as if one, I'm seeing it on the stage or some screen and hearing only really very loud sounds like exploding a munition dump or you know, I began to hear smaller voices, and uh, smaller sounds that I heard in the background calling for help that I hadn't really heard. And, uh, I saw more things back coming back more vividly than my actual recollection of the time. And then I was able to say truly, this was why I felt guilty, and that I can really say it was very, very sad that I wasn't able to help them.

Studs Terkel Mr. Kito, does what Tammy say, does that ring a bell with you? These feelings that she had.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry Yes, certainly.

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry And the way I've come to to take this is to think that the people who have died are calling upon us survivors to not make a meaningless waste out of their deaths, to use their deaths to to carry on the meaning of the reason why they died, so in order to abolish all nuclear weapons. That is how I have been able to change the guilt into activity.

Studs Terkel Of course. So it's, that's what does it, so you are here now, that's why you're visiting the United States and why Tammy, why Hideko Tamura, Friedman is here on this program. Masami Nakajima, of course. And we're talking. As we're talking in connection with the gigantic peace rally for the United Nations, a disarmament conference on June 12th, on a Saturday, I notice in yesterday's paper that the State Department has denied visas to 300 anti-nuclear protesters, including some from Japan. And so, as you see, there's a long way to go here. There's a question, how does one deal with this absolute, brutish kind of insensitivity, a madness, really, you see. And so this is why I suppose you're, you've been traveling through the United States. I haven't had, I asked Masami his his reactions to being -- you've been here a very short time, too. What have you -- what is your feeling about people you've met here? You've met a wide variety. I hope -- you may not. I hope -- Mr. Kito. What do you sense here?

Hajimi Kito [Japanese]

Anne Terry I have come here with Mr. Nakajima, so we've been here the same length of time, but as I have been talking with people, meeting with groups, I have found that there is a lot to be encouraged about. They have helped to encourage our cause. And many people have welcomed us.

Studs Terkel Of course, Tammy, you live here, you live in the western suburb.

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Yes.

Studs Terkel What's been your -- tell me. What about your suburbanites? Fellow suburbanites?

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Well, you mean in relation to

Studs Terkel This. About this. Any reaction? Whenever you bring up the subject.

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura I must make a confession, Studs. I have not been active in any form of a peace movement. And the reason for that is that it has been really very painful and difficult for me. Takes my emotional toll, so that I'm not very open to discussing. Yeah, uh, something happened to me, I think this time when I was asked to participate in the media in sharing my experience, I for some reason said "Yes." And this is for the very first time, uh, that I, you know, discussed so closely. I have been on another shows, I have been -- I spoke at Rockefeller Chapel yesterday. I've never done this in so close the time discussing and sharing my experiences. And and I hope it's all right for me to also include, I'm not doing this -- some people seem to have felt that I'm discussing my experience in the indictment of some politicians or some policies. I'm not doing this for that. I am neither for nor against any of the political leaders. I think the military student strategists have their own grounds and so forth and what not. What I like to say is that I want everyone to have as much full information so that when you take a grounds of being a military strategist and do what they have to do, know that you can be responsive for that decision and know that the consequences would be this. If they were fully aware on the basis of the information we can pass on to you and can decide for it, all right, you know, that's your decision. You go with it, but you are fully informed and you are responsive to yourself. And to your own descendants for the decisions you make. And I'm not indicting anyone.

Studs Terkel You're asking, of course, fair enough. You're asking people to know

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura That's right.

Studs Terkel What it's like. So we hear from you, your experiences and from Mr. Kito, his experiences, and the assumption is there's a fellow human

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura That's right.

Studs Terkel Who can by just use of his imagination, not brilliant, just imagination.

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura Yes.

Studs Terkel Simple imagination.

Hideko "Tammy" Tamura I heard something wonderful last night that one of the scientists said, "If, you know, if we worked for the peace like we worked for the building of the nuclear arms that was used, you know, the deadlines, let's now get all the talents and abilities together and work on the peace."

Studs Terkel Well, that's what this round table if you call it, this this gathering here and what the New York June 12 rally is all about. Perhaps just, you know, as you're talking, remember you opened with a song you sang? Since we're talking about a life wish, as against a death wish, certainly another children's song you remember, your way to close this program. Before that, just to remind the audience that there buses going to this huge, perhaps the greatest peace rally in our time. June 12th in New York. It's 75 bucks round trip, and if you haven't the dough, you call the Peace Council, they'll work something out. And there's a plane trip, 180 round trip, including lodgings, 6-6-3-0-8-7-9 is the number to call. I'll save that number. And so, what's a way to, uh, you Tammy Hideko Tamura Friedman, to Mr. Hajimi Kito, to Masami Nakajima, and to Anne Terry, of course. Thank you. And [Yasu Hirasuwa?]. Thank you all five very much here, under the auspices of the Chicago Peace Council, and you can add a million and a half church groups as well in feeling and neighborhood groups, and is there a song? That comes to your mind even -- and we'll close with, we'll close with this song. What is, what is the Japanese word? What is the Japanese, and what is the Japanese word for peace?

Masami Nakajima [Japanese]

Anne Terry We have a song that is a peace song in Japan, and the words are basically that we are not ever going to repeat, allow a nuclear bomb to be repeated.

Studs Terkel So we'll hear that song now.

Anne Terry We'll try to

Studs Terkel From a very improvised choir. What's the word for peace, Anne?

Anne Terry Heiwa.

Studs Terkel Hey-wah?

Anne Terry Heiwa.

Studs Terkel Heiwa, ladies and gentlemen. And now

Anne Terry [Japanese]

Studs Terkel The song. And [we prepare?] for here.

Anne Terry [Japanese]

Studs Terkel Okay. Thank you very much.

Anne Terry [Japanese]