The story of Tsutomu Yamaguchi is one of the most incredible and tragic of World War II. This Japanese engineer had the misfortune of being in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the nuclear attacks that Japan suffered in 1945, which makes him the only known man to have survived both atomic bombs.
Yamaguchi was born in Nagasaki in 1916 and was working for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Hiroshima when the first bomb hit on August 6th, 1945. Despite being only a few kilometers from the epicenter of the explosion, he managed to survive and returned to his hometown of Nagasaki just in time to witness the second bombing on August 9th of that same year.
“I saw a big mushroom-shaped cloud rising up to the sky. It was like a tornado, but it wasn’t moving. It grew and spread horizontally at its highest point.”Tsutomu Yamaguchi said this in an interview, years later.
Yamaguchi’s experience in both bombings was something that no one should ever have to live through. In Hiroshima, he suffered burns all over his body and was temporarily blinded. His eardrums were also ruptured and he suffered radiation injuries. Despite all this, he managed to crawl to a shelter and survived to tell his story. Only three days later, Fat Man, the second atomic bomb dropped by the United States, exploded in Nagasaki, just a few kilometers away from where Yamaguchi was located.
Yamaguchi’s story is so incredible that it seems like something out of a superhero movie. But what this man went through is beyond compare. Despite his story being known worldwide, many people still can’t believe that someone could survive two nuclear attacks.
The case of Yamaguchi is yet another example of the terrible consequences of war and of the human ability to withstand and survive the worst situations. Even though Japan surrendered shortly after the second bombing, the impact of these bombs is still felt today.
“Now I can tell young people my terrible story and everyone will know what I experienced even after I die.”Those were the words of Tsutomu in a Japanese television broadcast in 2008.
Despite surviving both nuclear bombings, Yamaguchi led a quiet and normal life after World War II. He continued to work for Mitsubishi for many years and retired in 1970. For much of his life, he never spoke about his experience in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
However, in the later years of his life, he became an influential voice in the global campaign for the elimination of nuclear weapons. After years of silence, he decided to share his story with the world and became a passionate advocate for peace and the elimination of nuclear weapons. In 2008, the Japanese government officially recognized him as the only person to have survived both nuclear attacks. He passed away in 2010 at the age of 93.
In an interview, Yamaguchi described his experience as a “nightmare”. He remembered seeing people jumping into the river to put out the flames, while others were covered in burns and sores. He also spoke about how nuclear weapons are a threat to all of humanity and how it is important to take measures to prevent them from being used in the future.
Today, the story of Tsutomu Yamaguchi is remembered as an example of human resilience and a warning about the dangers of nuclear weapons. As the threat of nuclear war continues to be a global concern, his legacy is more relevant than ever. We hope that his story continues to inspire people to work together for a more peaceful and nuclear-free future.
Feel free to read: Roy ‘The Spark Ranger’ Sullivan, the Lightning Rod Man.
Esta entrada también está disponible en: Español