Daughter of A-bomb survivor in U.S. attending peace ceremony, following in father’s footsteps to support survivors overseas

by Yumi Kanazaki, Staff Writer

Atsushi Endo served as president of a group of A-bomb survivors living in the United States and made great efforts to increase support for survivors. Mr. Endo died at the age of 84 in July of last year. His daughter, Nina Kadera, will attend this year’s Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony and renew her resolve to follow in her father’s footsteps with the belief that “Survivors are survivors no matter where they live.”

Mr. Endo was in the Nishitenma district (part of today’s Nishi Ward), about 1.3 kilometers from the hypocenter, when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. He suffered wounds to his legs and acute symptoms of radiation sickness. In 1953, while working for a trading firm, he moved to the United States. Nina, his first daughter, was born three years later. Her earliest memory of her father is how we worked hard to expand sales of soy sauce, which was derided as “bug juice” and shunned in those days. She said her father was energetic, and she was unaware of being the child of an A-bomb survivor.

But Ms. Kadera began to have strong feelings of discomfort over the fact that the atomic bombings were viewed in school as a celebrated part of U.S. history. She asked her father to tell her about the victims, but his reply was a curt “No.” But in 1998 he wrote down his account of the Hiroshima bombing and Ms. Kadera realized that her father had not really wanted to recall the awful tragedy he had experienced as a boy.

After becoming head of the survivors’ group in 2004, Mr. Endo visited Japan and called on the Japanese government to increase its support for A-bomb survivors living outside Japan. In March 2012, he filed a lawsuit, seeking full reimbursement of their medical expenses. Since his death, Ms. Kadera has been making efforts to support the lawsuit, but the Hiroshima District Court dismissed their claim in June. She is now preparing to appeal. She said it will not be easy to win the case, but she is determined to follow the example of her father, who worked for the benefit of all A-bomb survivors who reside outside Japan.

Ms. Kadera’s second son, 24, is a U.S. airman and has said that he is proud of his grandfather, who survived the atomic bombing. After working as an emergency medical technician, Ms. Kadera currently runs a financial advisors’ office with her husband. They live in the suburbs of San Francisco.

(Originally published on August 6, 2015)