Historian publishes book about American A-bomb victims

by Michiko Tanaka, Staff Writer

Historian Shigeaki Mori, 71, a Hiroshima resident, has published a book that traces the American POWs who were killed in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The book, entitled “The Unknown History of American A-bomb Victims,” is a culmination of his 20-year research into U.S. victims of the bombing.

The book is 250 pages long and is based on information provided by witnesses and people who knew the soldiers. It recounts how the crew of a U.S. bomber, shot down while in flight, was held prisoner in Hiroshima, with 12 American soldiers dying as a consequence of the atomic bomb attack.

Mr. Mori’s book also includes the death certificates of two American soldiers who were exposed to the bomb’s radiation while being held at the Chugoku Military District Headquarters, photos of the soldiers, and other valuable materials he was able to obtain. In his book, Mr. Mori also touches on his interactions with the soldiers’ families and the grief they experienced.

Mr. Mori himself was exposed to the A-bomb roughly 2.5 kilometers from the hypocenter and later became aware of the deaths of the American soldiers held in captivity in the city. Since 1990, he has undertaken a painstaking investigation into the soldiers’ lives, collecting stories from witnesses and examining a massive amount of material. He then began to write the book five years ago, dismayed by the fact that no progress had been made in halting the proliferation of nuclear weapons. “By reading about the American A-bomb victims, information that hasn’t been made public before, I hope people will see just how inhumane war really is,” said Mr. Mori.

Kojinsha Corporation has issued 3000 copies of Mr. Mori’s book, at a list price of 2000 yen.

(Originally published on July 25, 2008)