On August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was released over Hiroshima, Japan killing 70,000 people which was 30% of the population and completely destroying a huge part of the city. Shigeyoshi Marimoto was a kitemaker who was visiting his relatives and happened to be just half a mile away from ground zero when the bomb exploded. Only few people who were that close to the explosion survived and Marimoto and his relatives were lucky to be one of them.
As their house had been destroyed, they decided to go to Marimoto’s in his home town of … Nagasaki. They managed to board one of the few trains leaving Hiroshima and traveled the 190 miles distance to arrive in Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. That was the exact day the second deadly atomic bomb was released, this time over Nagasaki. Marimoto and his family survived this atomic blast as well but, reportedly, so did another 160 people who had also left Hiroshima about the same time Marimoto’s family did.
The ‘double bomb-affected people’ ,as the survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki are often referred to, have treated as second-class citizens for decades. The main reason most of those people refused to speak about the traumatic events was the fact that they were often discriminated due to people being scared their bizarre illness might be contagious. They suffered from fatigue and anxiety due to being exposed to radiation and were frequently denied employment once people found out about them being bomb survivors. It was not until the 1950s when the Japanese government started providing free medical care for those people and they began to speak openly about their devastating experiences.