86 year old Atomic bomb survivor shows his scars from the 1945 bombing of Nagasaki

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The dropping of atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan by the American air force in 1945 during the World War II will always be remembered as one of the most devastating incidents in history of mankind.
Whatever explanation is given to justify the dropping of the bombs may not be sufficient enough for the hundreds of thousands of people who died on those 2 fateful days and millions who suffered irreparable damage not only to their bodies, but also to their minds.

These people were caught in a war that they didn’t want and paid the cost of something that their governments and monarchy did. There are many survivors of the twin blasts of 1945 and one such survivor Mr Sumitery Taniguchi, who is 86 years old showed people something that he wishes doesn’t happen to anyone else again.

1 The story of Sumitery Tanaguchi

Mr Sumiteri Tanaguchi is a 86 year old pensioner who was badly injured in the second atomic bomb blast that devastated the city of Nagasaki on 9th August 1945.

Mr Tanaguchi was just 16 at the time of the blast and was thrown from his bicycle and his teenage body was nearly torn apart with skin hanging from his back, shoulder and arm. He wandered for three days for medical help in the same condition. Mr Tanaguchi was severely injured in the blast and had to remain in the bed for 21 months to complete the process of healing.

On the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings, he decided to reveal his scars as part of his work with the Nagasaki survivors’ group that he leads, in the struggle against nuclear proliferation. He and his group hope that no one will ever again suffer the pain of a nuclear blast.

The story of Sumitery Tanaguchi

Image Source: www.inquirer.net

2 Injuries suffered by Mr Tanaguchi

That fateful day of 9th August 1945 completely changed the life of Sumitery Tanaguchi. In the after math of the blast, Mr Taniguchi’s back was torn apart as he was thrown from his bicycle as he worked as a letter carrier. He was just over a mile from the epicenter of the blast in Nagasaki.

He had to spend the next 21 months lying on his stomach as he continued to receive treatment for his burned back, decomposing flesh and exposed bones.Drifting in and out of consciousness, he could hear nurses walking in the hallway outside his room, asking one another if the boy inside was still breathing.

As a result of lying immobile for so long, his teenage arm bones grew and blocked the joint, disabling his arm for the rest of his life. Today also, his wife has to rub moisturiser into his scars every morning to relieve the irritation, while his three rotten ribs press on his lungs and make it difficult for him to breathe easily.

Injuries suffered by Mr Tanaguchi

Image Source: www.ziarulevenimentul.ro

3 The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945

The allied forces comprising of the United States, the Soviet Union and the Great Britain wanted the Empire of Japan to surrender unconditionally after the Nazi Germany had signed its instrument of surrender on May 8th 1945.

But the Japanese refused to surrender at any cost. America had successfully tested the first ever atomic bomb in July 1945 under the Manhattan project and the president of the United States at the time Harry S. Truman decided that they should use the atomic bomb to pressuring Japan into surrendering.

Therefore, America dropped 2 atomic bombs codenamed Little Boy and Fatman on Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively on 6th and 9th August 1945. The resultant blasts killed at least 129,000 people on the spot and millions suffered due to the radiation burns and poisoning. It remains one of the most deadly and thankfully the only use of nuclear weapons in human history.

The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945

Image Source: www.wikimedia.org

4 The Nagasaki survivors’ group

As mentioned above, Mr. Tanaguchi revealed his scars as part of his work with the Nagasaki survivors’ group that he leads, in the struggle against nuclear proliferation. He and his group hope that no one will ever again suffer the pain of a nuclear blast.

‘I want this to be the end,’ said Mr Taniguchi, weak-voiced and struggling for breath.

After dropping the bombs, the American planes dropped more than three million leaflets over the country as an insult. These leaflets were filled with warnings to the tired and scared Japanese people that US will use more atomic weapons and that too repeatedly, unless they ended the war.
Six days later, Japan surrendered.

The Nagasaki survivors' group

Hiroshima left and Nagasaki right
Image Source: www.wikimedia.org

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