“I ask younger people to never forget us and to understand the tragedy, absurdity and cruelty of the war so that nuclear weapons will be eliminated from the world as soon as possible.”
On the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, 16-year-old Lee watched the blue summer sky turned yellowish orange. He suffered burns on his face and neck that took four months to heal.
When he returned to work, co-workers stayed away, saying he had “A-bomb disease.” He decided not to tell anyone about the atomic bombing.
That would only “double” his suffering when he was trying hard to hide his Korean identity.
His parents talked in Korean and wanted him to learn the language, but he didn’t like going outside with them, fearing people would notice their Korean accent.
So Lee lived under a Japanese name, Masaichi Egawa, until eight years ago when he began speaking out.
“To tell my story, I had to explain why Koreans are in Japan,” he said. “Now I have nothing to hide.”
Keiko Ogura, 84
Remembering the atomic bombing and how she survived is painful, but Keiko Ogura is determined to keep telling her stories as she organizes English guided tours for foreign visitors at Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park.