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August 6, 2020, 05.07 PM

"For me the war isn’t over,” Kodama said in an interview. “Even 75 years later, we continue to suffer because of radiation. ... And nuclear weapons still exist.”

On Aug. 6, 75 years ago, the seven-year-old Kodama saw a flash in the sky from her elementary school classroom. Shards of broken glasses rained down on her.

On the way home, her left shoulder bleeding as her father carried her on his back, she saw a girl, badly injured, looking up at her. Even today she is pained by the girl’s face.

She lost her favorite cousins within weeks of the bombing, then her parents, brothers and even her daughter.

All died of cancer or from the radiation exposure. Kodama has lived in fear that she would be next.

There were also years of discrimination and humiliation.

One day, when she went to a clinic and showed her medical certificate, a receptionist noted her status as a bombing survivor out loud, and another patient sitting next to Kodama moved away.

“I still feel hurt from the discrimination; that is what sits the heaviest in my heart” she said.

(Writer: Mari Yamaguchi) 


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