Item description for Letters from the End of the World: A Firsthand Account of the Bombing of Hiroshima by Toyofumi Ogura, Kisaburo Murakami & Shigeru Fujii...
A love story in the form of letters to the author's young wife, who died soon after the bombing of Hiroshima. More than fifty years after the Second World War, the scars left by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima refuse to heal. This compelling account of one man's experience gives a human face to the events of August 6, 1945. For a week after the bombing, the author, who was an assistant professor at Hiroshima University, wandered the decimated streets of the city, searching for his wife and his youngest son. He finally located them, but his wife died just days later. Grief-stricken, the author wrote her a series of letters over the next year outlining the things he had seen and heard during her last days on earth. In 1948, the letters became the first eyewitness account of an atomic bombing ever published. This powerful record shows how one family's future was altered in an instant. Comprised of correspondence, diary entries and drawings, Letters from the End of the World presents the events surrounding the close of World War II in terms so personal they will not soon be forgotten. "By the time we reach the account of Fumiyo's horrifying death on Aug. 20, which we see from both Ogura's perspective and that of his 11-year-old daugther, Kazuko, who kept a diary, the sadness and anger that have been building up through the whole book are almost unbearable. . . . The uncompromising anger toward Japan's military leaders that is expressed throughout is striking and unusual." Elizabeth Ward, The Japan Times
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Nov 9, 2001
Publisher Kodansha International
ISBN 4770027761 ISBN13 9784770027764
Availability 0 units.
More About Toyofumi Ogura, Kisaburo Murakami & Shigeru Fujii
TOYOFUMI OGURA was born in 1899 in Chiba Prefecture. He taught history at Hiroshima University for nearly twenty years, from 1945 through his mandatory retirement in 1963, and was then appointed an honorary professor. His books include critical works on the well-known poet and children's author Kenji Miyazawa and a study of folk belief in the ancient historical figure Prince Shotoku. He died in 1996.
Reviews - What do customers think about Letters from the End of the World: A Firsthand Account of the Bombing of Hiroshima?
letters from the end of the world Mar 11, 2008
Unforgettable. horrifying. a reality check for those who think war is "like in the movies". the writer takes u there in the exact moments as people encounter the bluish white flash. eg. a woman strolling the shopping district is suddenly engulfed in the biggest lightening bolt she's ever seen and a family sitting down to dinner one minute then thrown into a cataclysm of blindness, fear and disorientation. it is truly a look into the end of the world.
More searing than Hiroshima itself Feb 8, 2008
The only thing that might change the minds of those who support America's use of atomic bombs against Japan is the testimony of those who survived the attacks. Gen. Eisenhower, Adm. Leahy and others in the military and government expressed depressed disgust over the use of nuclear weapons against civilians, and Capt. Robert Lewis (co-pilot of the Enola Gay) later met with a group of the Hiroshima Maidens in the U.S. to express his regret and donate money for their medical costs.
"Letters from the End of the World", along with "Hiroshima Diary," present the attack on Hiroshima in terms of the human cost and suffering of civilians. More lives were lost in the fire bombings of Japanese cities and the destruction of Dresden but both the immediate and long-term effects of the use of nuclear weapons constitute a horrific act.
We now know that the use of violence against civilian populations tends to strengthen a resolve to fight to the bitter end. Yet, it remains a tactic by some and an accepted consequence by most. The use of nuclear weapons against Japan were not the deciding factor in ending the war. It was already over.
As long as governments and citizens choose to accept the slaughter of civilians as a collateral consequence to conflict, atrocities will continue. Self-satisfied, unexamined clucking about the unfortunate inevitability of civilian deaths in war is a moral crime in itself. Especially since the 20th century heralded in an age of increasing civilian death tolls in all conflicts.
Capt. Paul Tibbets (pilot of the Enola Gay) went to his grave with no regrets about Hiroshima. To his credit, he met with at least one hibakusha (disfigured survivor of the attack). Tibbets rightly stated that all war is immoral and leads to immoral action. We'd better find a different way to settle differences.
Hiroshima today is a gleaming, modern city that somewhat mutes even a visit to the Atomic Bomb Dome. Even the memorial museum does not convey the horror of August 6th, 1945 the way the witness testimonies do. I can't imagine someone reading this book and not being moved.
PLEASE I ask you to read this book: A father from HIroshima mourns his family which we incinerated sight unseen Jan 23, 2007
Please read this book, and think Fallujah.
First published in Japanese a few years after we dropped a nuclear bomb upon Hiroshima, a previously secluded and untouched shelter for families and children, this book remains a prophetic and instructive text for us today of the necessity to do everything we can for peace and the end to all killing and warfare.
Thou shalt not kill.
This first hand account was written by a father whose family was destroyed by our bomb, including small children, home, etc.
His wife died from radiation sickness a few weeks after we bombed their small city. To confront and control his radical and permanent loss, her husband, an historian at Hiroshima University, wrote to her letters regarding all that he knew about the event and its aftermath, using all of his formal academic skill as historian and first person victim of our bombing. These are his letters to her.
For another historical source, you might also read Hiroshima by Takaki, an academic historian working in the United States. For another primary source, you might find the eyewitness chronicle entitled Barefoot Gen by an artist who as a small boy survived our nuclear atack on Hiroshima while losing his entire family as does Professor Ogura here. Barefoot Gen may be the most accessible to the American reader for its graphic nature; Professor Ogura may be the more poignant though no less powerful first person account to the mainly literate reader. It all depends upon your personal learning style; the truth is one and the same.
Please study carefully and prayerfully this work of a grieving father and husband, so dispassionately and professionally presented as letters to his dead and dying wife, and fight with all that you can for peace, that our present carnage against civilian populations may forever cease and we may live in permanent and abiding peace free of this murderous sin and the national psychosis which drives us into unjust though materially profitable warfare, which provides us permanently only the continual guilt of the suffering and death here so clearly and truthfully and painfully portrayed.
Thou shalt not kill.
evidence given: very good Aug 11, 2006
there are evidences to show everything the author wants to tell. i can understand the whole project of the bombing of Hiroshima. a truely fantastic book!
Very Powerful and Haunting May 7, 2004
This is one of the most powerful first hand accounts of the bombing of Hiroshima that I have ever read. My copy was quickly passed around from friend to friend and it impacted everyone who read it.