Lightning Strikes Twice

It’s the summer of 1945, and Tsutomu Yamaguchi has just completed his 3-month temporary stint at the Mitsubishi shipyard factory in Hiroshima. Time to head home. It’s the morning of August 6, 1945 (a little over 5 months to the day after I was born – I’d never thought of this that way) and Tsutomu Yamaguchi is looking forward to the trip home.  Suddenly the world exploded. Tsutomu-san survived. 80,000 others did not, most burnt to cinders in a mass incineration. 60,000 more would die over the coming months. Temporarily blind and deaf, Tsutomu-san was so shaken and horrified that he immediately fled as quickly as he could for his home. He dragged himself to the train station and headed for home. Home was Nagasaki and three days later the world once again turned white, then black. The sun exploded and then went dark. 80,000 more deaths.

Tsutomu-san was the only person ever officially recognized as having survived both blasts – a “nijuuhibaku” or double A-bomb survivor. The sole person to be dealt the 1-2 of both “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” and survive. Over the years his entire family was riddled with cancer, as were so many others.

Tsuomu-san devoted the last years of his life (after his son died of cancer) to the abolishment of nuclear weapons.

Rest in Peace, sir.

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