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Jennifer M. González Hernández

Professor Ellen Pratt

English 3231, Section 096

10 January 2011


I have always been fascinated by Asian history. I came across the topic of Hiroshima at college. There was going to be a conference on it last semester, and I knew I had to go because it was related to Japan. I remember sitting in the dark auditorium and being entranced by a documentary. I felt so sad after watching the reenactments, but I remember going online that day and reading all I could find on the topic.  I knew I had to write about the topic someday. I finally got the chance to write about it thanks to this class. As I was thinking of a topic for my multi-genre, I remembered how much the story of the bombings made an impact on me. Hiroshima is a topic I hold dear to my heart. I have read so much about everything related to it, and I think that it will show in my work. I feel like this is a story that needs to be told. No matter what, we can always learn something new.

This research led me to read more than just the typical information I found online that day. I finally read accounts told by survivors of the tragedy. Their narrations shocked me more than any picture or film could. Just imagining what they told sent shivers through me. I am glad I chose this topic because I know it is one that caught my attention, and I could give it my all.



Introduction: Hiroshima & Nagasaki Bombings

The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings are one of the most important events of the 20th century. They are still remembered today as a marking point in not only warfare, but scientific knowledge. The Hiroshima & Nagasaki bombings had both a positive and negative impact worldwide. On one side, “thanks” to the bombings World War 2 ended. On the other, it was a tragic and inhumane way to end such a war. Many lives were lost throughout the years as an effect of the bombings, and the health effects were long-lasting. I feel like the Japanese will always hold a tiny grudge because of Harry S. Truman’s desire to show just how powerful the U.S. was. It might not be a topic we talk about anymore, but it should be a concern for everyone. As Estep said, “We don’t hear that much about nuclear weapons any more in the post-Cold War world, but it’s still an issue”. Who knows when Japan will strike with something even worse than an atomic bomb?

When the bomb hit Hiroshima, it destroyed everything around a three mile radius. Everything—humans, animals, and objects vanished in thin air due to the atomic bomb’s power. Nearby buildings and trees caught fire and were destroyed slowly. Sasamori, a survivor, said, “It was really hell, the city smelled so bad.” Nature pretty much vanished as well. Radiation was propagated in the area for a long time, and had an impact on the human and animal’s health.

The bombs killed around 50,000 humans instantly. Mostly everyone near ground zero was turned into ashes by the bomb. Nearby people were burned by the light, with their skin torn off. Clothing would stick to their skin and become part of it. People inside buildings would either die when they fell down or were badly injured by broken windows & other damages. Long-lasting effects caused by the bombs were seen in most of the survivors. The radiation left by the bomb had an impact on their health; most of them contracted various forms of cancer due to it. According to Gina Macris, “by the end of 1945, about 140,000 people had died in Hiroshima from the effects of radiation poisoning, which prevents new cells from forming and, in its most acute form, causes the entire body to break down”. The bombs not only affected citizens physically, but psychologically. Memories from the event still affect survivors to this day. They are scarred for life, and still live in fear in the present. “This was not just a mushroom cloud, but to us a lifetime of pain and suffering,” Tamura, a survivor of the events says. She is a perfect example of the bomb’s psychological impact on Japanese citizens.

There was not just only one reason behind Harry S. Truman’s decision. The terror caused on that fateful August day might have been the outcome of many reasons, but that does not take away the fact that Truman was the one who gave the signal. One of the reasons for the bombings was World War 2.  Japan would not back down even though the U.S. gave them many chances to do so. But U.S. warnings were vague, they did not mention the massive destruction they had in their arms—not even a simple warning mentioning they had something powerful they could use against Japan.  The emperor wanted to back down, but prideful politicians and military men would not want him to do so. As Leeper said, “World leaders see the danger, but they are not moved from below and that is necessary to make them take the steps to disarm.” Even though the emperor wanted to surrender, other politicians chose otherwise. Surrendering would ruin their image, and would mean their losing  the war.  They were so full of pride that they would rather let people die than lose.

Another reason was the Pearl Harbor bombing. The United States was still hurt and mad about the tragic bombing led by Japan in the US bases.  What I think is the biggest reason has nothing to do with the war—it is power. I believe the US wanted to show how powerful and superior it was in front of the whole world. I have read about the topic, and I know that Truman wanted to bomb Japan without Soviet Russia’s knowing. What he did not know was that Soviet Russia already knew about the Manhattan project due to their intelligence having been informed since 1941.  According to Gosling, “the information likely came from John Cairncross, a member of the infamous “Cambridge Five” spies in Britain.” Politicians were always looking for ways to show just how better they were in front of other countries. The US had gotten their hands on one of the deadliest weapons ever known—and they wanted it to be known with a huge impact. Ultimately, man’s pride and hunger for power won over compassion.


Hiroshima: An Annotated Bibliography

“Avalon Project – The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” Avalon Project – Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy. Web. 10 Dec. 2010.

This is a great website with information on the bombings. Everything in this website is told from an academic point of view. The information is precise and straight to the point. What I liked the most about it was the radiation injuries page. It has a radiation injuries chart with the symptoms from the victims. The information on this particular page is scientific and very detailed.

Milam, Michael C. “Hiroshima and Nagasaki: sixty-five years later.” The Humanist July-Aug. 2010: 32+. Academic OneFile. Web. 2 Dec. 2010.

Michael C. Milam writes in his essay that even today the atomic bomb that hit Hiroshima can be felt. While it cannot be felt physically, it is an event that will forever be present in the hearts and minds of Japanese citizens. This essay is more than a recollection of the events. It is a look into the present day of Hiroshima, its memorials and buildings that will live on even after the bombing.  I particularly enjoyed Milam’s description of one of Hiroshima’s iconic photos.  It feels as if he is bringing the photo to life with his words.

Irwin, Richard.  “Hiroshima survivors share their stories. ” Inland Valley Daily Bulletin 15  Mar. 2009, ProQuest Newsstand, ProQuest. Web.  13 Dec. 2010.

This is another great article about a Hiroshima survivor sharing his story with the world. Tommy Morimoto suffered not only the bombings, but he had to go to war afterwards. Members of his family died around him, and he ended up taking care of a baby in the aftermath of the bomb. But he kept on going—he fought to survive. Now he is telling his amazing story to students in America. In this article, Kikuko Otake’s story is also shared. Her story is a bloody one, filled with tragic images of people dying in the rivers nearby. She warns the readers of hydrogen bombs, which are even more powerful than those which hit Hiroshima and Nagasaki. She wants peace for the world, and the disappearance of destructive weapons.

Fattig, Paul.  “Hiroshima survivor’s unspeakable struggle: Hideko Tamura Snider of Medford was there the day the bomb dropped, the day her heart and life were shattered. ” McClatchy – Tribune Business News 2 May 2010  ProQuest Newsstand, ProQuest. Web.  13 Dec. 2010.

Paul Fattig writes on his article the struggles of Hiroshima survivor Hideko Tamura. Tamura’s account of the events is heartbreaking. Her narration of that day is very detailed and sad. I could see myself in the middle of the action going on. Her description is so detailed, especially the ones about other victims around her.  This is a great article to open our minds to the terror of nuclear warfare.

Gosling, F. G. “The Manhattan Project: An Interactive History.” Department of Energy – CFO Home. 2000. Web. 14 Dec. 2010.

This is a great website with information on the Manhattan project. It includes a chronological recounting of the events that happened during the project between United States officials. Pictures of official documents, the bombings and the people involved are available in the website. This website has a very accurate retelling of the events. It also has a resources page, which has links to reference material like maps, and other information on nuclear warfare.


Genre #1: Timeline

Click for larger image


Genre #2: Collage



Genre #3: Book Jacket


Genre #4: Newspaper Article

Click the image to read the PDF article.


Genre #5: Quiz

Test your knowledge on the Hiroshima & Nagasaki bombings.

  1. What were some of the effects on the victims?
    a. Nothing
    b. Burns, clothing would stick to them, injuries from debris.
    c. Cancer, Radiation poisoning.
    d. B and C are correct
  2. When was Hiroshima attacked by a nuclear bomb?
    a. August 7, 1945
    b. August 6, 1945
    C. August 9, 1945
    d. July 6, 1945
  3. When was Nagasaki attacked by a nuclear bomb?
    a. August 7, 1945
    b. August 6, 1945
    C. August 9, 1945
    d. July 6, 1945
  4. What was the name of the first nuclear bomb test?
    a. Stargate
    b. Trinity
    c. Infinity
    d. Destiny
  5. When did World War II officially end?
    a. August 15, 1945
    b. August 12, 1945
    c. August 6, 1945
    d. September 2, 1945

Test your answers:

1˙p  2˙q  3˙ɔ  4˙q  5˙p



Reading about Hiroshima and Nagasaki was an amazing experience. I learned so many new things that I did not know about the events. I had read about the topic before, but this research led me to find new stories from survivors. I am glad I chose this topic because it had a huge impact on me. By reading about the events, I felt more disappointed by the decisions of countries in the past. I hope everyone gets over the thought of war, and the world can live peacefully because war only leads to loss.

I liked writing in multiple genres because it gave me more freedom as to what to do. I love editing things on Photoshop so this was a great opportunity to let my creative side out. I made some informative and creative graphics in my genres like the book jacket. I enjoyed looking for pictures of Hiroshima in the present to make a beautiful book cover. It makes a big difference compared to the very tragic collage I made of the past. They are related as they show how a country can move on and live peacefully. Another genre I enjoyed writing was the newspaper article. I felt as if I was living in the past, and everything was happening at that moment. Even though it was a great experience, it was still sad thinking about the events while describing them in my work. I am still glad that I could write something so descriptive because I have never thought of myself as a writer.

This paper was a different experience from everything that I have written in college. I was immersed in the research, and the creative process in the genres. I hope that readers of this paper enjoy it and learn something new. We all should reflect on how lucky we are that we have not gone through something as tragic as this.


Works Cited

Conaway, Danielle.  “Hiroshima survivor talks about her experiences. ” McClatchy – Tribune Business News 23 October 2008  ProQuest Newsstand, ProQuest. Web.  13 Dec. 2010.

Fattig, Paul.  “Hiroshima survivor’s unspeakable struggle: Hideko Tamura Snider of Medford was there the day the bomb dropped, the day her heart and life were shattered. ” McClatchy – Tribune Business News 2 May 2010  ProQuest Newsstand, ProQuest. Web.  13 Dec. 2010.

Gosling, F. G. “The Manhattan Project: An Interactive History.” Department of Energy – CFO Home. 2000. Web. 14 Dec. 2010.

Irwin, Richard.  “Hiroshima survivors share their stories. ” Inland Valley Daily Bulletin 15  Mar. 2009, ProQuest Newsstand, ProQuest. Web.  13 Dec. 2010.

Macris, Gina.  “Hiroshima survivor captivates students. ” The Providence Journal 18  Oct. 2008, ProQuest Newsstand, ProQuest. Web.  13 Dec. 2010.

Milam, Michael C. “Hiroshima and Nagasaki: sixty-five years later.” The Humanist July-Aug. 2010: 32+. Academic OneFile. Web. 2 Dec. 2010.

Shaner, Cassie.  “Hiroshima survivor to speak on her experiences: Two events highlight nuclear weapon issues. ” McClatchy – Tribune Business News 21 October 2008  ProQuest Newsstand, ProQuest. Web.  13 Dec. 2010.


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This is goodbye

I’m minutes away from posting my multi-genre essay, and thought it’d be nice to say goodbye. This is the end of my class blog. It was a nice experience to write about things happening in the present. I actually have a personal blog– if anyone wants to check it out, it’s: http://un3xpectedfate.tumblr.com/ Right now, it’s filled with a bunch of books that I love or that I want to read. Thank you for reading my blog! See you!

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I recently read an article about Arizona and its laws banning immigrants & ethnic studies. What a sad place Arizona is. I would not want to be a part of a state so immersed in the past. The following quote shocked me: “Also outlawed are courses designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group and those that advocate ethnic solidarity rather than treat students as individuals.” So this new law pretty much allows white people to be racist. There will be no solidarity towards people of other races? I’m feeling a time warp here. Instead of moving into the future, Arizona is keeping itself in the past with these immature laws. I would like to know what type of people voted for these laws to be approved. It’s a shame that in this day and age such people exist. I am ashamed of them, and their influence on their children as well. Why? Because they will be raising them with their beliefs, and it will be just like the past. I just hope other states don’t follow Arizona’s ways. We need to promote equality always. Members of education, like college professors are against the program. They plan to keep the program against the district. The sad part is that they will probably suffer for going “against the law”. It’s sad how the law makes no sense sometimes. A person should have a right to say what they want to study. No law should be able to control education in such a sad way.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

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I have recently encountered what is one of the saddest shows I’ve seen on television. It’s called Bridalplasty, and women compete for their “perfect celebrity style wedding” and plastic surgery. I am appalled that such a show exists. I couldn’t believe when I first heard of it. I thought it was joke. These women are already getting married and they want to change who they are. What’s funny is that the winning bride will get to walk down the aisle to see her husband for the first time after the whole deal. I would like to see his reaction! These women obviously have self-esteem issues. Some of them already look Barbie doll perfect and they’re still on the show for some reason. What’s sad is that the women who need their plastic surgery are the ones being eliminated by the selfish ones. An example was contestant Jessica who had parts of her breasts removed with cysts she had. I get her point and would have liked for her to compete, but she was eliminated by the rest because she was tough competition. It was sad seeing instead a woman get a nose job or a breast implant. Another contestant, Jaimie, was only in it for the wedding. She had married her husband in court so that her mother could be there (she was dying of cancer). She had dreamed of a beautiful wedding, and she wasn’t really interested in the plastic surgery. Of course, the contestants eliminated her as she was tough competition. They decided to keep someone who just wanted the plastic surgery. This show shows such an ugly side of women. Most of them are selfish and disgust me. It’s sad that the ones who I actually think have a reason to be there get eliminated by the selfish ones. Another thing I hate is the fact that the host says the following every time someone gets eliminated: “I’m sorry. Your wedding will still go on, but it won’t be perfect.” Who gives her the right to say that? Seriously, this show is disgusting and sad.

Shows like this one are giving women an awful message. Perfection is not looking like a Barbie clone. It’s feeling beautiful and confident on the inside.


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Chinese Slave Factory

I recently read an article about Chinese police investigating a Chinese factory for their slave-like conditions. They were treating workers as slaves. These workers were found to have mental disabilities. I find this whole deal inhumane. How dare they use people who can’t possibly know that they have been used? This is not the first time these work conditions have been found in China. The report says the workers were not paid, and they didn’t even have protective gear for their jobs. That means they were in conditions where they could be in danger, and their “bosses” didn’t even care. These workers were sold to the factory by a “charitable organization”. I wonder what type of person would do either, sell workers or treat them as slaves. I find it sad that they’re treating human beings as objects of trade.  It’s scary how many unfair things are going on in the world. We usually have minor problems in our country, and we find life unfair. But then an article like this one comes along, and it opens our eyes. There are people out there who are seriously living a sheltered life. They are suffering awful living and working conditions. The boss of the factory has disappeared. I hope the authorities find him because people like him should not roam free around the world. He should be jailed for treating people badly.

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There has been a lot of controversy over Wikileaks in the past few weeks. To tell the truth, this is a difficult subject. This organization leaks important and confidential documents to the public. On one side, this is good because I believe we all have a right to know if shady things are going on in the government. Thanks to this organization, we see a different side of the government. A side filled with unethical and shady activities. On another side, this practice is obviously illegal. I wouldn’t leak anything if I had my hands on any government document. I would be scared to do so because I think they would go to great lengths to get rid of people who do that. I am not paranoid or anything, but I definitely think the government has many tools to deal with this kind of people. Another thing that bothers me about Wikileaks is the representative Julian Assange. Even if he is “helping” the world with this Wikileaks organization, he looks and sounds like a shady guy. He defends the whole practice, but he himself is currently in jail. He has been charged with sexual offenses.  I wouldn’t trust such a guy. He seems like a creepy person. There is currently a “cyberwar” in favor of Wikileaks thanks to its supporters. A lot of people support the organization, and I guess it’s better than supporting a shady government. I’ll keep reading the news to see what this whole deal ends up in.

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North Korea Bombing

North Korea has recently attacked Yeonpyeong, an island property of South Korea. This attack took the life of military soldiers, but no civilians. The attack was done because the island lies in the border of property between both countries. I think it is sad how human beings are selfish. These political leaders are risking human lives just for some property. What drives them to do this? Is it just the land? I don’t think so. I think men like North Korea’s leader are just hungry for power. He is a dictator, wanting to rule the world. He’s just starting out with South Korea, but I believe he could be craving world power. Some people believe this attack could be the start of World War 3. While I think this might be true, I do not think it will be sometime soon. I think this attack was just an example of North Korea’s leader trying to show off to the world what he is capable of. These attacks and wars sadden me because political leaders are destroying the world. All I can imagine for the world’s future is destruction. First, nuclear bombs are powerful; they destroy and affect areas for year. There are many ways they can affect us: instant destruction and long-lasting effects (like cancer). Recently, North Korea has claimed they have advanced in nuclear science. This is just a small sign of the horror that could await the world in the future. We are destroying ourselves due to hatred and hunger for power.


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