Hiroshima Nagasaki
Hiroshima at 76: Professor Yuki Miyamoto, second generation Hibakusha,
whose mother survived the A-bombing of August 6, 1945

This Week’s Featured Interview:

  • Hiroshima Anniversary – 76 years after the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the effects of that bombing persist.  Survivors – who are known as Hibakusha – went on with their lives as best they could, but the legacy of the a-bomb persist into second and now third generation.
  • Hiroshima born Yuki Miyamoto is a second generation Hibakusha.  Her mother was in Hiroshima one mile from the epicenter of the bombing, yet survived it with what seemed like little physical damage… though other truths later emerged.  Yuki’s story of what it was like to grow up in Hiroshima, the illnesses around her, the judgments made by others in Japan, makes for a gripping little-known narrative of the atomic bomb’s aftermath.
  • Yuki Miyamoto is a professor at DePaul University in Chicago, where she introduces a new generation of young people to the hard truths about the atomic bombing and its continuing impact on survivors – especially  women – their children, grandchildren, and beyond. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and teaches nuclear discourse and environmental ethics at DePaul University in Chicago. 2011’s Fukushima nuclear accident urged her to examine environmental ethics, which led to her most recent work, A World Otherwise: Environmental Praxis in Minamata (Lexington Books, 2021). Miyamoto’s current work is on the formation of postwar nuclear discourse both in Japan and the United States. She has taken DePaul students to Hiroshima and Nagasaki since 2005 and has been appointed Nagasaki Peace Correspondent (2010) and Hiroshima Peace Ambassador (2011). We spoke on Friday, July 30, 2021. 

Numnutz of the Week (for Outstanding Nuclear Boneheadedness):

The Olympics – the Numnutz that Keeps On Giving!

LINKS Referenced in This Week’s Show:


Libbe HaLevy

00:00:01

Hiroshima Nagasaki, the two atomic bombs used on Japan that left a legacy of death devastation, and the one persistent problem that was never talked about radiation, Japanese survivors of those two bombings known as he bok HSA carry the legacy of that day. And so do their children. But what did it mean to grow up in Hiroshima after the atomic bombing on August 6th, 1945? What does it mean to be a second generation hibachi? The child of a survivor 76 years after the bombing took place? How does that still impact a life? What is even known about what happened by young people today in order to learn, it takes a native of Hiroshima, a university professor who was also second generation Hibakusha and she tells you,

Yuki Miyamoto

00:01:00

There are very few students who know about the atomic bombings and its consequences. Their understanding tends to be the horrible bomb. It’s a big bomb, and we don’t talk much about radiation exposure and its consequences. I would like to emphasize the consequences of radiation exposure and the atomic bombings and not just one big blast. And there is no quote, unquote survival. It’s just a distraction. And once you get exposed to radiation, you have to carry it for the rest of your life. And most likely you have to worry about your kids and grandkids. So the consequences are multi-generational

Libbe HaLevy

00:01:47

Well, more than almost any other people on earth, atomic bomb survivors, the hibachi HSA, and their children and grandchildren continue to be haunted by and know within their hearts and histories all about that awful, terrible nightmarish seat that we all share

Announcer

00:02:09

Clear hot seat. What are those people thinking? Nuclear hot seat. What have those boys been? Braking, nuclear hot. See the Ms. Sinking our time to act is shrinking, but nuclear Hotsy. It’s the bomb.

Libbe HaLevy

00:02:40

Welcome to nuclear hot seat, the weekly international news magazine, keeping you up to date on all things nuclear from a different perspective. My name is Libby Halevi. I’m the producer and host as well as a survivor of the nuclear accident at three mile island from just mile away. So I know what can happen when those nuclear so-called experts get it wrong this week for the 76th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August six and Nagasaki on August nine, a very special interview with Yuki Miyamoto. She is a second generation. Hibakusha a professor at DePaul university in Chicago, and an active presence. Introducing new generations of young people to the truths about the atomic bombings and its continued impact on survivors, especially the women, their children, grandchildren, and beyond. We will also have nuclear news from around the world numb that’s of the week for outstanding nuclear bone headedness, and more honest nuclear information than Andrew Cuomo can manage to come up with just now all of it coming up in just a few moments today is Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021.

Libbe HaLevy

00:04:03

And here is this week’s nuclear news from a different perspective, starting in the U S in pike county, Ohio, where the Portsmouth gaseous diffusion plant is being demolished and workers are removing siding from a massive half mile long building. That once was part of fueling America’s atomic race, but radioactive dust from decades of enriching uranium, there has built up high on the now exposed rafters and is being released into the air, the us department of energy, which oversees the demolition insist that it is safe. But Dr. Michael Ketterer, professor emeritus of chemistry and biochemistry at Northern Arizona university studied the data from dos own air monitors and uncovered big spikes in technetium 99, a radioactive element formed in the heart of nuclear reactors. The amounts Ketterer found were hundreds of times higher than detection limits. And it was at all the monitors, no matter how near or far they were from the plant, including up to 14 miles away, we will have an interview on this for next week’s nuclear hot seat, a new report from the national resources defense council and published in rolling stone magazine confirms that massive amounts of radioactive waste brought to the surface by oil and gas.

Libbe HaLevy

00:05:27

Wells have overwhelmed the industry state and federal agencies that regulate it and pose significant health threats, including the increased risk of cancer to oil and gas workers and their families, and also nearby communities at issue radioactive oil field waste left over from fracking. It is piling up at landfills across America, and at least some documented cases is leaching radioactivity through treatment plants and into waterways. It is also being spread on farm fields in states like Oklahoma and Texas and on roads across the Midwest and Northeast under the belief that it melts ice and suppresses dust. It also seemingly suppresses life. We’ll have a link up to this article on our website, nuclear seat.com under this episode, number 5 28 here in California, ready or not the Diablo canyon nuclear reactor is closing the source editorial from San Louis obispo.com gives quite the mixed message. But what’s important for us to know, is that in a recent development, the California public utilities commission has ordered utilities in the state to acquire 11,500 megawatts of additional clean energy between 2023 and 2026, which is more than enough to replace the output generated by Diablo canyon owner operator Pacific gas and electric is proceeding with plans to decommission the plant after it’s closed and through the efforts of a regional planning organization reach, there are ambitious plans to transform the county into a green energy pub, both an offshore wind farm, and a large battery storage facility in Morro bay are both in the early planning stages.

Libbe HaLevy

00:07:20

And we’re going to link to a very interesting article entitled why the U S once set off a nuclear bomb in space. The blast from that 1.4 mega ton bomb was 500 times as powerful as the bomb that we dropped on Hiroshima, a resulting electromagnetic pulse washed out radio stations, set off an emergency siren and caused streetlights to black out in Hawaii. The following year, the United States, the United Kingdom and the USSR signed the limited nuclear test ban treaty and outer space has been H-bomb free for almost 60 years. There’s much more to this article. It is a fascinating read, and that’s why we’re going to link to it in Japan just weeks before the 2021 commemoration of the August 6th, 1945, us atomic bombing of the city of Hiroshima, a Japanese court has ruled that victims of the radioactive black rain who are living beyond the officially recognized contamination zone at the time should be included in the group considered bomb survivors or HSA and receive the same benefits.

Libbe HaLevy

00:08:33

Black rain was described in a CNN story as a mixture of fallout particles from the explosion carbon residue from citywide fires and other dangerous elements. The black rain fell on people’s skin and clothing was breathed in contaminated food and water and caused widespread radiation poisoning Japan’s minister. Yo Shahida Suger declared that his government, the defendants in the case would not appeal it, and even suggested that relief might be extended to other effected people beyond the plaintiffs. According to the Asahi Shimbun, this may even include those exposed to radiation as a result of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear triple meltdown disaster. And now for a look at this week’s nuclear bone headedness,

Libbe HaLevy

00:09:34

When it comes to nuclear numb nuts, Surrey, the Olympics in Tokyo is the gift that keeps on giving a south Korean TV station M BC issued an apology for its quote unquote inexcusable use of offensive photos and captions during the Olympic opening ceremony. Was it nude or porn? No. When Ukraine’s athletes entered the Tokyo Olympic stadium, MBC showed a photo of Chernobyl, the Marshall Islands, which were occupied by the United States from world war two until 1979 were introduced as quote one sane nuclear test site for the U S not exactly the world brotherhood image that the international Olympic committee is trying to promote. MBC wrote in a statement, the images and captions are intended to make it easier for the viewers to understand the entering countries quickly during the opening ceremony. And it looks like that’s exactly what they did. The initial women’s softball matches were indeed played on July 21st and 22nd at focus schema’s Azuma baseball stadium in Fukushima city.

Libbe HaLevy

01:10:49

And what did head coach Ken Erickson have to say about the location and the fact that the radioactive Fukushima meltdown site was so close. The peaches in Fukushima were delicious. Then Australia coach Lang Herro chimed in by saying that he liked the scenery and Fukushima describing it as a very beautiful town with very impressive mountains and more than anything, the peaches were by far the best. Well, that’s just up peachy commentary that unrecovered still depressed, still radio active city next to the triple meltdown, Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor site. And finally, Japan has been so proud of boasting that the gold, silver and bronze medals that they are giving out were all made from metals that were reclaimed from used and discarded electronics, but they didn’t say where those electronics came from. So it’s entirely possible that they were claimed from radioactive areas. So for you athletes who were terrific enough to have nettled at all, we warn you that before you kiss your metal, lick your metal or wear it for long periods of time against your chest. You just might want to get them checked out by a really high quality radiation monitor. Let’s just be safe out there. You’re too precious for us to lose in such a thoughtless manner. And that’s why yet again, 2020 Olympics marked down from 2021. You are this week’s

Announcer

01:12:32

Okay, your hot seat.

Libbe HaLevy

01:12:37

And one more Olympic related thought beyond the bomb reminds us that August 6th, 2021 marks the 76th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and atrocious moment in human history where 140,000 lives were instantly stolen and countless others forever altered. As you will hear in this week’s featured interview, the Olympic games have been referred to as a festival of peace. And with Japan hosting this year, the Olympic committee has a unique opportunity to highlight the peaceful cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and honor the victims of nuclear and ongoing violence around the world. It asks for a moment of silence to be held, to honor the victors, to honor the victims and survivors of past wars and highlight the need for a world without nuclear weapons. We’ll have to wait and see if that actually comes about in China. The number two reactor at the ghoulish song, nuclear power plant in new Taipei city experienced a malfunction on July 27 and triggered an automatic shutdown Thai power.

Libbe HaLevy

01:13:45

The operator would apply with the atomic energy council for the unit to be restarted. As soon as the malfunction is resolved, a process that will take at least three days before the reactor reaches maximum output. The number one reactor at power plant went offline on July 1st after the facility ran out of space to store spent nuclear fuel. We’ll have this week’s featured interview in just a moment, but first Hiroshima Nagasaki. And before that the Trinity test in New Mexico, that was the start of what we came to call the atomic age, but there is no end in sight, nuclear weapons, manufacturing, reactors, uranium mining, and milling radioactive waste accidents, permissible, radiation exposure levels. The list of nuclear dangers and disasters is as endless as plutonium, which remains dangerously radioactive for 240,000 years and is produced by every reactor in the world. Yet, despite the known risks, this nuclear industry perpetuates itself, making obscene amounts of money while threatening the future of the planet and of life itself.

Libbe HaLevy

01:15:02

That’s why nuclear hot seat is here to help, you know, and understand what’s going on in the nuclear world and what you can do about it. We cover not only the industry, but how brave activists around the world are fighting back and how any one of us can take action to try to stop the atomic madness at nuclear hot seat. We’re dedicated to giving you the nuclear stories you can’t find in mainstream media. And we provide them with context and continuity. So you can get the full picture in order to continue to do this work. We need your help. That’s why the time would be right now to support us with a donation, just go to nuclear, hot seat.com and click on the big red donate button to help us with a donation of any size. And that same red button is where you can set up a monthly $5 donation, the same as a cup of coffee, and a nice tip here in the U S so if you value nuclear hot seat, and what a help us continue to bride this information for you, please do what you can now and know that however much you can help, we are deeply grateful that you’re listening and that you care.

Libbe HaLevy

01:16:12

Now, here’s this week’s featured interview. There are many ways to commemorate the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, which killed 140,000 people outright and Nagasaki, which killed 74,000 people immediately. And in both cases, there were many more tens of thousands who were sickened with radiation, and it continues to impact lives today. The true nature of the aftermath of that bombing is not widely understood. And it takes someone who has lived it to provide a detailed nuanced telling of how Hiroshima and the bomb played out in the lives of the people who lived there and their offspring. You gave me a Moto is a second generation, had bok HSA survivor of the atomic bomb and an educator on nuclear history and issues. She earned a PhD from the university of Chicago and teaches nuclear discourse and environmental ethics at DePaul university in Chicago, 2011, Fukushima nuclear accident urged her to examine environmental ethics, which has led to her most recent work, a world, otherwise environmental practice in Minamata Miyamoto’s current work is on the formation of post-war nuclear discourse, both in Japan and the United States. She has taken DePaul students to Hiroshima and Nagasaki since 2005 and has been appointed as Nagasaki world peace correspondent and Hiroshima peace ambassador. I spoke with Yuki Miyamoto on Thursday, July 29th, 2021. You gave me a Moto, thank you so much for joining us here today on nuclear hot seat.

Yuki Miyamoto

01:18:01

Well, thank you so much for having me on this program. I’m a big fan of this

Libbe HaLevy

01:18:07

A little bit where you’re from and your background.

Yuki Miyamoto

01:18:11

I’m originally from Hiroshima. And I was there until I graduated from high school, and I went to college outside of Hiroshima, different city in Japan until I was there in Japan, until I came to the states at the age of 27 to come to the graduate school, the university of Chicago and not knowing the history of the university of Chicago, which is that place of the Manhattan project. I felt so stupid because I wanted even before coming into Chicago, I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to learn why, you know, in Japan, especially growing up in Hiroshima, the atomic bombs are so inhumane weapons and every time any country, any nuclear country conducted the nuclear test, the mayor of Hiroshima sent out Telegraph saying that please do not continue the nuclear tests. And then, you know, people demonstrated or people protest yet. It kept going. So I was always wondering why there are so the understandings of the atomic bombing, so, so different. And so I wanted to learn about it. So I knew what I wanted to do. And yet I was kind of oblivious about the history of the university of Chicago.

Libbe HaLevy

01:19:37

One of the things that I’ve discovered is that there is so much to discover that none of us has the full range of information, because there’s so much of it out there, so complex, and so both frightening and saddening.

Yuki Miyamoto

01:19:53

Exactly. And then once you discover you also discover everything is related, which is also scary, but also kind of an eyeopening. Why didn’t, I know

Libbe HaLevy

02:20:03

Let’s go back a little bit further into your background because you’ve referred to yourself as a second generation Hibakusha is that correct? Yes. What does that mean to you? And what does that mean in terms of your family’s background?

Yuki Miyamoto

02:20:19

My mother was six years old at the time of the bombing, and she was only a mile away from the hypo center, but fortunately she was not injured as far as I remember. She doesn’t have any external scars and she just doesn’t tell me what exactly happened, but she wanted me to know about it at the very end of her life. So I asked her sister what had happened to her that was much later. So she was there in 1945 at the age of six. And since then, as far as I know, I knew that she was in her thirties. She had some dizzy spells and they, in her forties, she had to get some blood, the booster kind of thing. She, her blood system was not working or producing proper blood cells. So she needed a to get some help, kind of, I V to get some boost in her blood production, which she had to take it every other week. And then eventually in her fifties, she got cancer and she passed away six years after her half-assed diagnosis.

Libbe HaLevy

02:21:40

Did she have children other than you? And were there any problems you were aware of in her ability to give birth?

Yuki Miyamoto

02:21:49

That’s a good question. I have an older brother who is six years older than I am, and I’m not sure I’ve never been told if there was any miscarriage or any kind of difficulties for her to conceive between him and me, but my brother knows a little bit more about her experiences of the atomic bombing. And I suspect that partly because we simply, she doesn’t want to remember by retelling and revisiting her experiences. And although she was telling us that she doesn’t remember. And another reason is that she also probably wanted to protect me from any kind of discriminatory treatment, especially women. He backs her women. They had a, sometimes a harder time finding their spouses because people suspect that they are fragile. They are not able to give a birth to healthy kids. And especially all year in the forties, 56 is a couple of decades after the war, still the culture, Japanese culture, having a son and the handing down the family name, continuing family name was considered as considered important. And because of that reason, it was important to have a healthy woman so that they can produce healthy offsprings. So I think that might be the reason

Libbe HaLevy

02:23:29

In general, from your knowledge of the culture in Hiroshima and for the hibachi, was it considered an act of bravery for these women to give birth or was it luck or foolishness, or just attempt to return to normalcy and ignore the fact that the bomb had happened? Oh,

Yuki Miyamoto

02:23:50

I think that’s probably a mixed feelings because giving birth and being able to conceive is also a relief, I suppose, for women, especially who are concerned about their health, but also once they got pregnant, of course, the next step is that am I able to bring a healthy child to this world? So that’s also understandable, but I think that’s a sign of normalcy, which they really hoped and aspired.

Libbe HaLevy

02:24:21

I’ve recently learned through research that I’m doing for a play that I’ve been writing that general MacArthur. When he brought the occupation forces into Hiroshima, he put the entire country under censorship that Japanese people were not allowed to speak about what happened to them. You’re nodding your head, as we’re saying this, what is your knowledge of that? And how do you think that impacted your family and the culture at large

Yuki Miyamoto

02:24:49

Actually before September 2nd and the war formally concluded actually the Japanese government plays the censorship because the government was afraid of demoralizing the people. If people knew that Hiroshima was completely obliterated and three days later, I think it was completely gone. Just one single bomb, which would have demoralized the people already, they were exhausted. They were exhausted from the shortage of everything, food clothes, and any kind of resources. So I guess for that reason, the Japanese government place the censorship on Japanese media, and then there was taken over by the allied powers, which actually took only the four years, meaning in 1949, this division of controlling informations, I think it’s called the CDC. I’m forgetting what the acronym is for stands for, but this was actually disbanded in 1949, although Japan was still under occupation, which went until 1952. So this informs us that it’s actually the censorship work, the sole well that people started censoring themselves in Japan. So there are a couple of books and many articles about how censorship work that which was imposed, but also there was some kind of self imposition on people in Japan as well.

Libbe HaLevy

02:26:30

Now we’ve talked about your parents and especially your mother and how this played out in her life. What about you? When did you become first aware of the fact that Hiroshima, which is where you’re from? It had the bomb dropped on it.

Yuki Miyamoto

02:26:48

And when I was growing up, I was born in 68. So growing up in the seventies, in my neighborhood, everyone has a family member or two who are affected by the bombing. So we are all second generation. So it was not necessarily the, a special thing for us. And you know, when we go to downtown area, which is sort of close to the hyper center, there was still, I wouldn’t say houses. It’s actually called the atomic bomb, slum those hats and small houses while lined up by the river and in the neighborhood. I remember that a woman who never wears short sleeves in summer and back then, I didn’t think anything, but now come to think of it. She might’ve have scars keloid, or some people become very sensitive to the sun. And so she might have had that symptoms after exposure to radiation and actually a friend of mine who is a second generation. She also had power face, wherever she was exposed to the sun, her skin, her body gets red and swollen. So she was not able to attend P classes with other kids.

Libbe HaLevy

02:28:14

What about you? How has this played out in terms of your physical life? Has it come to another generation or are you pretty much, okay,

Yuki Miyamoto

02:28:26

So far, luckily I do not have any symptoms or any illness I suffered so far. Those ones considered it to the radiation induced. However, I was very aware, even though my mother never told me about her experiences, I was aware that I was a second generation and partly because growing up in Hiroshima, as I mentioned earlier, everyone has a family members or relatives who was affected by the bombing in my generation and in that area. So it, wasn’t not so rare or unusual. And also growing up at school, we had to go to school on August the sixth, the day of the bombing. And still when I was, you know, maybe first or second grader, we had a couple of teachers who are and they sometimes invite another chef friend and she, or he would tell us about their experiences on August the sixth. And also we had books.

Yuki Miyamoto

02:29:40

Have you heard of barefoot this graphic novel? That’s a kind of a classic in Japan, but a very graphic. And some people very concerned about showing the graphic novel to little kids, but we had them in almost each classroom from the first grade. So we are very, in a way maybe decent-sized, but at the same time, it was a great education because I still I’m still scared. I remember that I was very afraid of going to peace park and seeing the atom bomb dong, which is the kind of symbol in Japan of the atomic bombing. I was very afraid of just having a sight of it growing up. So during summer we had to read a book. You know, there are a couple of books recommended books that the kids should be reading during summer break. And one of them was the story about a second generation of a tobacco HSA boy who got leukemia and passed away. And now come to think of a, you know, most of us are second generations and reading. The second generation boy is dying from leukemia. I was thinking, okay, so this is something I should be prepared for. And I don’t know how to prepare for it, but you know, like somehow psychologically I was aware, however, at the same time I was not alone. Right. As I said, everyone was somehow related to this a historical event. So it was a very strange experience.

Libbe HaLevy

03:31:27

You spoke of your psychology. How did your knowledge that you were second generation hypoxia, that you were from Hiroshima and living in Hiroshima? How did that affect your thinking about your place in the world?

Yuki Miyamoto

03:31:44

My place in the world. That’s a interesting question. That’s very insightful because my first experiences was perhaps when I went to college and I was actually shocked outside of Hiroshima. August six is not a special day because if you go to Hiroshima or if you are in Hiroshima on August the six, it’s a very different time and space, right? For example, city related facilities are often closed to just commemorate the event. And lots of people come to Hiroshima from many different places. And at eight 15 that the bell is called and everyone observes a moment of silence. There are so many people, but also it’s very quiet moment. It’s, it’s just one of the very special moments of the year. You cannot just dismiss it. So I was quite surprised there was nothing in other cities, even in Japan. So that was my first realization.

Yuki Miyamoto

03:32:59

But, you know, coming out of my friends, all second generations and coming out of that circumstances or the environment, this was actually a little bit different or special. And then even more so once I came to the United States, however, I’m always, I still am hesitant to tell people where I’m from, because I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t know Hiroshima or who has not ever heard of the city name. So everyone knows the smallest city in east Asia, which is good, but also, I don’t know how it’s taken. And sometimes I made friends with people and talking, and then, so by the way, which city of Japan are you from? And I said, Hiroshima, and sometimes a person would say, oh, I’m sorry. But you know, that was in during the war and pain of justification, I had it to here and I just don’t know how to deal with it. Should I stand up for my fellow Hiroshi, murky buckshot, but I don’t think I was well equipped to do so. And I just felt so isolated part of the reasons I wanted to come here to the states to learn how the bomb has been narrated, how the bomb has been understood part at school. So that was good experience.

Libbe HaLevy

03:34:35

What have you found as to how the bomb is discussed here in the United States versus your experience growing up in here is shameful. What’s the difference? What do we do well? Or what do we do not so well

Yuki Miyamoto

03:34:50

In Hiroshima, it is also changing, especially those people who have the firsthand experiences. There are fewer and fewer people who can talk about experiences. So it’s definitely changing. And I haven’t been back to Japan for the last two years. So I don’t know how it is now, but at least when I was growing up, the understanding is that this is such an inhumane in discriminate weapons. And we were puzzled why this has not been banned, whereas biological and chemical weapons who are at least internationally agreed upon that it shouldn’t be used, but until recent, the UN nuclear ban treaty came into effect last year, it was not happening. So I think people are still kind of wondering why this was not considered as bad or why this has been justified. And is this because of the generations, once the generation who remembered or who fought for the war and who were liberated from the bombing, or who believed that the bomb ended the war swiftly?

Yuki Miyamoto

03:36:17

So it’s because those people who believed that myth, we call it the myth because, you know, historians think that that was not the case. I came here in gradually and especially I started a teaching and learning from younger generations. It’s actually not that obsolete and good news is that more younger people don’t think dropping the atomic bombs was justifiable, but still close to 50 50 in general. So good news is that the younger generations, their understandings are changing, but at the same time, interacting with my students, there are very few students who know about the atomic bombings and its consequences. Their understanding tends to be, it’s a horrible bomb. It’s a big bomb. And we don’t talk much about radiation exposure and its consequences. And especially for those people who are now with us and sharing their experiences with us, their lives after bomb their lives so much longer than the lives they had before the bombing, right?

Yuki Miyamoto

03:37:42

Most of them were kids back then. So they had a difficult time in finding a spouse or not, not that marriage is the happiest thing, but taking into account the social pressure or women were had difficulties in just being independent, financially, all those reasons. So because of those reasons that they must have had difficulties and anxieties about their conceptions pregnancies and their kids. And I know one, he backed Shaw, who I was friends with. She suddenly passed away. This may very sudden me, but she was also talking about those experiences, not just the bombing, but also how she felt, sorry for her daughter, who actually was told that once that she couldn’t have kids

Libbe HaLevy

03:38:40

Physiologically could not, or should not because of possible mutations or birth defects.

Yuki Miyamoto

03:38:47

What I hear was that because of a her blood disorder, she probably couldn’t so physiologically. She couldn’t conceive. And if she did, if she was able to, it’s not like totally impossible, but she would have difficulties. And if she was able to be pregnant, it might jeopardize her health. So that was what she was told. The daughter of my friend that was told, and my friend was so devastated by this because she took creative on her. She thought that it’s because my experiences of the atomic bombing, my daughter is suffering from the consequences. So the second generation issue there. So those stories are not much known here as well as in Japan. So I’m, I’m concerned about the atomic bombing is just a big bomb so that, you know, we could quote unquote survive, but witnessing my mother’s illnesses and passing away, I don’t think payback HSA can tell that they could survive

Libbe HaLevy

04:40:00

Again. In the research I have been doing for my play, what has become very clear was that there was an intentional repression of all information, about radiation as being the after effect of the bomb. And the fact that it wasn’t just this one big blast. There was an after effect that goes on for generation after generation, after generation. And it’s still not generally known because the information was so suppressed at the beginning of the atomic age, as we learned to refer to it, that we’ve never been able to pick up with that information. And my belief is that’s part of what drives the ongoing acceptance of the atomic bomb because they think, oh, it’s just a really big bomb without understanding the ongoing consequences from the radiation.

Yuki Miyamoto

04:40:53

I totally agree with you. And as you know, there was an ABCC being established after the bombing in 1946 in Hiroshima in 1947 in Nagasaki atomic bomb in casualty commission, which is not actually treating the Habakkuk HSA, but they were collecting data. Now it’s called the radiation factor research foundation. And both Japanese and American governments are funding. But until then it was the American institution. And the ABCC was the one which was gathering those or adults as well. And they are just collecting the data, which of course disappointed the people in Hiroshima, those Americans who dropped the bomb, they came and established this medical facilities. They understandably expected that they would receive some medical treatment, but it was not about treatment.

Libbe HaLevy

04:41:57

It was really about using them as Guinea pigs after the fact just as was done in the Marshall Islands.

Yuki Miyamoto

04:42:04

Right? Exactly. And at ABCC of course there was some concerns about internal exposure, but that was not ever been systematically examined among the people, which I think as you were saying, it’s also with data to this ignorance about consequences of the atomic bombing or in any kind of radiation exposure,

Libbe HaLevy

04:42:31

Let’s bring this forward to your work. And what you’re doing, you were obviously very influenced by your family’s history, by your country’s history and what you had learned. What is it that you studied and what is it that you teach now?

Yuki Miyamoto

04:42:50

After I graduated from the grad school, I started a teaching at DePaul university, which is also located in Chicago. My first quarter here, I taught the atom bomb discourse. So since then, for 17 years by now, I keep teaching this course, the atom bomb discourse, which examines how the atomic bombing has been understood. So that’s exactly what I was trying to find out when I came here or before I came here, this was for liberal arts class. So anyone can take, and that’s fun. Students come from different disciplines. And earlier on, I still remember that one student who was very upset about this learning about the consequences of the atomic bombing and he stood up and then he was kind of yelling at me. This was so one-sided

Libbe HaLevy

04:43:53

Meaning what you were teaching was one sided

Yuki Miyamoto

04:43:57

That was kind of expected. So in my syllabus, I always had some kind of atrocities that the Japanese army is dead, a unit 7 31, and I was not able to go into the depth, but I definitely mentioned comfort of women. So it’s not like I’m, I’m just singling out this atomic bombing as a war crime. But rather my focus was how this has been understood and because of this sort of ignorance. So what cover up what we are suffering from right? There are so many sites in the United States that people are suffering from radiation exposure, from uranium mines or nuclear tests, or just simply experimentation. Another one, which I developed after Fukushima is a seminar called the atomic age. So this was not just about the Japanese atomic bombing and discourse around it, but rather from even radium girls, even before the Manhattan project to how radiation or radioactive materials were considered or what taken or became a consumer products, students actually can relate to it.

Yuki Miyamoto

04:45:20

This sort of excitement, this new technology and new beauty products back then, and they were looking into some advertisement on their own research and they were kind of excited about this discovery and can relate to that excitement about technology and science. But of course they know the consequences. So it’s also fun to discuss that consumerism in the atomic age, not just the science or international affairs. So we start with that pre Manhattan project era through the Manhattan project and the cold war and the post-Cold war nuclear accidents, and try to cover all nuclear issues. But of course, it’s always like, oh, I could have talked about this or I could have invited this scholar or this activist. So it’s always evolving, well,

Libbe HaLevy

04:46:18

Get them to subscribe to nuclear hot seat and look at updates every

Yuki Miyamoto

04:46:21

Week. Exactly. Yeah.

Libbe HaLevy

04:46:24

Since 2005, you had led groups of students to go back to Japan and to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki. What has been their response when they actually are there and get to see and learn on the ground in Japan?

Yuki Miyamoto

04:46:43

Understandably, the students were nervous before going there. They were excited about going to Japan. Usually my group has more or less 20 students in one group. And one third, I would say they are just interested in Japan, anime and some culture food over there. Music cosplay. One third is Japanese language students. So they want to exercise their skills, their command of language. Once they get there. One third is not so much about Japan, but interested in the nuclear issues or international relations. So I like this combination coming from different interests and disciplines, but those students who have some familiarity with Japanese culture, even. So they were kind of nervous going to Hiroshima and even more nervous stepping into the museum. They usually take a load of time, contemporary plating in front of each panels, each picture, each video, they were very serious about learning. Once they get into the museum, which was moving, you know, they were not just going through, walking through, chatting through the museum, they really try to absorb the information.

Libbe HaLevy

04:48:13

And did you see any changes in their understanding or their orientation towards nuclear and atomic weapons once they had gone through this experience?

Yuki Miyamoto

04:48:24

Definitely, definitely. So one thing which affected them was definitely going to the museum, learning more and firsthand about this weaponry and the consequences. And you know, what they are familiar. The images they are familiar with is usually the mushroom cloud or obliterated a city is there is no human saw. Most of them had never seen human talls and consequences on the human body or consequences on the environment. So the actual distraction, so that definitely affects them, but also they were very moved by people who welcomed them. Cause you know, people in Hiroshima were very excited about having the young Americans to their place because there are so many places they could go. You know, we have the study abroad programs at DePaul, Paris, London, Allan Teaneck, Kenya. There are so many places they can choose and they chose to come to your show. My neck psyche for two weeks. I think people in Hiroshima were very excited and wanting to interact with my students. And they were very kind. Sometimes I feel like me too, including myself, we are so spoiled and that kind of human interactions, relationships, friendship, that also affects them as well.

Libbe HaLevy

04:49:59

Every year when August six, the anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb and August 9th, the anniversary of Nagasaki come up. Is there anything in particular that you do to commemorate on those dates?

Yuki Miyamoto

05:50:13

I have attended this commemoration that a group of anti-nuclear groups and sometimes religious groups collaborated and they have this Memorial at the movers nuclear reaction sculpture in a hydro park. I sometimes attend, I have enormous respect for those people who make efforts to make this happen, to organize this commemoration. But I also like to stay home and be myself or being alone. I’m actually very grateful that people are commemorating it, but somehow being a part of it is not always comfortable to me.

Libbe HaLevy

05:51:04

I think that’s understandable given the fact that this is something that was very personal for you, but those of us who didn’t have a personal experience of it need that external gathering and connection with others who understand at that time. And I’m glad you take time for yourself because sometimes that’s the most important thing that we can do. If, as a result of your history, your mother’s experience, the studying, you’ve done the teaching that you’ve done. If you could deliver a message to the world that the world would actually listen to, what would you want to say?

Yuki Miyamoto

05:51:42

I love to fantasize that the world is listening to me. That that is wonderful. And if that happens, I would really say that I would like to emphasize the consequences of radiation exposure and the atomic bombings and not just a big one big blast and there’s no coat and for survival, it’s just a distraction. And once you get exposed to radiation that you have to carry it for the rest of your life. And most likely you have to worry about your kids and grandkids. So the consequences are multi-generational and that’s only on the human side, but also the environmental side, as we know that some radioactive nuclides it’s half-life is 24,000 years or more. So it’s definitely multi-generational.

Libbe HaLevy

05:52:40

You came me a motel. I’m so grateful that you were willing to share some personal aspects of your life, as well as what you do professionally to put forward a balanced understanding of what the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki meant to a generation that has many generations removed from it. I’m grateful that your students are going to go out into the world with this expanded understanding and for that, and so much else. I want to thank you for being my guest this week on nuclear hot seat.

Yuki Miyamoto

05:53:14

Thank you so much for having me. I’ve been listening to this program every week. So this is a great honor for me to be here. Thank you.

Libbe HaLevy

05:53:23

That was professor educator and second generation HSA, Yuki Miyamoto. We will have links up to her work on our website, nuclear hot seat.com under this episode, number 5 28

Announcer

05:53:39

Activists.

Libbe HaLevy

05:53:46

First, my apologies to many of you, my email was hacked on Tuesday, August 3rd. If you got a strange looking email from me with an attachment, do not open it, delete it. And if you did open it, contact your service provider about what you need to do to secure your email and your computer at minimum change your email password. And really my apologies about this, but I’ll take it as a sign that I must be doing something right, because I’m obviously getting under somebody’s skin. And there was a great encouraging article in Lancaster, online.com on the work of three mile island alerts, Mary Stamos, a long time resident of the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area next to the three mile island nuclear reactors shortly after the accident and radiation release, Mary Stamos discovered what she described as weird looking dandelions. Growing in her yard. The stems were two inches wide and flat Stamos suspected that radiation released during the accident caused the dandelions to mutate into their warped forms.

Libbe HaLevy

05:54:56

From that point on for the next decades, she found collected and documented hundreds of similarly misshapen plants in the area surrounding the accident site. Now researchers at the Smithsonian institution in Washington, DC had expressed interest in permanently housing. Her collection of samples. Our thanks to Scott ports line of three mile island alert for his efforts in accomplishing this. Now we’re just awaiting final word, unacceptance of this important documentation of the aftermath of the three mile island accident. This has been nuclear hot seat for Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021 material for this week show has been researched and compiled from nuclear-news.net to own renard.wordpress.com beyond nuclear.com. The international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons, Lancaster online.com local twelve.com and our dc.org. San Louis obispo.com national geographic.com. Rolling stone.com S F gate.com Marius Paul japan-forward.com globe and mail.com simply info.org. The register.com Tai PEI times.com and he captured and compromised by the industry.

Libbe HaLevy

05:56:17

They’re supposed to be regulating nuclear regulatory commission. Thanks to all of you for listening and no matter where you are around the world and listeners are around the world. If you want to get nuclear, hot seat delivered by email every week, it’s easy. Just go to nuclear hot seat.com, scroll down for the yellow box and sign up with your first name and your email address for a weekly link to the latest show and a little bit of information about the content. And while you’re at it, if you’re on Facebook, go to the nuclear hot seat, Facebook page, click like share comment. It all helps to get the show noticed in the all important algorithms. And there are other ways you can help the show as well. If you have a story lead, a hot tip or suggestion of someone to interview, send the information in an email to [email protected]

Libbe HaLevy

05:57:14

And if you appreciate this weekly hit of verifiable news updates about nuclear issues around the world, take a moment, go to nuclear, hot seat.com and look for the big red button, click on it, follow the prompts and know that anything you can do will help. And we will really appreciate your support. This episode of nuclear hot seat is copyright 2021. Leiby how lady and hardest streak communications, all rights reserved, but their use is allowed. As long as proper attribution is provided. This is Leiby Halevi of hardest street communications. The heart of the art of communicating, reminding you that is Hiroshima survivors SESCO Thurlow said upon accepting the 2018 Nobel peace prize on behalf of the international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons, the nuclear arsenal represents a self-destruct button for the human race. So let’s not push it. Okay, there you go. You have just had your nuclear wake-up call. So don’t go back to sleep because we are all in the nuclear hot seat,

Announcer

05:58:27

Clear hot seat. What are those people thinking? Nuclear hot seat. What have those boys been breaking their hot seat? Ms. Sinking, our time to act is shrinking, but Hotsy it’s bomb.