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The Doctor of Hiroshima

"Chronicling the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing, this first-hand account shares a remarkable story of human endurance, and a doctor’s unassuming dedication. "

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

At times harrowing, and always incredibly humbling, Dr Michihiko Hachiya’s autobiographical account of the immeasurable pain and devastation that came in the wake of the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima tells an extraordinary story of survival. 

“The hour was early; the morning still, warm, and beautiful. Shimmering leaves, reflecting sunlight from a cloudless sky, made a pleasant contrast with shadows in my garden as I gazed absently through wide-flung doors opening to the south.” And then comes a bright flash as an atomic bomb strikes close to Dr Hachiya’s home. Both injured, he and his wife Yaeko struggle to his hospital, en route encountering “the shadowy forms of people, some of whom looked like walking ghosts. Others moved as though in pain, like scarecrows, their arms held out from their bodies with forearms and hands dangling”.

The immediate aftermath is grim — the hospital is aflame, there are dead bodies, patients and colleagues are burned — while the days and weeks that follow see Dr Hachiya and his colleagues get to grips with an unthinkable situation.

From its visceral chronicling of the horrors encountered in the immediate aftermath of the atomic bomb, through to caring for patients, and investigations into the strange symptoms of radiation sickness, The Doctor of Hiroshima is lucid, uniquely insightful, and suffused in Dr Hachiya’s profound humanity, hope and dedication.

Joanne Owen

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