Meet the Japanese man who survived both WWII atomic bombs
Tsutomu Yamaguchi, the man known as the only person to survive two atomic bombs, died at 93 years old on January 4th, 2010. His last days were spent in Nagasaki, where he was receiving treatment for stomach cancer.
The Bombing Of Hiroshima
Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on Aug 6th, 1945, the date of the first American atomic bombing. He was there on a business trip for his company, a shipbuilding outfit. Yamaguchi survived the blast with major burns to the left side of the upper half of his body.
The blast also left him temporarily blind and ruptured both his eardrums. Despite his injuries, he crawled to shelter, rested briefly and set out to find two of his work colleagues, who were also lucky enough to have survived the blast. Yamaguchi spent the night following the bombing in an air raid shelter before returning to his home in Nagasaki.
The Bombing Of Nagasaki
Just three days after surviving the blast at Hiroshima, Yamaguchi also survived the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. He was at his place of work, actually telling the story of surviving the bomb at Hiroshima to his boss when the second bomb was dropped.
Yamaguchi survived this catastrophe with no direct injuries, but suffered an infection of his burns from the first blast due to being unable to receive proper medical attention.
Translator And Abolitionist
Yamaguchi went on to start a family with his wife, who was also a survivor of the Nagasaki bombing. Later in life, Yamaguchi, his wife, and their children would all report health troubles related to radiation exposure.
During the allied occupation of Japan, Yamaguchi was a translator for the occupying military. Later, he became a vocal abolitionist of atomic weapons. In 2009, he was officially recognized by the Japanese government as the only survivor of both bombings.