A victim of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima
A victim of the A-bombing of Hiroshima

HIBAKUSHA - ATOMIC BOMB SURVIVORS

The "hibakusha" are the surviving victims of the atomic bombs which fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While these individuals survived the immediate effects of the blasts, the hibakusha have suffered from the effects of radiation sickness, loss of family and friends, and discrimination.

In spite of their difficulties, many hibakusha have been shining examples of turning their personal tragedies into a struggle to promote peace and to create a world free of nuclear weapons.

Hibakusha

Nuclear Weapon-Free World

Statue of Sadako Sasaki with paper cranes
Photo Credit - Ryan Meuth

HIBAKUSHA - ATOMIC BOMB SURVIVORS

Sadako Sasaki was a young girl who died two months before her 13th birthday. Living near the epicentre of the Hiroshima blast, Sadako developed leukemia from radiation poisoning. While hospitalized, her closest friend reminded her of the Japanese legend that if she folded a thousand paper cranes, the gods might grant her wish to be well again.

With hope and determination, Sadako began folding. Since then, the beautifully folded paper crane has become a worldwide symbol of peace.

Sadako Sasaki

Legend of a Thousand Paper Cranes

Secretary-General remembers Hiroshima atomic bomb victims
Photo Credit - UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

HIBAKUSHA - ATOMIC BOMB SURVIVORS

On 6 August 2010, 65 years after an atomic bomb devastated the city, Ban Ki-moon became the first United Nations Secretary-General to take part in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony.

Standing shoulder to shoulder with survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima, a deeply moved Secretary-General paid respect to all those who perished there 65 years ago and stressed that the time has come to realize the dream of a world free of nuclear weapons.

Secretary-General

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony

Peace statue, Nagasaki
Photo Credit - Flikr.com/southtopia

HIBAKUSHA - ATOMIC BOMB SURVIVORS

The memorials in Hiroshima and Nagasaki keep records of the hibakusha who are known to have died since the bombings.

Updated annually on the anniversaries of the bombings, as of August 2010 the memorials record the names of more than 420,000 hibakusha; 269,446 in Hiroshima and 152,276 in Nagasaki. While most of the hibakusha are Japanese, several thousand victims were from other parts of the globe.

Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall

Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall

Secretary-General speaks at high school in Hiroshima, Japan
Photo Credit - UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

HIBAKUSHA - ATOMIC BOMB SURVIVORS

The Government of Japan, in cooperation with the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the United Nations, is working to ensure that the testimonies of the atomic bomb survivors become a legacy for this generation and generations to come.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan has made available the testimonies of 21 hibakusha in the original Japanese along with translations into English, Chinese, French, Spanish, Russian, and Korean.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan "Hibakusha" Website

Hibakusha

Atomic Bomb Survivors

Upon his visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 2010, the United Nations Secretary General has launched an initiative to forge partnerships with governments and organizations to preserve and disseminate the testimonies of the Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) to ensure that their stories are available for generations to come. The testimonies by the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki form an historical legacy that is a clarion call for promoting peace and for securing a world free of nuclear weapons. This webpage is dedicated to increase awareness and accessibility of the Hibakusha's testimonies for the purpose of disarmament and non-proliferation education by serving as a resource point for hibakusha related materials.

Links to Testimonies of Hibakusha

Films and videos

Related events and materials by the United Nations