Talk about having a bad couple days — TTT 25 Mar

I do not think I would like to have this man’s memories.

Japanese man certified as double A-bomb survivor

MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press, March 24, 2009 at 6:26 AM EDT

TOKYO — A 93-year-old Japanese man has become the first person certified as a survivor of both U.S. atomic bombings at the end of the Second World War, officials said Tuesday.

Tsutomu Yamaguchi had already been a certified “hibakusha,” or radiation survivor, of the Aug. 9, 1945, atomic bombing in Nagasaki, but has now been confirmed as surviving the attack on Hiroshima three days earlier as well, city officials said.

Mr. Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a business trip on Aug. 6, 1945, when a U.S. B-29 dropped an atomic bomb on the city. He suffered serious burns to his upper body and spent the night in the city. He then returned to his hometown of Nagasaki just in time for the second attack, city officials said.

“As far as we know, he is the first one to be officially recognized as a survivor of atomic bombings in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” Nagasaki city official Toshiro Miyamoto said. “It’s such an unfortunate case, but it is possible that there are more people like him.”

Certification qualifies survivors for government compensation — including monthly allowances, free medical checkups and funeral costs — but Mr. Yamaguchi’s compensation will not increase, Mr. Miyamoto said.

Japan is the only country to have suffered atomic bomb attacks. About 140,000 people were killed in Hiroshima and 70,000 in Nagasaki.

Mr. Yamaguchi is one of about 260,000 people who survived the attacks. Bombing survivors have developed various illnesses from radiation exposure, including cancer and liver illnesses.

Details of Mr. Yamaguchi’s health problems were not released.

Thousands survivors continue to seek official recognition after the government rejected their eligibility for compensation. The government last year eased the requirements for being certified as a survivor, following criticism the rules were too strict and neglected many who had developed illnesses that doctors have linked to radiation.

One Response to “Talk about having a bad couple days — TTT 25 Mar”

  1. Nene Says:

    He was either incredibly unlucky or very very lucky. I had never heard of him, what a story.

    From a forum I am on: “If he is the same person I think it is, he is a famous kite maker. He got home to his kite shop in enough time to herd his family into the cellar. What also makes his story even more fantastic was the fact that the cloud cover caused the bombardier to miss his target. If he had hit where he was supposed to, the kite shop would have been at ground zero.

    Here’s an example of his design, a design copied world wide. ”

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