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Hiroshima & Nagasaki: the 75th Anniversaries: Hiroshima & Nagasaki: Collection Highlights

A virtual library of works on—and in commemoration of—the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 6/9, 1945)

Collection Highlights

Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War


"Susan Southard does for Nagasaki what John Hersey did for Hiroshima, and more. She takes us beneath the mushroom cloud with harrowing, damning, eloquent intimacy—and then through ensuing decades of individual and civic recovery right up to the present day. Nagasaki: Life after Nuclear War is scrupulous, passionate, and compassionate history at its very best.”

—John W. Dower, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of WWII


Hiroshima & Nagasaki: An Illustrated History


From the publisher's website: "An ambitious blend of history ancient and modern, literature and poetry, photography and art, yet still also a travel guide ... Released in 2015 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings. A powerful and thought-provoking read that will challenge, inform, and inspire visitors and armchair travellers."

Children of the Atomic Bomb: An American Physician's Memoir of Nagasaki, Hiroshima, and the Marshall Islands


"Dr. Yamazaki’s painfully concise observations of children affected by the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki force us to see what actually took place beneath the mushroom cloud. While his parents were held in a U.S. internment camp, Yamazaki fought for his country in Europe during World War II. After witnessing firsthand the atrocities of war as a young soldier, Yamazaki went on to study devastation on an even more horrific scale: the impact of a nuclear blast on the children of Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

—Daniel K. Inouye, United States Senator, Hawaii

Hiroshima Diary: The Journal of a Japanese Physician


The late Dr. Michihiko Hachiya was director of the Hiroshima Communications Hospital when the world's first atomic bomb was dropped on the city. Despite his enormous responsibilities in the appalling chaos of a devastated city, he found time to record the story daily, with compassion and tenderness. His compelling diary was originally published by the UNC Press in 1955, with the help of Dr. Warner Wells of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who was a surgical consultant to the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission and who became a friend of Dr. Hachiya. In a new foreword, John Dower reflects on the enduring importance of the diary fifty years after the bombing

White Light, Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (dir. Steven Okazaki, 2007)


In August 1945, the world was transformed in the blink of an eye when American forces dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and then Nagasaki. The destruction was unprecedented and the bombings precipitated the end of World War II. Contains archival footage and stunning photography. Interviews are from both Japanese survivors and the Americans who believed that their involvement would help end a brutal conflict.

Nagasaki: The Massacre of the Innocent and Unknowing


In early August 1945, the people of Nagasaki went about the usual struggle of their daily wartime existence. No-one could have imagined the horror of what was about to happen. This book follows ordinary people on the ground in the hours after the dropping of the bomb, as well as the political intrigues leading up to the attack



Many American's introduction to the reality of the atomic bombings came through John Hersey's Hiroshima, which first appeared in the August 31, 1946 issue of The New Yorker. In fact, the entire issue was devoted to Hersey's reporting, which followed the stories and experiences of six hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) from the morning of the bombing, to a year later. An update on the lives of the six hibakusha was added to later editions of the book. Hiroshima remains the most widely read account of what happened on August 6 and August 9, and afterwards; it is taught in schools nationwide, including here at Pima Community College.

Selected Journal Articles

Brodie, Janet Farrell. “Radiation Secrecy and Censorship after Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” Journal of Social History, vol. 48, no. 4, Summer 2015, pp. 842–964.

Greenwell, John. “The Atom Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Were They War Crimes?” ISAA Review: Journal of the Independent Scholars Association of Australia, vol. 12, no. 2, Oct. 2013, p. 35.

Ichitani, Tomoko. “Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms: The Renarrativation of Hiroshima Memories.” Journal of Narrative Theory, vol. 40, no. 3, Sept. 2010, p. 364. 

McClelland, Gwyn, and David Chapman. “Silences: The Catholics, the Untouchables and the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb.” Asian Studies Review, vol. 44, no. 3, Sept. 2020, pp. 382–400. 

Olesen, Thomas. “The Hiroshima Memory Complex.” British Journal of Sociology, vol. 71, no. 1, Jan. 2020, pp. 81–95.

Ritsu Sakata, et al. “Long-Term Effects of the Rain Exposure Shortly after the Atomic Bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” Radiation Research, vol. 182, no. 6, 2014, p. 599.

Susan Lindee. “Survivors and Scientists: Hiroshima, Fukushima, and the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, 1975-2014.” Social Studies of Science, vol. 46, no. 2, 2016, p. 184.

Szczepanska, Kamila. “Towards a ‘Common’ View of Difficult Past? The Representation of Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Trilateral Teaching Materials.” Journal of Peace Education, vol. 14, no. 1, Apr. 2017, pp. 114–129.

Message From Hiroshima: Remembering the Life & Culture of Hiroshima Before the Bombing (dir. Masaaki Tanabe, 2015)


Message from Hiroshima illustrates the immense suffering and loss that resulted when the world's first atomic bomb detonated in the historic city of Hiroshima. Today, where the Hon and Motoyasu rivers meet, stands the Peace Memorial Park -- the former location of the Nakajima district, which was once home to thousands of people and hundreds of businesses before the bombing. Survivors and former residents recount their lives before the bombing, accompanied by computer-generated recreations of buildings and people that could have existed. Old footage, paintings, and lost photos of families intertwine with intimate narration by award-winning actor, George Takei, to revive the memory of the sights, sounds, and smells of a lost culture and people.

The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, and the Architecture of an American Myth

From the inside book cover: "Controversial in nature, this book demonstrates that the United States did not need to use the atomic bomb against Japan. Alperovitz criticizes one of the most hotly debated precursory events to the Cold War, an event that was largely responsible for the evolution of post-World War II American politics and culture."

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes


Hospitalized with the dreaded atom bomb disease, leukemia, a child in Hiroshima races against time to fold one thousand paper cranes to verify the legend that by doing so a sick person will become healthy


Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima


If the bombing of Hiroshima represents one of the signal events of the twentieth century, at the time it was but another episode in an unprecedented drama whose final act had begun three weeks earlier, at the secret laboratory in Los Alamos. This book is the story of those three weeks, as seen through the eyes of the pilots, victims, scientists, and world leaders at the center of the drama. Interviews with American and Japanese witnesses tell the story of the bombing of Hiroshima--including the copilot, who writes a minute-by-minute diary on board the Enola Gay; the atomic scientist who arms the bomb in midair with a screwdriver; and the Japanese student desperately searching for his lover in the ruins of the city.

Hiroshima: The World's Bomb


from Publisher's Weekly: "Rotter proposes to restructure the debate over the atomic bombing of Japan by putting the subject in a global context. His detailed analysis of Japanese reactions to Hiroshima and Nagasaki draws a commonsense conclusion: the nuclear strikes combined with Soviet intervention gave Emperor Hirohito the opening he needed to end a war clearly lost. America alone, however, did not decide to build the bomb; leading scientists in other countries worked on embryonic atomic bomb projects. Nor were Americans alone in considering the bomb's use. In Britain, Germany and Japan, false starts, scarce resources and wartime exigencies limited results. Rotter nevertheless concludes that any other power would have dropped a developed bomb with no more hesitation than the U.S. Ironically, the superpowers' mutual efforts to step away from the abyss in later years were accompanied by increasing and successful efforts by others to join the nuclear club: Britain, France, Israel, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea. The atomic bomb is now the world's bomb—as political, cultural and religious contexts increasingly deny that genuine noncombatants exist."

A World Destroyed: Hiroshima and Its Legacies


From the publisher's website: "Continuously in demand since its first, prize-winning edition was published in 1975, this is the classic history of the development of the American atomic bomb, the decision to use it against Japan, and the origins of U.S. atomic diplomacy toward the Soviet Union. In his Preface to this new edition, the author describes and evaluates the lengthening trail of new evidence that has come to light concerning these often emotionally debated subjects. The author also invokes his experience as a historical advisor to the controversial, aborted 1995 Enola Gay exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. This leads him to analyze the impact on American democracy of one of the most insidious of the legacies of Hiroshima: the political control of historical interpretation."

Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard (dir. Bryan Reichhardt, 2015)


Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard (dir. Bryan Reichardt, 2015) presents the aftermath of the first atomic bomb through the remarkable drawings and untold stories of surviving Japanese school children from the Honkawa Elementary School in Hiroshima just two years after their city was destroyed. The Honkawa school was just 1100 feet from ground zero on August 6, 1945. Nearly 400 children died in the schoolyard that fateful morning. Watch the trailer above. Access the film on Kanopy, through the library catalog here.

First Into Nagasaki


"This is an important book—important and gripping. For the first time in print we can read the details of the nuclear bombardment of Nagasaki, Japan, as written by the first American reporter on the terrible scene. . . [George Weller’s] reports, so long delayed but now salvaged by his son, at last have saved our history from the military censorship that would have preferred to have time to sanitize the ghastly details."

—Walter Cronkite, from the Foreword

Hiroshima: The Autobiography of Barefoot Gen


"It might seem odd that a comic book could teach us so much about the unspeakable, but that is what Barefoot Gen does, in an inspiring way. Hiroshima: The Autobiography of Barefoot Gen is the equally gripping but true story of A-bomb survivor and artist, Nakazawa Keiji, and how his now-classic manga, or comic book, came to be. Read it, and never forget."

Frederik L. Schodt, author of Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics

Hiroshima No Pika (film)


Hiroshima No Pika is an animated film made by Noriaki Tsuchimoto based on the award-winning children’s book by the Japanese artist Toshi Maruki. Through Maruki's heart-rending but beautiful water color illustrations, the film tells the story of a young girl and her family who live through the horrific bombing of Hiroshima. While the horror lies in the reality of the story, the beauty of the film’s articulation creates a sensitive and affecting movie for children and their parents to engage in together. Narrator Susan Sarandon, a longtime supporter of anti-nuclear war campaigns, lends her talent to this historical yet timely story, inspiring children to remember Hiroshima in the hope that it will never be repeated.

Hiroshima & Nagasaki: The Real Story of the Atomic Bombings and Their Aftermath


In this harrowing history of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, Paul Ham argues against the use of nuclear weapons, drawing on extensive research and hundreds of interviews to prove that the bombings had little impact on the eventual outcome of the Pacific War

The Atomic Bomb: Voices from Hiroshima and Nagasaki


This collection of factual reports, short stories, poems and drawings expresses in a deeply personal voice the devastating effects of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Hiroshima Nagasaki August 1945 (dir. Eric Barnouw, 1995)


This classic, unforgettable film features the first film footage shot following the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. The viewer becomes an eyewitness to the bomb's aftermath, literally walking through the rubble and hospitals jammed with dying people. In August 1945 a Japanese filmmaker, Akira Iwasaki, who was jailed by the Japanese government during WW II for his antiwar beliefs, documented the effects of this new weapon. With only black and white film available, he recorded stark and often simple, but telling images of the vast destruction, such as the shadows of leaves, flowers and other objects burned onto stone.