Ms. Tomiko Ogoshi

Age: 69
Location: Nagasaki
Distance from hypocenter: Second Generation

“Living in peace is when
Each and every person quells their desires
Displays compassion toward others’ feelings
And we all grow together

Ogoshi Tomiko”

“When I was in middle school, my mother confessed to me that she had wanted to abort me when she became pregnant with me, two and a half years after the bombing. She tried many methods – mizuburo (cold bath), carrying heavy rocks. Was she afraid that she had been exposed to nuclear radiation? Or was it due to poverty, which was so common back then? I never asked why.

Both of my parents are hibakusha. My father is a nyushi hibakusha (an individual who entered the affected area after the bombing) and my mother was exposed to the atomic bomb in Togitsu, about 6km from the hypocenter. She later walked to Takekubo, about 2km away from the hypocenter, to look for her relatives. On her way back to Togitsu, she recalls, there was a prominent rash on both of her ankles, where her geta (wooden sandals) did not cover. She had diarrhea for some days after.

As a young woman, I struggled to come to terms with my mother’s confession. During an especially rebellious period of my life, I remember lashing out at her – “Why didn’t you just abort me?” I regretted it immediately after. Five years ago, I joined the niseinokai (a support group for second generation hibakusha) and have finally begun to understand what she may have been going through.

My mother passed away in 1990.”