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August 06, 2007

Surviving The Bomb

Surviving The Bomb

Shigeko Sasamori was 13 years old on August 6, 1945. At 8:15 AM she was working with her junior high classmates clearing the streets of Hiroshima, Japan. She looked up into the clear blue sky when she heard a plane flying overhead and saw something white dropping to the earth. Shigeko was less than a mile from the center of the explosion caused by the world's first atomic bomb.

Somehow, Shigeko survived, but she had terrible burns over most of her body. Some of her fingers had fused together and scars on her face made her and others like pariahs in Japan for fear of contamination.

One of the young women injured by the bomb

Ten years later, in 1955, she was one of 25 young women called "Hiroshima Maidens" who were brought to the US for corrective surgeries at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. She became a nurse and lives today in the United States.

She joins guest host Aaron Henkin to talk about her memories of the bomb and what she has done with her life since. Now retired and 75, Shigeko speaks out against the building of nuclear weapons, using what happened to her as an warning.

Nothing Is Ever As It Seems

David Spear was a newspaper editor when at the age of 50 he decided to do something new. He thought about painting, but once he tried photography, he was hooked.

His first book, "The Neugents," featured an intimate view of a rural family. After that book was published, David moved to Mexico on a whim. His latest book, "Visible Spirits," was inspired by his new life in Mexico. 

In this conversation from January, David spoke to Dick Gordon about girls cradling fish, youngsters holding ravens and other near-mythical stories from Mexico.

A 1992 recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, David's photographs are now in the permanent collections of museums across the nation, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Art in Houston.

  • Find out more about David's books "The Neugents" and "Visible Spirits"

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