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Hiroshima in 1955, the Year of Sadako's Death
During the occupation of Japan, the U.S. curtailed reporting on the atomic bombings.
After the San Francisco Peace Treaty was signed in 1951, research and reporting on the damage could finally proceed.
People learned for the first time what the atomic bombings had done.
By 1955, the words "A-bomb disease" were appearing in the news,
often in newspaper reports of the deaths of victims and related events.
Survivors suffered both the fear of being the next death and lack of empathy from those around them.
When a Japanese tuna fishing boat was exposed to fallout from a US hydrogen bomb test
over the Bikini Atoll in March 1954, the movement to ban atomic and hydrogen bombs gathered momentum,
and public interest in damage from the atomic bombings heightened as well. Subsequently,
the movement to support the survivors intensified.
The public's great interest in atomic and hydrogen bombs also bolstered the movement
to build the Children's Peace Monument to mourn the children who died from the atomic bombing,
a movement that was inspired by Sadako's death.


35 Treatment of Leukemia
1957 / Hiroshima A-bomb Hospital
Treatments for leukemia include transfusion to directly increase the number of white blood cells; chemotherapy, in which medicines are used to restrain the multiplication of cancer cells; and bone marrow transplants to generate healthy blood. Research is still in progress. It was around 1955 that medicine to stop the multiplication of cancer cells finally began to be widely available. Although the most advanced medicine available was used on Sadako, she died less than a year after she first showed symptoms.
The Atomic Bombing and Leukemia The incidence of leukemia among survivors peaked between 1950 and 1953. Because the symptoms of leukemia are the same regardless of whether the person was exposed to the bombing, there is no way to judge whether or not radiation exposure caused the disease. However, since leukemia incidence percentages are higher among those exposed to high levels of radiation than among those not exposed, it is surmised that radiation exposure is a significant factor. In leukemia, white blood cells, which attack bacteria that invade the body, transform into cancer cells and proliferate out of control. In response to the increase in these cancerous white blood cells, which are immature and of no use to the body, mature white blood cells and platelets decrease. Therefore, resistance to bacteria weakens and the tendency to hemorrhage grows. Common symptoms are swollen lymph nodes, fever, anemia, and pupura. When the illness advances, it often leads to death.
Hiroshima A-bomb Maidens
36 The Life of the Survivors
1955 / New York City, USA

Many survivors fearing for their health and lived in abject poverty, with few special assistance measures in place to help them. Around 1951, the problems of young women whose faces and arms were disfigured by keloids--the "A-bomb Maidens"--began to attract attention and change the way the public viewed the atomic bombing in general. Public interest in the medical treatment of the young women generalized into concern for the survivors, of whom little had previously been known. The photo shows Hiroshima A-bomb Maidens receiving treatment at the hospital in New York
the 13th A-bomb sufferers group examination 37
Poorly Understood "A-bomb Disease"

November 1954 / Hiroshima City Hospital

The publication of medical research that explored the question of how bombing exposure manifested in aftereffects was severely curtailed under the occupation. After the signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1951, issues of the atomic bombing could be discussed freely. However, radiation effects were not well understood in 1955. Some were prejudiced against survivors because they believed, for example, that "A-bomb Disease" was contagious. The photo is of the 13th A-bomb sufferers group examination.
38
The Growing Movement for a Ban on Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs

August 6, 1955 / Hiroshima City Auditorium

In March 1954, the Japanese tuna fishing boat 5th Fukuryu-maru (Lucky Dragon) was exposed to a US hydrogen bomb test over the Bikini Atoll. Crew members were hospitalized for health problems caused by radiation exposure, and six months later one of them died. This incident sent shock waves throughout Japan, energizing the movement to ban hydrogen and atomic bombs, which led to the First World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs in 1955. In this way, word about the damage of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki got out to the world. The adoption of the Law Concerning Medical Care for A-bomb Victims (A-bomb Victims Medical Care Law) in 1957 gave the national government responsibility for health examinations and treatment of survivors. Adequate treatment of survivors was finally beginning.
World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs

  A Young Girl's Death from the A-bomb--Sadako Sasaki, 12 Years of Age
Sadako's 4,675 Days of Life

The Sadako in Me

Hiroshima in 1955, the Year of Sadako's Death


Sadako Through the Years -From Hiroshima to the World -
Toward Construction of the Children's Peace Monument

The Sadako Story Spreads


Finally
Individuals and Groups Contributors to This Exhibition

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