Survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Attacks Call for Nuclear-Free World

Survivors of Atomic Bombs Dropped on Japan Call for Nuclear-Free World

ByABC News
August 5, 2010, 1:19 PM

Aug 6, 2010— -- Their skin is charred. Their bones melted away. Many watched their parents die. Yet they consider themselves the lucky ones. 65 years ago, they survived the unimaginable: the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

They are called the Hibakusha. They are a unique group which hopes their dramatic stories will convey the need to eliminate the scourge that nearly killed them during two days that changed the world, 65 years ago.

Mikiso Iwasa says August 6th, 1945 began like any other day. "It was a hot summer day, and the cicadas were singing," said Iwasa. Then the sound changed.

"We heard the sound…from the north and the children screamed. It's a plane! It's a plane!," he recalled.

During that day in the Japanese city of Hiroshima, survival rested solely on being in the right place at the right time.

Iwasa believes he survived the atomic bomb dropped out of the U.S. B-29 plane, named the Enola Gay, only because he was sheltered directly behind his home.

While then seven-year-old Michiko Kodoma's classmates played outside, she went inside her wooden elementary school that day, to take her seat. Suddenly she saw a light.

"I saw a bright blast, and I saw yellow and silver and orange and all sorts of colors that I can't explain. Those colors came and attacked us, and the ceiling beams of the wooden school along with the glass from the window pane all shattered and blew away all at once."

Kodoma says what she witnessed next are horrors that no child should ever experience. "[There were] people whose eyeballs had popped out their sockets. There were those who held their babies – burnt black; they themselves had no skin. There were those whose intestines had come out of their bodies, and confused they struggled to put them back in."

After the blast, Kodoma's father found her and carried her to safety on his back. Together, they tried to save her older sister, but here injuries were too severe.

"Three days later, she leaned on me and passed away," Kodoma said.

The initial bomb blast on Hiroshima is believed to have killed 70,000 people.