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Memories of Armageddon

It weighed close to 9,000 pounds, was dubbed “Little Boy,” and exploded about 1,800 feet above Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. The heat of the initial blast rivaled the temperature of the sun’s surface. By some estimates, it killed 100,000 people instantly.

A young girl at the time, artist Junko Kayashige was only a mile from where a U.S. plane dropped the first of two atomic bombs on Japan. She suffered serious burns to her face, neck, and right arm, and lost several members of her family, including two sisters. On Aug. 9, the second bomb fell on Nagasaki, effectively ending World War II.

Sixty-six years later, the artist and activist is showing her work in America for the first time in an effort to ensure such horror is never repeated.

A new exhibition at the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Monroe C. Gutman Library, “With Hiroshima Eyes: The Hibakusha Art of Junko Kayashige,” depicts a series of evocative images inspired by Kayashige’s experience as a “Hibakusha,” an atomic bomb survivor.

Read the full story in the Harvard Gazette.


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