Video featuring A-bomb testimonies posted online with subtitles in Pakistan’s official language to send message of peace

by Rina Yuasa, Staff Writer

ANT-Hiroshima, a non-profit organization based in Hiroshima City’s Naka Ward, has posted on YouTube a video of six A-bomb survivor testimonies with Urdu subtitles. The video records six A-bomb survivors, including Emiko Okada, who died on April 10 at age 84, speaking of their A-bomb experiences. It is designed to send a message of peace in the official language of Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation.

The 15-minute video, titled “Hiroshima After 75 Years: Prayers and Messages from the A-bombed City,” was produced in Japanese last year. It was filmed last year on August 6, the memorial date of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, in collaboration with various groups, including the non-governmental organization Peace Boat, in and around Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

In the video, Ms. Okada concedes, “I would like to go back to August 5 (the day before the atomic bombing) if it were at all possible.” Her older sister, at that time aged 12, did not return home after she had left to help demolish houses to create fire lanes for the war effort. Ms. Okada also explains her desire to convey her A-bomb testimony. “I can speak about this topic, because I survived the bombing,” she says. She calls on viewers to “take over the role of passing on the experiences of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the world.”

In 2005, together with Ms. Okada, Tomoko Watanabe, 67, executive director of ANT-Hiroshima, visited the two rival nations of Pakistan and India. Even amid the coronavirus pandemic, Ms. Watanabe has produced subtitled English and German versions of the video with the aim of communicating the voices of A-bomb survivors. “Some ideas can transcend national borders and cultures when viewers see the facial expressions of Ms. Okada and the other A-bomb survivors by video,” emphasized Ms. Watanabe.

The video can be accessed at: http://youtu.be/fzL7OA-1mV0 .

(Originally published on May 24, 2021)