Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima

Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima

Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima

Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima

Excerpt

Research is a form of re-creation. I have tried to record the most important psychological consequences of exposure to the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. In order to relate the atomic survivor to general human experience, I extended the inquiry to include a wider concept of "the survivor" as an entity highly relevant to our times. These concerns in turn led to a study of death symbolism and the overall impact of nuclear weapons, which will be published later as a separate volume entitled The Broken Connection.

Hiroshima stimulates ready resistance within the would-be reseacher. It does so partly because of its specific association with massive death and mutilation, and partly because of the general reluctance of those in the human sciences to risk professional confrontation with great historical events which do not lend themselves to established approaches or categories. In any case, I have little doubt of my own resistance to Hiroshima; I had lived and worked in Japan for a total of more than four years, over ten-year period, before I finally visited the city in early April of 1962.

At that time I was completing two years of research on Japanese youth, as part of a long-standing interest in the interplay between individual psychology and historical change, or in "psychohistorical . . .

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