Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima

By Robert Jay Lifton | Go to book overview

THE ATOMIC BOMB EXPERIENCE

1) Anticipation

Anticipation is prior imagination, and the extent of one's capacity to imagine a profound event has important bearing upon the way in which one responds. In the case of Hiroshima's encounter with the atomic bomb, the predominant general tone was that of extreme surprise and unpreparedness. Neither past experience nor immediate perceptions-- the two sources of prior imagination--could encompass what was about to occur. 1

People did, of course, expect conventional bombing. They knew that Japanese cities were being attacked from the air, and they could observe the destructive power of American raids in the devastation of the nearby naval base of Kure. Though wartime censorship kept them from full knowledge of Japan's desperate plight, such things as diminishing food rations and the lull in military activity in their own city were indications that the situation was serious. They also noted the large-scale demolition work underway in Hiroshima, for which thousands of schoolchildren had been recruited, in the effort to create fire lanes to control anticipated conflagration. They wondered when Hiroshima's turn would come.

They were puzzled that virtually no bombs had been dropped on their city, despite its obvious strategic significance as a major staging

-15-

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Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction: Research and Researcher 3
  • Hiroshima 13
  • The Atomic Bomb Experience 15
  • Three - Invisible Contamination 57
  • A-Bomb Disease Four 103
  • A-Bomb Man 165
  • Atomic Bomb Leaders 209
  • Residual Struggles: Trust, Peace, and Mastery 253
  • Perceiving America 317
  • Formulation: Self and World 367
  • Creative Response: 1) "A-Bomb Literature" 397
  • Creative Response: 2) Artistic Dilemmas Eleven 451
  • The Survivor Twelve 479
  • Appendix 543
  • Notes 557
  • Index 577
  • List of Survivors Quoted 593
  • About the Author 595
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