The limited attainments of A-bomb leaders suggest the depth of residual conflict. The conflict has existed within individual hibakusha, in the general Hiroshima community, and, in fact, throughout all of post- bomb society. Hibakusha struggles to absorb their experience are therefore problems of psychohistorical mastery. The contending symbols within and around hibakusha are those which affirm life and those which subvert it; the polarity is that of reintegration versus residual distrust.
For individual hibakusha the experience of being loved and cared for could, gradually and against obstacles, re-create life-affirming imagery and re-establish the capacity to live.
In the case of the shopkeeper's assistant, for instance, the pattern of suspiciousness and homeless wandering we noted before was interrupted by four human relationships sufficiently profound to be experienced as an A-bomb orphan's re-establishment of "family": with a welfare official, who took responsibility for the boy's life to the point of taking him into his own home and "treating me like a younger brother"; with a university professor and his wife (introduced by the welfare official), who became "parents" for a whole group of A-bomb orphans and with