When We Say “Hiroshima”
Translated with an Introduction by Richard H. Minear
Compelling poetry that constitutes a major legacy of the nuclear age
Kurihara Sadako is one of the poetic giants of the nuclear age. Born in Hiroshima in 1913, she was in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. From then till now she has addressed her poetry primarily to issues of nuclear destruction, nuclear weapons, and nuclear power. Herself a victim of the world’s first nuclear attack, she became the poetic conscience of the Hiroshima that was no more. But Kurihara turned her attention soon to more controversial issues, including Japan’s role as victimizer in World War II. Many of her poems attack the Japanese government and its policies then and now.
When We Say “Hiroshima” contains a selection of the poems Kurihara wrote between 1942 and 1989. They include meditations on death, on survival, on nuclear radiation, on Japanese politics, on American foreign policy, and on women’s issues.
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