About The Author
Secret History of the American Soldiers Killed by the Atomic Bomb
Mori Shigeaki , 1937-
As an 8-year-old child who was targeted for an anonymous, impersonal, unfortunate but deliberate death amongst tens of thousands of other children in Hiroshima, Shigeaki Mori met the coldest, darkest, most powerfully destructive element of humanity---warfare. That it would be best if he and so many others should die in a terrifying nuclear holocaust in order for so many others to have a chance to live, was a role that never could have occurred to him, nevermind chosen for himself. Instead of dying in order to end World War II (The Pacific War), he survived, imbued with empathy for those around him and the people who had targeted him and his families and friends for sacrifice. As an adult, he dedicated much of his life to to the view that humanity can eliminate the term enemy combatant and instead value humanity simply as children, women, and men---all of whom are worthy of peaceful life.
Mori, one of the Hiroshima hibakusha (bomb affected persons) wrote Secret Histories..., a book that is about the greatest impact on his life. Surprisingly, it is not a book about his suffering as a hibakusha. It is not about cultural fear or shame that covers up his experience and life history and demands that he be shunned and quietly stigmatized. It is about the deaths of young men who brought war and death from afar. The author of this book, originally written in Japanese, is Shigeaki Mori, born in 1937. He lives in Hiroshima with his wife, Kayoko.
Mr. Mori was an 8-year-old child who was walking to school with a friend when they were suddenly blinded by an intense "pika" flash of light and both boys were blown by a nuclear blast––from the first deployed atomic weapon––across a small pedestrian bridge and into a creek. Although his companion died, Mr. Mori survived that day and has endured a lifetime of consequences from that experience on 6 August, 1945. With his lifelong work to investigate and report the fates of men who were supposed to be his enemy, Mr. Mori has redefined what it is to be hibakusha. Many hours, days, even years of active research were conducted over decades, mostly independent from supportive academicians and formally trained historians of Japan and the United States.
He recognized that the surviving families of the POWs in Hiroshima deserve to know what happened to these young men who were sacrificed in war. For decades, Mr. Mori has sought out the American survivors and the families of the Americans who were killed in Hiroshima in order to share what he has learned. He worked a second job in order to create the only historical marker in Hiroshima that is a tribute to the American POWs who died in Hiroshima. Mori and a very few others gave us the stories of the American POW's and with that we have a more complete picture of the costs of warfare. His carefully prepared narrative is as sincere, open-handed, and rich gift. It is the culmination of his research and attention to the reality of a handful of American war victims and their families. In its publication we learn learn context of the end of the World War, and of his own accomplishments and of his gracious and magnanimous mein of a hibakusha.
Mr. Mori carries to many of his speaking engagements a framed photograph of Thomas Cartwright. That they could have a friendship literally means the world to him.