Beyond the Mushroom CloudCommemoration, Religion, and Responsibility after Hiroshima

Beyond the Mushroom CloudCommemoration, Religion, and Responsibility after Hiroshima

Yuki Miyamoto

Print publication date: 2012

ISBN: 9780823240500

Publisher: Fordham University Press

Abstract

This monograph explores the ethics and religious sensibilities of a group of the hibakusha (survivors) of 1945's atomic bombings. Although the atomic bombings of 1945 have been studied from the points of view of various disciplines, the survivors' ethic—not retaliation, but reconciliation—emerging from their experiences and supported by their religious sensibilities, has never been addressed sufficiently in academic discourse. Rather their ethic has been excluded from the atomic bomb discourse or nuclear ethics. In examining Hiroshima city's “secular” commemoration, Hiroshima's True Pure Land Buddhist understanding, and Nagasaki's Roman Catholic tradition, I argue that the hibakusha's ethic and philosophy, based upon critical self-reflection, could offer resources for the constructing ethics based upon memories, especially in the post-9–11 world. Thus, this monograph, responding to this lacuna in scholarship, invites readers to go beyond the mushroom cloud where they encounter actual hibakusha's ethical thoughts.