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World War II & the Bomb Print Page


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Hiroshima: A Novella - Laurence Yep
Describes the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, particularly as it affects Sachi, who becomes one of the Hiroshima Maidens.

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Black Rain - Masuji Ibuse
A novel about the day the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and how the lives of a Japanese businessman, his wife, and their niece changed.

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Barefoot Gen - Keiji Nakazawa
A graphic novel account of the dropping of the atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, based on the experiences of the author who was six-years-old at the time of the attack. Covers events leading up to and immediately following the bombing.



Children's Non Fiction & Biography

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Hiroshima No Pika - Toshi Maruki
A retelling of a mother's account of what happened to her family during the Flash that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.

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Hiroshima: The Story of the First Atom Bomb - Clive A. Lawton
Provides an historical account of the events surrounding the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 during World War II, discussing the long term repercussions and the overall results from a military standpoint.

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Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story - written by Ken Mochizuki
Tells the true story of Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat stationed in Lithuania in 1940 who risked the safety of his own family members and put his job on the line by issuing visas to as many as 10,000 Jews who were facing death at the hands of the Nazis.

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Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes - Eleanor Coerr
Hospitalized with the dreaded atom bomb disease, leukemia, a child in Hiroshima races against time to fold one thousand paper cranes to verify the legend that by doing so a sick person will become healthy.



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Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II - John W. Dower
Discusses how the defeat and American military occupation of Japan after World War II affected each level of Japanese society.

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Pacific War, 1931-1945: A Critical Perspective of Japan's Role in World War II - Saburō Ienaga
Japanese scholar Saburo Ienaga provides details of what went on in Japan and in the conquered territories during World War II along with Japanese policies and escalation of military operations that led to the invasion of Indochina.


Curriculum Units

Hiroshima: Perspectives on the Atomic Bombing - developed by Amy Cheng, Stanford Program on International and Cross-cultural Education (SPICE)

The Decision to Use the Bomb, Asia for Educators
Includes primary source documents and discussion questions to use with students.



Barefoot Gen. Geneon Entertainment USA, Inc, 2006.
The bombing of Hiroshima as seen through the eyes of an elementary student living in Japan during WWII.

Grave of the Fireflies. Central Park Media, 2002.
Two orphans in war-time Kobe, Japan, face fire-bombs, hunger, homelessness, and despair as the war and their lives come to an end.

Hiroshima: Why the Bomb was Dropped. ABC News.
This documentary television film examines the reasons behind the decision to use the atom bomb against Japan during World War II. Originally produced as an ABC News special program in 1996.

Japan's War in Color. Rhino Home Video, 2003.
Discover the story of a nation at war from rare color films, plus letters and diaries from those who lived through it. Much of this material has been recently discovered and allows the viewer to experience Japan and its culture from a new perspective.


White Light, Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Trailer

An HBO documentary.

Primary Source Library

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Personal Narrative & Biography

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The Atomic Bomb: Voices from Hiroshima and Nagasaki - edited by Kyoko Selden & Mark Selden

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Children of the Paper Crane: The Story of Sadako Sasaki and Her Struggle With the A-Bomb Disease - Masamoto Nasu ; translated by Elizabeth W. Baldwin, Steven L. Leeper, and Kyoko Yoshida

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The Bells of Nagasaki - Takashi Nagai ; translated by William Johnston

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Hiroshima in Memoriam and Today: Hiroshima as a Testimony of Peace for the World - Hitoshi Takayama, editor


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