« Counter-Recruitment Conference Set for July at UNM | Main | Robert Kennedy Jr. at Lensic This Sunday »

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Hiroshima Survivor to Visit Santa Fe

Who is Shigeko Sasamori ?

Shigeko Sasamori is a Hibakusha, a survivor of the nuclear weapon used on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945. At that time Shigeko was a 13 year old schoolgirl drafted to clean the streets of Hiroshima. On her first day at work she heard the airplane which dropped the first atomic bomb on a largely civilian population. She was about 1 kilometer away from the epicenter --very close to the blast.  She was severely wounded and badly burned by radiation and spend a long time healing. In the early 1950-ties she and about 25 other girls were part of a church group in Hiroshima and they were befriended by the American writer and activist Norman Cousins. He took pity on these woman who often looked 'monstrous'. In Shigeko's case she didn't have a nose and most of the flesh on her jaw and lips was missing, her fingers had 'melted together',  aside from having burn scars all over her body. Norman Cousins arranged for 25 of these girls to be send to the Mount Zion Hospital in NYC, and over a two year period of time these women had thousands of skin crafts and cosmetic surgeries, gradually gaining back a 'regular appearance'.

Of all the women who had been treated by American Surgeons, Shigeko Sasamori was the one who stayed in the US and practiced nursing for most of her professional life in American Hospitals. Now Shigeko Sasamori is retired and has become a tireless activist against nuclear weapons and has visited many war torn areas in the world to give comfort and hope to its victims.

Though Shigeko still deals with various ailments associated with her exposure (cancers), her wondrous and strong spirit is what is keeping her alive and she feels that this is her time to testify, to witness, to heal, and to create a legacy of a world free from nuclear weapons.


Program: Shigeko's story, plus: film showing of 'Chernobyl Hearts', an award winning documentary by director Marion Delillo)

For any more information or scheduling please call Willem Malten at 820-1974. 


Program: Shigeko Sasammori – Hiroshima maiden -  will speak to the larger 'Sangha' of Santa Fe about trauma and Spirituality plus: Film showing of 'Hiroshima, Mon Amour' (at 7 PM)

Donations will be requested to offset costs for Sasamori's travels.

Shigeko Sasamori speaks perfect English and will be available for interviews.  For any more information or scheduling please call Willem Malten at 820-1974.

Editor's Note: I have heard that Sasamori will also be appearing at events in Taos and Albuquerque but I haven't received any information as to place or time. If anyone has more info on this, please let us know.

June 8, 2005 at 04:57 PM in Events | Permalink


I would like to know how to be in touch with Sasamori by email or regular mail. We are a small non-profit organization in NY State and every year we have a memorial event on the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. I think she might like to know that there are Americans across the country who will never forget the tragedy of the bombing. One Hiroshima survivor attends our event every year. If you can let me know how to email or mail to her, I'd like to send her a note with a copy of our press release and a photo of 2 dancers from Japan who will be performing at the event this August 6.
Thank you.
Julie Wegener
Arts For Peace,
New Paltz, NY

Posted by: Julie Wegener | Jul 17, 2005 11:55:37 AM

Post a comment