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"A mother fled the flames with her child in her arms" was drawn by Yamada Ikue, who was 12 years old at the time of the blast at Hiroshima.

'Children of the Atomic Bomb' Website Honors Hiroshima, Nagasaki Victims

Commemorating victims of the blasts and presenting scientific findings about long-term effects of the atomic bomb, the website argues poignantly for non-nuclear proliferation.

This article was first published by UCLA Today Online.

By Don Nakanishi   

MARKING THE 63rd anniversary of the U.S. nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — on August 6 and 9, respectively — UCLA's Asian American Studies Center (AASC) announced the launching of the website Children of the Atomic Bomb.

Commemorating victims of the blasts and presenting scientific findings about long-term effects of the atomic bomb, the website argues poignantly for non-nuclear proliferation.

Children of the Atomic Bomb was developed by AASC in partnership with James N. Yamazaki, UCLA professor emeritus in pediatrics. At the age of 33, Yamazaki was the lead physician of the 1949 U.S. Atomic Bomb Medical Team, studying the effects of nuclear bombing on children in Nagasaki, in which more than 100,000 persons died directly, with hundreds of thousands more being exposed directly and indirectly to the bomb. The children, both living and future generations, were especially vulnerable to the genetic effects of the bomb.

The Children of the Atomic Bomb website provides Yamazaki's eyewitness accounts of his experiences in post-war Nagasaki, Hiroshima, and the Marshall Islands. It also details findings on the physical and health consequences of the atomic bombs on the survivors. These include increased incidence of leukemia and other cancers and high rates of birth defects such as malformed brains, caused by radiation injury to developing fetal brain cells.

"Their tragedy has left a lifelong impact on me," said Yamazaki who, at the age of 91, remains a committed speaker and activist against nuclear proliferation. "Today, six decades into the nuclear year, we of the older generation must convey to younger and future generations the facts about the nuclear threat to the family of man."

The website also features images of drawings and paintings created by survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki blasts. The project was funded in part by the Paul I. Terasaki Foundation, along with in-kind funding from AASC and additional funding from Dodie Danchick.