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He has photographed Korean victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These photos were taken in Japan, as well as North and South Korea. He has also photographed Asian victims of the Asian-Pacific War, including former “comfort woman” who were forced to be sex slaves for the Japanese army, as well as Koreans and Taiwanese who were drafted to serve in the Imperial Army.
I received a draft notice from my town office. I went with the full awareness that I would never come back alive.
I was sent to Hiroshima. And even though I was a soldier, my job was unloading bags of sugar and other items, sometimes weighing more than 90 kilos, off of boats.
I was not directly hit by the atomic bomb itself, but was in the area around the hypocenter for days afterward, disposing of bodies.
Of the 125 members of my unit who were in Hiroshima, many have died from leukemia and other causes since returning home. Only 18 of us are still alive today.
(1994, Republic of Korea )
Japan colonized Korea, and on top of this waged the War. As a result, many Koreans became victims of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. My mother covered me with a mattress when the bomb hit, so I was spared from injury, but my mother, who was pregnant at the time, later had a miscarriage because of it. In 1992, I received an a-bomb victim certificate when I went to Japan to attend the World Congress Against A-Bombs and H-Bombs. I was the first person from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to get one. The Korean Atomic Victims for Peace and against Nuclear Weapons, of which I am the vice-president, has 680 members, of which approximately 85% are victims of the Hiroshima bombing. (Democratic People's Republic of Korea ITOH Takashi)
Habcheon, in the south of the Republic of Korea, is known as “Korea’s Hiroshima.” This is because many victims of the Hiroshima bombing are living there.
These victims live a meager existence, in a place which is difficult to reach, and which has been left behind in the process of economic development. This is partly because they have not been able to receive appropriate medical care for the aftereffects of the bombing.
The two brothers Kim Han-Gun and Kim San-Gun, both of whom live in Habcheon, have continued to farm even while suffering from the aftereffects of the bombing.
(1997, Habcheon, Republic of Korea ITOH Takashi)