With Saturday being the 71st anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, atomic bomb survivor and historian Shigeaki Mori, now 79, prayed the souls of U.S. prisoners of war who died in the bombing.

Mori was a third grader on his way to school at a national wartime primary school when the bomb fell on his city. He happened to be 2.5 kilometers away from ground zero.


President Barack Obama hugs Shigeaki Mori during his visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on May 27, 2016 (Photo: Mainichi Japan)

Mori became interested in the U.S. prisoners held in Hiroshima in the 1970’s after seeing them shown in a painting of the aftermath of the atomic bombing. He began to do research on them, determined to tell their story. He installed a memorial nameplate for the U.S. POW’s at his own expense at the site of the former Chugoku Headquarters for military police.

Mori was invited to the ceremony for atomic bomb victims held in May at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, where U.S. President Barack Obama spoke with him. “I was on cloud nine at the time, as I felt my efforts had paid off,” he said.

The image of Mori, sharing an emotional embrace with Obama went around the world and brought a lot of good exposure. After the picture’s publication, Mori received new testimonies about the U.S. POW’s.

In June, Mori published his book about the U.S. POW’s, but still feels he has not yet finished tracing their fates or praying for their souls.

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