July 24th – 29th

My fourth week has been full of learning, empathy, and kindness. On Saturday and Sunday, I took a personal trip to Tokyo, so I might make a separate tab on the blog to talk about that. However, if I decide not to just know that it was super fun and that there are NO BENCHES IN TOKYO (basically), so if you go be sure to plan everything ahead of time otherwise your feet might fall off while you wander aimlessly 🙃. Anyway, check out the highlights below!!

July 24th – Fun Day with Laura 

At 5pm, Laura and I went to a Cat Café. This was on my list of must-have experiences while I’m in Japan so I was very excited. We didn’t end up getting any drinks, but we did play with the cats. When I bought some treats to give them we were swarmed immediately 😂.

After that, we had dinner at a restaurant called Otoya and I ate broiled mackerel and miso soup with rice 😋. Later we walked around Hondori a bit and ate some taiyaki, a fish-shaped cake. My taiyaki had premium pudding and it was sooo good. Overall it was just a fun time.

July 25th – Yoko’s House

At 11am, Yoko Mimura, a WFC Chair, invited Laura and me to her home to show us her kimonos and try calligraphy. She lives outside the city, so I was able to see a different side of Hiroshima which was very nice. Yoko began by showing us a photo album that held pictures of the kimonos. Her family has had these kimonos for many years, so the most beautiful ones have been passed down to be used in coming-of-age ceremonies and marriages. Yoko showed us the pictures of her daughter’s wedding. After showing us the pictures, she brought out the kimonos for us to see and touch. “Intricate” was the primary word swimming around in my mind while viewing the kimonos. From the elegant packaging to the specific way of folding the kimono. Yoko’s kimonos were full of patterns and colors that one would never see in western clothes, and every piece was a completely different style from the last. I was constantly amazed by the great intention put into their creation, and the cultural significance interwoven with every thread. Kimonos are very deserving of their title as Japan’s traditional clothing as if there was ever any doubt. Yoko was also so kind as to allow us to try on her kimonos, Laura tried on her daughter’s wedding kimono and I tried on a male yukata she was given by her mother-in-law and never opened. After seeing that yukata was a perfect fit for me, Yoko very graciously gifted it to me 😱. I will cherish it always ☺️❤️.

Sometime later, we practiced calligraphy by writing our names in Kanji. It was very difficult, but we did our best 😂.

July 26th – Kasaoka-san’s Testimony and Peace Dolls

At 9:30am, we listened to Kasaoka-san’s, a hibakusha, testimony about what occurred in her life on August 6th, 1945 when the A-Bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Trigger Warning for Graphic Descriptions: Kasaoka-san was one of many mobilized middle school students whose job was to demolish houses to create fire-breaks to limit the expansion of fire if Hiroshima was firebombed by B-29s. However, on August 6th she was not present because she had a stomach ache and stayed home. Staying home saved her life as she would have been in the heart of the city otherwise and been horribly burned. Kasaoka-san recalls seeing a bright light like the sunset before quickly ducking because she knew something was wrong. Then her window burst open and she was impaled with glass on her head. Luckily the wound was not deep. She immediately grabbed her grandmother and went to the neighborhood evacuation site near the hillside. During this time she saw the distinctive mushroom-shaped cloud of the A-Bomb. After some minutes she saw very badly wounded people enter the evacuation site and knew that her father and mother who had been working in the city were in trouble. However, she could not leave her grandmother, so did not get up to find them. In minutes a neighborhood soldier (I believe) brought her father to the site on a stretcher. His entire body was burnt black, his lips were turned inside out, and his eyes stared straight ahead because he could not close them. Kasaoka-san could not recognize her father until he spoke. He asked for water, but she did not give him any because everyone was told at this time that giving a badly burned person water would kill them. She lied to her father that they had none, and not giving him water at this moment is her biggest regret to this day. Trying to treat her father’s wounds until help could arrive was all for not because his skin would fall off completely anytime it was touched. Flies soon surrounded his body due to the smell of his untreated infected wounds. The flies laid eggs and he soon had maggots inside his body. Kasoaka-san tried her best to fan the maggots off him and help her dad, but there was only so much she could do. Seeing that he would die soon she figured she could at least make him happy and brought him some sake because he enjoyed drinking. Unfortunately, his mouth was too badly burned and he could not swallow. The next day he passed.

This part of Kasaoka-san’s testimony impacted me the strongest, due to how much pain her father must have endured and her own upsetting lack of power. There was nothing she could do to help one of the people she loved the most in the entire world. This reality disturbed me at my core.

At noon, some WFC board members, Laura, and I gathered in the living room to create Peace Dolls. Peace Dolls were created by a WFC member back in the 70s after being asked by Barbara Reynolds, the WFC founder, to help her send a message to the world.

July 27th – Tree Tour with Katsumi

At 1:30pm, Laura and I rode our bikes to the A-Bomb Dome to meet up with Katsumi Takahashi, a WFC Vice Chair, so that he could give us a tour of some of the A-Bombed trees that survived. The tour was very interesting and we learned about the history of Hiroshima before and after the A-Bomb. For example, the second largest A-Bombed tree is near many apartment buildings that were specifically made for the hibakusha in the 70s so the government could demolish the ghettos that hibakusha created for themselves after being dispossessed, and losing the ability to gain financial security because of health problems and discrimination.

July 28th – Kajiya-san’s Testimony and Peace Park Tour

At 10:30am, we listened to Kajiya-san’s testimony of what occurred in his life on August 6th, 1945 when the A-Bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Trigger Warning for Graphic Descriptions: Kajiya-san was about six years old when the A-Bomb was detonated. He was cleaning the floors of his elementary school classroom with his fellow classmates. He went outside for a moment to retrieve more soap and water then walked back in and continued cleaning. It was in this half-second that he saw a bright flashing light and heard a “Pika” then “Don”. He crouched down, as all school children had been taught to do during wartime, and the school building collapsed around him. He found himself in a dark pocket with one light of the sky shining above him. He mustered all his strength and courage and dug his way out of the wreckage. When he made it to the surface he saw many horribly injured people completely covered in ash, with burns so bad that their skin was falling off. Everyone was walking in a procession and he decided to follow. He could see fire in the distance. Looking back, Kajiya-san says that he is extremely proud of himself at that time. If he had given into fear or lost heart he would have surely been burned alive under the collapsed school. When he reached the river, he saw many people seeking relief from their burns in the river. Many of them fell into the water and with no strength to get back out they drowned. He saw what seemed like an endless sea of bodies. He eventually found his way to an evacuation site in the hills with many injured people he did not know, he has no memory of what happened up there. Soon after, he was discovered by a friend of his family who led him down the hill to his mother. On the way, many people reached out to him, begging for water, although he was only a child. His mother was embedded with many shards of glasses and could only use one of her eyes, yet still, she held him. As did his father, who was not too badly injured. Behind his parents lay his older sister, who was in the same school house as him, dead having been crushed by a beam. When Kajiya-san looked all around him, at the severely injured and dead people and the fire that consumed the city in the distance, all he could think was that he was in hell. 

At 1:30pm, Yoko and Miho, the WFC financial officer, took Laura and me on a guided tour of the Peace Park. It was a very good tour that added so much more background to the monuments than the plaques ever could. Please if you ever visit Hiroshima one day, take a guided tour of the Peace Park with WFC. It’s worth it!

July 29th – Tamiyuki-san’s Testimony and Finished Item Labels

At 9am, we listened to Tamiyuki-san’s testimony of what occurred in his life on August 6th, 1945 when the A-Bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. His story is a little different in that he was not in Hiroshima City at all when the bomb was dropped. Being three years old, he was evacuated to his uncle’s house two towns over. Tamiyuki-san told the story of his father who was only 500 meters from the hypocenter and only one of two survivors from the bank he worked at. Tamiyuki-san also told the story of how he grew up not knowing of the events that led his father to escape on foot from the hypocenter and collapse in his uncle’s house two days later. He learned of the events only after his father’s death when he was in his early 30s due to his brother finding a newspaper where his father described his experience. Years later when Tamiyuki entered retirement he decided to dedicate his life to advocating for the abolishment of nuclear weapons everywhere and telling his father’s story. In the newspaper, his father mentioned four tips he learned that helped him survive.

  1. Don’t argue about trifle things
  2. Don’t panic when you face a disaster
  3. You should accept the advice of others
  4. Carefully prepare for anything that might happen

At 12:30pm, I finally finished my item label project. Many unforeseen problems arose, so I was unable to put them on the nice paper I wanted to. However, it’s a good start that leaves room for improvement in the future. I’m glad I was able to assist the World Friendship Center. 

Fourth Week Conclusion

In conclusion, my fourth week was very educational. I am so grateful and lucky to have heard so many hibakusha testimonies in such an intimate way. It is now my responsibility to tell their stories to as many people as I can and share the great wish in their hearts for another atomic bomb to NEVER be dropped on the world again. Nuclear weapons should be abolished, and war hurts EVERYONE. I ask that you lead with your heart and aspire toward harmony as best you can. Talk to you again soon!!

July 17th – 23rd 2022

My 3rd week marks the halfway point of my time as a World Friendship Center intern in Hiroshima, Japan. This week was quite stressful for me truth be told, but I was still enjoying my time. Check out the highlights below!

July 17th – WFC Crew Bonding
As I mentioned in my first weekly blog post, I live in the WFC house. Laura and Malachi live there too; Matthew lives in the guest house. This means that we see each other every day to the point that we’re all on the route of becoming friends (if we aren’t already 🤔). I bring this up to introduce the fact that, aside from cleaning again, this day was all about having fun with each other.
At 10am, Malachi made pancakes for everyone. They were pretty good and we sat around joking and talking about our plans for the day. We planned to go to a Vietnamese Potluck a university was hosting that Malachi’s friends invited him to. However, he got the time wrong 😅, so it looked like the day was bleak until he got an invite to Guest House En.
Guest House En is a restaurant and hotel that expatriates, or expats, frequent. They hold events sometimes and that night they were hosting Koto (a traditional Japanese string instrument) and drum players.
We left at 6pm and stayed until 10pm, it was a night of getting to know new people, eating new Japanese food, and hearing music I’d only heard on YouTube. It was a great experience.

July 18th – Jogakuin University Visit
At noon, Laura, Malachi, and I visited Jogakuin University, an all-girls school. Robert Dormer, an English professor, hosted our visit. He wanted us to meet some of his students, one of which will be interning at the WFC in August, to talk about our work at the WFC and what our lives are like as American University Students. The university was on the base of a hill and was very beautiful, the greenery reminded me of IWU although there was much more here. Robert and the students were very kind and we ate many snacks while talking about various topics. It was pretty fun.

July 19th – Shudo University Visit and Tech Set Up
At 10am, Jim Ronald, a WFC Board Member and English professor at Shudo University, invited Laura and me to sit in on his classes to engage with his students. It was very similar to our visit to Jogakuin University. The difference was that we visited two of Jim’s classes. The first class was very casual, and although the students were a little shy to speak English we talked about American vs. Japanese culture similarities and differences. I was also able to get quite a few food recommendations from them. The second class was for English majors in their final year who were writing dissertations over various topics such as American irony, comedy, loan words, etc. I’m glad I was able to help my fellow university students with their studies. Laura and I took the streetcar part of the way home from this university which was a first-time experience for me 🤩.
At 4:30pm, Laura, Mirei. Matthew, Malachi, and I worked on the tech rehearsal set up for WFC’s August 6th Hibakusha Talk. It was a new setup that they’d never done before, so it took a lot of time to work out the bugs, but in the end, the style looked very professional.

July 20th – Intern Work and Kido Sensei’s visit
This day was a simple work day, which I was glad to have because I had been feeling a little exhausted at this point.
After breakfast, Laura and I were tasked with putting up some nameplates of the past directors, which I thought turned out pretty well. I also continued working on my label project, which I was beginning to have trouble with concerning formatting issues on google docs. (Note To Self: NEVER use google docs for formatting again.) Thankfully Laura, being a graphic design major, saved the day and helped me format the labels with more congruence.
Later in the day Kido-sensei, a WFC board member, a writer, and a teacher of the tea ceremony and flower arrangement, visited the house. She offered to perform a tea ceremony for Laura, Matthew, Mirei, Malachi, and me. The date has been set for August 9th, and I am so excited to attend!!

July 21st- Aja’s Rough Day
Being an intern at the WFC and living in Japan has been completely amazing. For all my remaining days here “awe” will be the background emotion for everything I experience. However, life is still life and I am still me. I can get burnt out very easily, so it’s always my personal responsibility to take care of myself by meditating, journaling, or singing my heart out. Unfortunately, I had been putting all those routines on the back burner since coming because of the need to adapt to my new environment and experience as much Japanese culture as I can in my six weeks here. I know that’s a lot to put on my own shoulders, but what can I say I want it all.
Anyway, all this to say that the inevitable happened and from the start of the day I woke up upset and stressed. Every emotion I had put to the side came rushing back into me at once, I needed a truly restful break, but I wouldn’t allow myself to. I did not speak to the directors about how I was feeling. I tried to push through and focus on my work, but then I got distracted. I tried to sing my heart out a bit, but then got annoyed at my own voice. I tried to ride my feelings out on my bike, and in the end, I scraped my finger badly on a wall. I was too reckless with myself and this was a clear sign. My director, Matthew, could tell I was having a hard time and graciously took a moment to speak with me. It was a good talk and I felt supported afterward. He kindly allowed me to be absent from the events planned for the day if I wished, and I gratefully accepted. I feel blessed to be interning at an organization that not only cares about the work I do and sharing its message with me but also about me. Yes, this place is the World Friendship Center indeed. 🤝🏾

July 22nd- Sou-san’s Testimony and August 6th Rehearsal
At 9am, we listened to WFC member and hibakusha Sou-san’s testimony of his experience of the A-bomb at six years old. He lived outside the hypocenter, closer to the sea. To my recollection, everyone survived but his father who was burned at his workplace which was in the hypocenter. Sou-san saw two horrifically burned junior high school children who made their way over to his home after escaping the flames at the heart of the city. He said that he would never forget them.
Listening to Sou-san’s testimony taught me how untrue the wide belief is that Hiroshima only suffered the initial devastation of the bomb via those that died that day and the destruction of the city. Radiation from the A-Bomb seeped into everything and remained for weeks following its detonation. Many hibakushas who were not wounded physically developed radiation poisoning, and so did first responders. Hibakushas are at high risk for developing cancer and researchers believe that this is due to the radiation they were exposed to. Sou-san developed cancer in his 70s, and luckily he overcame it and is an energetic man today, but others have not been so blessed. After his testimony, I asked Sou-san “Do you believe you are the same person today as you would have been had the A-Bomb not been dropped?” He said no because his family, like many hibakushas, became impoverished after losing their home. The death of his father also deeply impacted him. I am very grateful to have heard Sou-san’s testimony. Hiroshima is such a lively and beautiful city today, so it is hard to imagine all of the suffering that occurred here not so long ago. Knowing Sou-san and hearing his testimony makes it more than just real, it makes what occurred here a part of my story too.
At 3:30pm, many WFC member’s arrived at the house so that we could begin the technical rehearsal for August 6th. The woman of the hour, Tanaka-san the hibakusha who will share her testimony, was there too. Everyone did their best and rehearsal went well, but unfortunately, we had some technical problems that could not be resolved. We decided to move to a regular zoom format, but no worries if you keep up with WFC’s programs in the future I’m sure you will be able to see the new professional format we intended soon 😉. I will not mention any of the details of Tanaka-san’s testimony, you will have to view it yourself on August 6th. See the flyer below for details!

July 23rd- More Label Project and Blog Post Work
This day was another simple work day. Laura and I ate Mos Burger for lunch, then worked at the coffee shop Tully’s for the remainder of the day.

Third Week Conclusion
My third week was quite mentally overwhelming, but I’m grateful to have met the university students and to have heard the hibakusha’s testimonies. I hope to finish my 4th Week Blog Post soon and get the food blog page up and running. Thanks for tuning in and see you again soon! またね!!

July 10th – July 16th

July 10th – 17th

My second week as an intern at the World Friendship Center in Hiroshima, Japan was very chill compared to the last week. Check out the highlights below!

July 10th – Casual Day

Sunday is the general day off for most workers in Japan, and WFC is no exception. We cleaned a bit around the guest house which, while needed, is uninteresting. The interesting part of cleaning was learning about the complicated yet efficient recycling process in Japan.

That night Matthew, Malachi, Laura, and I shared memes and bonded over comedy. 

July 11th – Ramen 

At 6pm, Laura and I had dinner with Matthew and Malachi. We had ramen at the ramen restaurant up the road from WFC. It was delicious. Malachi, who is not good with spice, ate some extremely spicy ramen and sweated profusely🥵. It was very funny, and when he finished like a champ we congratulated him. 

July 12th – English Class

At 10:30am, I sat in on another English class. We discussed the Internment Camps that the United States forced Japanese Americans to live in during WWII, a conversation prompted by the book Itsuka by Joy Kogawa.

July 13th – Labeling Project and Okonomiyaki 

In the afternoon, I continued working on my Label Project in the morning. I made some pretty great progress.

That night Laura and I ate Okonomiyaki at the restaurant Okonomiyaki Teppan-yaki Momiji-Tei. The restaurant owner was very kind. I assume that he usually has foreigners as guests because he has a big wall with a map and money from different countries. He gave us a free dessert welcoming us to Hiroshima.

July 14th – Aug. 6th Committee 

At 3:45pm, WFC hosted a committee meeting for the hibakusha talk they will be broadcasting via Zoom on August 6th. It was interesting to see behind the curtain how events are planned in a non-profit organization. Malachi was leading the meeting and it was great to see his cooperative leadership in action. Please tune in to the hibakusha talk on August 6th when I upload the flier!

July 15th – Miyajima Island Trip

At 11:50pm, Laura and I took a ferry to Miyajima Island and we stayed till 6:10pm. 

On the 45-minute ferry ride, we passed many small islands and organizations, the history of these places was broadcasted in both English and Japanese to us on a screen in the front of the boat. 

When we arrived on the island the first thing we did was eat oysters at a restaurant recommended by Mirei named KAKIFUKUMARU. The oysters were delicious, and I told the owner just that in Japanese and she accepted the compliment with surprise. 

We walked up the stairs of a shrine we happened upon in the neighborhood near the oyster shop. I have always wanted to walk up the stairs of a Japanese shrine, so I was very excited to have this experience. When we reached the top we sat on a bench and looked over the neighborhood in comfortable silence for quite some time. However, I was apparently too excited because much like a cat in a tree I was scared to go back down the stairs because they were so steep. I ended up scooting down on my butt 😂. 

After grabbing some more money from an atm in the port, we ate Momiji Manju and it too was delicious. It was filled with red bean paste and the cake tasted like an ice cream cone.

At around 1pm, we walked towards the floating Torii gate and Itsukushima Shrine. On the way, a male deer walked up to me and I moved my map because while the deer on Miyajima are known for being friendly they are also known for eating anything near their faces. I gave him a respectful head rub and he walked away. The tide was low so we were able to walk across the sea to the other side of the island. There were tiny hermit crabs covering the ground completely and I felt bad walking on them 😅. 

Itsukushima Shrine was quite beautiful. It was built in the 13th century and was founded by the most powerful leader of the time, Taira no Kiyomori. You can learn more about the shrine’s history here. I prayed to some of the deities there. I watched how the elder Japanese people prayed and followed suit – bow, clap twice, pray, and bow again. 

We prayed at another shrine close by with some incense, and then we walked toward Momijidani Park and Mount Misen. 

Momijidani Park was very peaceful and beautiful and there was a lot of deer there just lounging around. 

I initially planned to hike up Mount Misen, but our ferry would come before we made it to the peak so we decided to walk down after a few steps 😂.

Lastly, we bought some souvenirs at the local gift shops, and at 6:10pm we were on our way home.

July 16th – National Peace Hall

At around 2:30pm, Laura and I visited the National Peace Hall. This government-funded Hall is dedicated to remembering the A-Bomb and keeping a record of all hibakusha. I believe it has two counterparts in Tokyo and Nagasaki as well. It is very similar to the Peace Memorial Museum, but it is smaller, has fewer personal accounts, graphic images, and is completely free. 

Currently, the Hall is playing the short film Trembling Gazes: The Message Left Behind by A-bomb Photographers for free. The film is about those that photographed the A-Bomb and hibakusha on that day. It was very good and tugged at my heart. Please watch it if you’re able. 

Second Week Conclusion

My second week was great fun and very productive. Bonding with the directors and Laura was so comfortable, I love it when we all spend time together. My favorite part of the week was Miyajima, it’s so beautiful there. Stay tuned for more!!

P.S My apologies for being late with this blog everyone, but you’ll understand why when I post about week three. Also, I’m going to make a new tab just for food so you all can see what I’ve been eating. Please look forward to it! 😁

July 4th – July 9th 2022

It has been a little more than a week since I arrived in Japan. The journey thus far has been shocking, new, exciting, and fun.

Writing about everything would surely take me days, so I will simply mention the highlights.

July 4th – Arrival at Haneda Airport

After a 14-hour flight, I was exhausted and ready to sleep in the comfort of my new home at the World Friendship Center (WFC). However, before that, I still needed to get through customs, hop on my next flight to Hiroshima, and finally take a bus to Hiroshima Station so Mirei Tashiro, a WFC staff member, could bring me to the campus.
Unfortunately, a shocking event occurred upon arrival that caused these final steps to be delayed by an hour. I MISSED MY FLIGHT! 😱 The COVID-19 checkpoint and line for customs took so long that the short window between flights was quickly obliterated. This was a very stressful situation. While waiting in line at customs I emailed Mirei and Dr. Amoloza, the IWU Freeman Asia Internship Program Director, for instructions in case I missed my flight. I was told to see if the Japan Airlines employees could switch flights, and luckily they were able to at no additional cost. The crisis was averted and I went to sleep peacefully in my new home.
I am thankful for the company of my internship partner Laura Westphal. We troubleshoot many ideas while trying to navigate these Japanese transportation services, and I’m sure I would have been 100 times more stressed without her.
I am also thankful for the help and patience of Mirei who was prepared to drive all the way to Tokyo if needed to bring us safely to the WFC.

July 5th – The Peace Memorial Park and Proper Introductions

At breakfast, Laura and I properly met the WFC Director Matthew Bateman and Vice Director Malachi Nelson. They asked us many questions to get to know us better, such as why we decided to come to Hiroshima, IWU requirements for the internship, and our general interests.

At 2pm we were free to wander around the city, so Laura and I decided to go to the Peace Memorial Park to observe the monuments. The most influential to me was the Children’s Monument and the A-Bomb Dome.

July 6th – Barbara Reynolds Presentation and English Class Visit

Barbara Reynolds founded the WFC on August 7th, 1965. Malachi gave us a presentation on her life, the events that led her to create the WFC, and the work she conducted at the WFC. Most of Barabra’s work involved protesting atomic bomb creation and testing. She also advocated for hibakusha, survivors of the atomic bomb, in Japan because they were socially discriminated against.

After the presentation, we sat in on Matthew’s English Class. I think that anyone can join the English classes if they pay the fee, but mostly WFC board members and volunteers attend. The students were doing presentations over their day or newspapers they translated. Everyone had great English skills! This made me happy because all the students are 60+ years old, so I know that my dream of becoming a polyglot isn’t limited by time.

July 7th – Peace Choir and Hondori Market

At 1:30pm the members of the Peace Choir flooded into the WFC living room. I met many of the WFC board members at this time. Everyone was very kind and asked various questions to get to know me. I was even gifted a potato grown by one member! 😄 We sang for a long time in both Japanese and English. It was a bit exhausting, but fun.

At 2pm Malachi, Laura, and I biked to Hondori Market which is something like a large strip mall, but more amazing. We ordered drinks at Tully’s Coffee and talked for a while. Then, Laura and I were released to the wild streets. We went to many businesses, most significantly Daiso, a Japanese discount store, and Gigo Arcade. We spent a lot of time in Gigo playing their rhythm games. I was awful and Laura destroyed me, but I will avenge myself by the end of this internship 😤!

July 8th – Project Work Time

I was tasked with a labeling project at the WFC. Over time the organization has been given many beautiful sculptures, pictures, works of art, awards, etc. However, they are all without proper labels, so my job is to label them accurately and beautifully. I will do my best to live up to everyone’s expectations 😁.

July 9th – Introduction to the Riji and Peace Memorial Hall

At 1:45pm a WFC Council Meeting called Riji was conducted to go over new policies and other organizational concerns. Laura and I were introduced to all the present members at this time.

TRIGGER WARNING: Gory descriptions
After our Riji Introduction, Laura and I decided to go to the Peace Memorial Museum. This museum is dedicated to recording the devastation caused by the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. I read many dreadful stories of the suffering the innocent citizens of Hiroshima endured due to the detonation of the A-Bomb on August 6th, 1945 by the United States of America. Many died instantly, but many more suffered from burns so hot that their skin melted off their bodies. Those without any visible wounds were not safe either, many were diagnosed with radiation poisoning some weeks after August 6th. The main sign of radiation poisoning were purple dots that covered the body from head to toe that were nicknamed the “spots of death” by medical professionals. Being burned alive was also a primary cause of death after houses collapsed on kitchen stoves. Many people were trapped under the ruins of their own homes and could have been saved, but the fire engulfed them before they could be rescued.
Yes, I read many horrible realities that day. I took no pictures inside the part of the museum where these stories were presented because no one else was. I was in this area for perhaps an hour just reading; it felt wrong to pass up anyone’s life.

First Week Conclusion
My first week at the World Friendship Center in Hiroshima has been fantastic and educational. Everyone is so kind, and Japan is so beautiful. I am loving every little thing. I know that the remainder of my journey will be of comparable greatness. Stay tuned for more!!!

Hello world!

My name is Aja Golliday, I’m a senior psychology major and Japanese studies minor here at Illinois Wesleyan University. This 2022 summer I will be interning in Hiroshima, Japan at the World Friendship Center under the IWU Freeman Asia Program. I can’t wait to share my journey, subscribe and stay tuned!!