On August 6 and 9, 1945, the US dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively, killing between 129,000 – 226,000 people by the end of the year. Many suffer from debilitating diseases and stigmatization to this day. As of 2018, the average age of hibakusha – or atomic bomb survivors – is 81.41. Soon, we will no longer be able to hear first hand accounts of this human atrocity.

1945 is a documentary project addressing atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Participants are asked to provide a testimony about their experiences and to write a handwritten letter addressing future generations, all of which are translated into English over at 1945project.com. What began as a simple portrait series evolved into a web project with in-depth testimonies, audio files, a historical timeline and resources to honor a rapidly aging hibakusha community.

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check out the dedicated website - 1945project.com

Taeko Teramae, 87, is a first generation atomic bomb survivor who lost sight in her right eye due to injuries from the atomic bomb blast. Here she tells her story about life after the bomb, which was irreversibly altered by her injury and multiple rounds of radiation-borne diseases, including breast cancer, uterine cancer and thyroid cancer.

Masakatsu Obata, 99, is a first generation atomic bomb survivor who was exposed to the atomic bomb at age 27. Here he tells a story about a coworker that passed away a month after the bombing and the confusion surrounding his death. Many Japanese citizens did not know what an atomic bomb was – or nuclear radiation, for that matter – until months after the bombing.

Minoru Moriuchi, 80, is a first generation atomic bomb survivor from Nagasaki. Here he tells us about the death of his older brother, who was virtually unscathed on the day of the bombing but passed away mysteriously 20 days later.

Megumi Shinoda, 85, is a first generation atomic bomb survivor who lost her older sister to the atomic bomb. Here, she recalls watching her mother steadfastly wait for her child’s “return” in the middle of the night, unable to come to terms with her fate. Ms. Shinoda’s family later experienced the deaths of three more children within months after the bombing, due to radiation sickness.