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30 review for The Hiroshima Maidens: A Story of Courage, Compassion & Survival

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Mangler

    Very interesting topic. Uneven book. It felt like most of the early book was about the men who arranged for the "Hiroshima Maidens" to come to America for plastic surgery. While that's an important part of the story, if you took it out there wouldn't be much story. I've noticed this in several books that claim to be about women in history - it ends up being more about the men in their orbit, in a strange way, than it is about the women themselves. I didn't feel like I got to know most of the wom Very interesting topic. Uneven book. It felt like most of the early book was about the men who arranged for the "Hiroshima Maidens" to come to America for plastic surgery. While that's an important part of the story, if you took it out there wouldn't be much story. I've noticed this in several books that claim to be about women in history - it ends up being more about the men in their orbit, in a strange way, than it is about the women themselves. I didn't feel like I got to know most of the women until the final chapter of the book. When the book focused on the women, both in the US and in Japan, it was a fascinating story.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    This book is the true story of 24 young Japanese women who were caught in the blast of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and how they came to the U.S. to get treatment for the horrendous scars they had suffered on their faces, necks, and arms. I had never really thought about the people of Hiroshima after the blast and how the Japanese culture viewed these victims.

  3. 5 out of 5

    lbert buro

    Fantastic I could not put this book down I finished it in 8hrs, I'm a military historian I know all about the military aspects of the bombings I've also read about the lives of survivors,but I never heard of the Hiroshima Maidens,what a story I'm a big bike guy but it made me cry I was born a few months before the maidens came to the US. I have studied the Pacific War since I was eight I always thought we should have dropped the bomb but after reading this I'm not so sure we should have used it on Fantastic I could not put this book down I finished it in 8hrs, I'm a military historian I know all about the military aspects of the bombings I've also read about the lives of survivors,but I never heard of the Hiroshima Maidens,what a story I'm a big bike guy but it made me cry I was born a few months before the maidens came to the US. I have studied the Pacific War since I was eight I always thought we should have dropped the bomb but after reading this I'm not so sure we should have used it on a city,yeah the Japanese did terrible things,the bombed Pearl Harbor and they perpetrated the Nanking Massacre, but that was the military not the poor people,anyway I've never been to Asia but I love the people and culture

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rick Potenza

    Finely nuanced telling of the personal journeys of twenty-five young women who survived the atomic blast and the people closest to them. After ten years of suffering physical and social injury, they were brought to the U.S. for plastic surgery. Rodney Barker was nine years old when two Maidens came to live with his host family. The range of attitudes towards the Maidens, in Japan and the U.S., and how everyone responded makes for a broad portrait of the times, the cultures, and the people involv Finely nuanced telling of the personal journeys of twenty-five young women who survived the atomic blast and the people closest to them. After ten years of suffering physical and social injury, they were brought to the U.S. for plastic surgery. Rodney Barker was nine years old when two Maidens came to live with his host family. The range of attitudes towards the Maidens, in Japan and the U.S., and how everyone responded makes for a broad portrait of the times, the cultures, and the people involved. "For an anthology of the lives of the Hiroshima Maidens to be complete it would have to include not only themes of transformation, resurrection, and reclamation, but tales of disillusionment, dashed hopes, and defeat."(1) I was moved by the women's attitude towards the atomic bomb. "She said she was representing others - all the innocent people who died in Hiroshima and will have died in vain if there is another nuclear war."(2) "The best way to forget the nightmare of her past, was to devote herself wholeheartedly to her work."(3) In reply to an insensitive question, "Aren't you concerned that the bomb could kill you at any time?" a Maiden replied, "Do you think that because you weren't in Hiroshima you are promised a long life?"(4) (1) author, p.185 (2) Shigeko Niimoto p.201 (3) Toyoko Morita p.207 (4) author, p.226

  5. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    The Hiroshima Maidens by Rodney Barker tells about a project in which 25 Japanese young women from Hiroshima were brought to the United States to have reconstructive and plastic surgery done to improve horrendous scars and enable them to be able to use their hands and fingers again. They were all victims of the atomic bomb dropped over Hiroshima in 1945 and they were brought to the US in 1955 where they multiple surgeries at a hospital in NYC. They were hosted by Quaker families in private homes The Hiroshima Maidens by Rodney Barker tells about a project in which 25 Japanese young women from Hiroshima were brought to the United States to have reconstructive and plastic surgery done to improve horrendous scars and enable them to be able to use their hands and fingers again. They were all victims of the atomic bomb dropped over Hiroshima in 1945 and they were brought to the US in 1955 where they multiple surgeries at a hospital in NYC. They were hosted by Quaker families in private homes and Rodney Barker's family was one of those families. A Methodist Japanese minister was the one who initiated the project to obtain help for these women who had become social outcasts in their homes and in Hiroshima. Barker spent 5 years working on the research for this book between 1979 and 1984 and has done an outstanding job in how he has compiled the true story of these women in this book. Barker does more than just write dates and facts but has given the reader a more personal look at the young women involved and a larger background of their experiences. He is also gifted at giving depth to the key figures in the project, such as Norman Cousins. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about different cultures and WWII history.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sunflower

    This is an e-book version of an account first published in 1985, and is an account of one particular group of hibakusha. These women were children at the time of the A-bomb, and happened to look up at the sky in 1945, a moment which changed their lives for ever. The Maidens were women whose scarring as a result of nuclear radiation had affected their ability to live independently, and who were chosen as suitable for treatment by plastic surgeons working in the very country which was responsible This is an e-book version of an account first published in 1985, and is an account of one particular group of hibakusha. These women were children at the time of the A-bomb, and happened to look up at the sky in 1945, a moment which changed their lives for ever. The Maidens were women whose scarring as a result of nuclear radiation had affected their ability to live independently, and who were chosen as suitable for treatment by plastic surgeons working in the very country which was responsible for their injuries. The book not only covers how this happened, the relationships they formed with their American hosts, their subsequent lives and their different reactions to their situation. Given that they were a disparate group to start with, their individual reactions to the publicity and ongoing interest in their lives were very different. This is sensitively described. The postscript has some timely discussion on the proliferation of nuclear weapons. This book concurs with my observations while visiting Hiroshima; that the people who survived were not angry or looking for revenge, just wanting us all to know that this should never happen again.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Book 18 of Nuclear Studies: The introduction to this book made me cringe. I looked up the video itself on YouTube and watched the whole segment for myself. For about half of the book, I wondered why the author would begin with such an insensitive narrative. Then I got to the section where the author discusses the reasoning behind the events of the introduction and it all made sense. In this, it comes full circle and brings a rounded understanding of the biases of the time period. The author, havin Book 18 of Nuclear Studies: The introduction to this book made me cringe. I looked up the video itself on YouTube and watched the whole segment for myself. For about half of the book, I wondered why the author would begin with such an insensitive narrative. Then I got to the section where the author discusses the reasoning behind the events of the introduction and it all made sense. In this, it comes full circle and brings a rounded understanding of the biases of the time period. The author, having lived with one of the families who sheltered the Hiroshima Maidens during their stay in the U.S., treats the entire story with compassion and sensitivity (besides referring to people as "Orientals"). He recounts the journey of these women honestly, treating readers to the exuberances and the tragedies. I also liked how he delved into the psyches of the advocates along the way. Some of their purported advocates had other not-so-selfless objectives in mind! This is an easy read only in the way it was written; the story itself is hard to bear.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nat

    A wonderful and fascinating book about a piece of history i had never heard of. Sensitively handled, this book covers all aspects of life - from the horrifying and unthinkable to the joy and wonder life holds. The most interesting bit for me was the young girls eyewitness accounts of when the Hiroshima bomb went off and its immediate aftermath. Will almost certainly feature as one of the best books i have read this year!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Fascinating true story about the journey of 25 young women who suffered horrifying physical effects from the atomic bomb, and their journey to the US for plastic surgery. Not just to look presentable but to be able to use their limbs normally and function in the world. The young women stayed in Quaker homes and changed in ways that went far beyond surgery. A little-known piece of history sensitively handled by the author, who was in one of the host Quaker families.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kay Falkenhan

    Published in 1985 originally. There is an afterward and an after-afterward (when the book became available as an e-reader.) The horrors of the effects of the A-bomb on a group of young Japanese women is told in a very human and compelling way. In the after-afterward, the author reminds the readers that the world has been kept safe from other such horrific bombings through arms limits and agreements.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Margo Sinks

    This was a subject about which I knew very little. The author obviously worked very hard finding the Maidens and getting them to speak with him. However, I found the book very dry with little emotional impact. I didn't really feel that I had gotten to know any of these girls emotionally. I'm glad I listened to it, but wouldn't listen again. This audi cartridge was produced by the Talking Book Service of the NLS. This was a subject about which I knew very little. The author obviously worked very hard finding the Maidens and getting them to speak with him. However, I found the book very dry with little emotional impact. I didn't really feel that I had gotten to know any of these girls emotionally. I'm glad I listened to it, but wouldn't listen again. This audi cartridge was produced by the Talking Book Service of the NLS.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    Everybody in politics and everybody in the industry of creating weapons should read this. It encompasses so many things, the destruction and chaos war causes, the lives it reaps even after, but it's also a tale of humanity and strength and finding purpose and the way to oneself again after all is lost. Everybody in politics and everybody in the industry of creating weapons should read this. It encompasses so many things, the destruction and chaos war causes, the lives it reaps even after, but it's also a tale of humanity and strength and finding purpose and the way to oneself again after all is lost.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bobbi Mullins

    I loved this book, from the moment I started it, all the way to the last page of the second Afterward. I highly recommend this to everyone. Very important story to hear, and written in an accessible and entertaining way. Kudos to Mr. Barker!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cordelia

    A fascinating yet harrowing story. I don’t see how anyone could read this and remain unmoved or in favour of the atom bomb. A definite recommendation for anyone interested in the history of nuclear warfare.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Hughes

    Excellent Read Satsukikai. Kai is Japanese for “association”; satsuki is the word for “azalea.” It’s the way they view their lives: like a gathering of flowers that bloom in May, the month they arrived in America.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Susan Kasza

    Intriguing topic, though the book could have been better written. As a physician, I wanted to know more about their surgeries. Although I understand why there weren’t pictures, a few well-chosen photos would have made a big impact.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Intimate view of what it was like to be a survivor of Atomic Bomb Read this book as a prelude of a visit to Hiroshima, this September. I will go with the feeling that I have met some of the survivors and know of their suffering.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amy Gilbert

    Whilst a very interesting story, I feel only half of the book is about the maidens theirselves. I would have also have liked more on the author’s experience with the maiden that stayed with him as a young child

  19. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Review The first half was Interesting but the last half almost put me to sleep. I did not know anything about this subject.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jane Thompson

    World War II Story This is a good book. It tells the story of twenty five young girls who were disfigured by the Hiroshima bomb

  21. 5 out of 5

    Peg Price

    An important story of historical importance and future warning.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Curran

    Very interesting portrait of a time little known in our history. While I found the writing a bit disjointed, it was well researched. And I appreciated the 2016 update also.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Peterson

    A well written and interesting book on a complicated subject.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joe Woodcock

    Important Reading The book is an important read to come some way to understanding the effect of the bomb on some of its victims. The book is easily readable and well researched.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    The Effects of an Atomic Bomb This book tells the stories of the "Hiroshima Maidens". They were young girls who were horribly scarred when the Atomic bombs, which ended WWII, were dropped. Covering events to almost present day it tells about their life events as well as the physical and emotional scars from people who classified them as monsters. The Effects of an Atomic Bomb This book tells the stories of the "Hiroshima Maidens". They were young girls who were horribly scarred when the Atomic bombs, which ended WWII, were dropped. Covering events to almost present day it tells about their life events as well as the physical and emotional scars from people who classified them as monsters.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lyndsey

    An interesting subject matter and very raw. Slightly confused style of writing though.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn

    Hiroshima aftereffects The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima may have helped bring the war to a end but not the suffering. For those caught in the blast who survived it was just the beginning of pain, disfigurement and discrimination.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    As someone who lived in Los Alamos, where the atomic bomb was created, I am always curious about "the rest of the story". Well written, compassionate book. Two things in this book are particularly memorable. The first person accounts of witnessing the explosion are searing (no pun intended). It was also eerie as to how similar each girl's story was for the first three days after the bomb. The second was how generous Americans can be, during the year+ that the Hiroshima Maidens were in the United As someone who lived in Los Alamos, where the atomic bomb was created, I am always curious about "the rest of the story". Well written, compassionate book. Two things in this book are particularly memorable. The first person accounts of witnessing the explosion are searing (no pun intended). It was also eerie as to how similar each girl's story was for the first three days after the bomb. The second was how generous Americans can be, during the year+ that the Hiroshima Maidens were in the United States. It was magical to see the results of this on the Japanese women, and how they were affected emotionally. Made me feel a little prouder in these politically divided times.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Race

    Well done. No easy feat to remain objective and non politically charged well done. Unique insights to such a moment in history we try to bury. Anyone ever thought to put this in high school curriculum?

  30. 4 out of 5

    Philip Bailey

    A book that can arouse an array of feelings. It has been 25 years since I spent time in Japan. There some of the older generation glared hatred at the American gaijin and a plentiful bunch of the younger generation nearly tripped over themselves to be friends and practice their English. In some places I must have stood out for the novelty of my blue eyes. Armed with a few phrases and words in Nihongo I was pretty much welcomed by most. I found the people to be very likeable, extremely honest and A book that can arouse an array of feelings. It has been 25 years since I spent time in Japan. There some of the older generation glared hatred at the American gaijin and a plentiful bunch of the younger generation nearly tripped over themselves to be friends and practice their English. In some places I must have stood out for the novelty of my blue eyes. Armed with a few phrases and words in Nihongo I was pretty much welcomed by most. I found the people to be very likeable, extremely honest and polite and the country in general to have the cleanest streets I have seen anywhere else in the world. The war was seldom brought up in conversation and only by the older generation usually after a few drinks. But I have also run across people in the American south who are still smarting from the Civil War and hate all Yankees. I found the Japanese women to be mostly very beautiful with features and skin tone many would admire. Trying to picture the ravishes as described in the book is somewhat distressing and heart breaking. Trying to picture the American service men who perished at Pearl Harbor is also distressing. As I am a U. S. Navy veteran and I admire the Japanese people and their country, and I am a father to a medical doctor I had to read this book with a neutral attitude and as such I can say it was an informative and excellent reading. Perhaps a younger generation would not have much interest in this book, but for we baby boomers born in the 1940’s it fine reading and at least to me an unknown subject until now. A commendable work by the author and a strong statement about the ravishes of nuclear weapons.

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