Black Rain

66 years after Hiroshima, the New York Times reports that survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have joined the Japanese movement against nuclear power.  The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster this year moved them and a great many other Japanese people out of the stance of quietly accepting nuclear power and the government’s reassurances that radiation from it will never hurt anyone.  This reminds me of one of the best novels I ever read:  Black Rain by Masuji Ibuse. The story relates, with unforgettable detail and quiet humor as well as great sadness, the lives of some ordinary people in Hiroshima the day the bomb dropped.  The young woman at the center of the story was exposed to unnatural, black, radioactive rain.  Years later radiation sickness rears its ugly head to scuttle her chances for a good marriage.  This is one of those novels that you read once and never forget some of the characters, the scenes, and the ways it made you think.

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