Shizuko Abe

An A-bomb Survivor as a Living Testifier

10. Touching the warm heart of Americans

My American host families treated me very warmly. It’s not too much to say that I changed my attitude of life due to this experience in America. I had been discriminated against and looked down on so harshly in Japan, but American people were so kind to me. It might have been that, even among Americans, they were special people who accepted our pilgrimage, listened to our story and let us stay in their homes. I had lived with negative feelings in my mind, but I came to think that as an A-bomb survivor, it should be my mission to tell my A-bomb experience with confidence. Through this pilgrimage, I was given the courage to live. I will never forget the kindness I received in America. Like the Americans I met at that time, I have tried to be kind to people around me, especially to the weak.

With host family

Our host families kept close contact with each other. For example, if, after I said at one house that the green asparagus they served was tasty, at almost all the houses I stayed with, green asparagus was served. Or, when I was asked if I preferred coffee or milk, and I said milk, after that, whenever drinks were served, milk was offered to me. It seemed they kept in contact with each other and tried to suit our preferences.