"The A-bomb ocntinued to haunt the survivors, and they lived each day with the fear of death."

A-bomb Testimony
“Translation, Editing, and Slide Deck Design”

“When they finally reached the riverbank they collapsed, rose again, stumbled 20 or 30 meters, and fell. They didn’t get up again.”

Client: Chiemi Shinagawa, graduate of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum’s “A-bomb Legacy Successor” program.

Project Description: Create a faithful translation and accompanying slide deck for the testimony of A-bomb survivor Park Namju for which Chiemi-san has become a Legacy Successor.

A Quote

“When they finally reached the riverbank they collapsed, rose again, stumbled 20 or 30 meters, and fell. They didn’t get up again.”

The Inside Scoop

After finishing her three year study to become an A-bomb Legacy Successor, Chiemi-san wanted to be able to tell it in English as well as Japanese.

She has strong English already, and is a powerful orator. But she wanted her English recounting of Park Namju’s A-bomb testimony to be as impactful as possible. For that she knew she needed an English writer.

Enter yours truly.

I can’t express what an honor it is to contribute, even in a small way, to the English canon of A-bomb stories. Chiemi-san will use my text and slides to share the legacy of Hiroshima with foreign visitors both in person and online. A fact I find deeply humbling.

In this small way, and with Chiemi-san’s help, I was able to give voice to an A-bomb survivor in English. Chiemi-san hired me for this project, but I let her choose the price. Work of this type is its own reward.


Chiemi-san specifically requested that I use a storytellerly style for much of the testimony. Especially those parts which retold the day of the bombing, August 6th, 1945.

So I took a concise, image-rich approach to Park-san’s story, and wove in dialog wherever possible using direct quotes from her testimony. Even in the more technical details of the atomic bombing, I resorted to poetic descriptions wherever I could.

That said, the translation also needed to be as accurate as possible while still rendering nicely in English. Not only because it’s the right thing to do. But because Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum’s A-bomb Legacy Successor program checks each version of each story which they’ve been charged with preserving.

After rigorous examination by the amazing staff at the Peace Memorial Museum, my English translation of Park Namju’s A-bomb testimony received approval.


The slide deck primarily consists of historic photos, each of which needed to be properly cited.

Hiroshima's postwar black market

I contributed two of my own photos pro bono, and Chiemi-san contributed a couple pics as well.

The slides also included a few maps (based off Google Maps) and several graphs illustrating technical concepts pertaining to the effects of the atomic weapon used on Hiroshima.

Relative heat of the Hiroshima atomic bomb

I wanted the slides to look professional and support the story without becoming a distraction. I chose images which clarified difficult concepts or explained details likely unknown to foreign audiences. And to illustrate powerful moments in Park-san’s story, I created slides with artistically arranged quotes from the translation alongside or superimposed over relevant photographs.

"There is no 'Japanese' or 'Korean' beneath the mushroom cloud. Everyone becomes the same."

In some cases, these arrangements involve only significant words in layouts designed to enhance their impact.

"Liberation" in Korean and English

Over all, the the slides would up creating a strong addition to the text.

My Favorite Part

Making an A-bomb testimony accessible in English.