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13_A_Bomb_Survivor_0016.JPG
August, 1945: Two atomic bombs explode over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the last days of the World War II.  The cities are transformed into seas of fire, vaporizing heat rays, hellish winds and lingering radiation kill and injured tens of thousands. At the time of these photographs (43 years later) the survivors still live apprehensively, not knowing if long-terns effects of history's only nuclear bombings will strike them. Frederic Larson, photographer spent a month during the summer of 1988 living with the "hibakausha" --bomb survivors.  He found the story of the bombing has not ended, but that it lives in every hibakusha.  Larson tells of his emotional encounter with one survivor:  "It was the children who were most vulnerable to the effects of radiation.  One woman, Shizuka Itoh, had a little daughter only 17 months old.  In the nine months that followed the devastation of the bomb, the daughter seemed tortured with pain.  There was nothing the doctors could do. The daughters kept losing hair, vomiting, crying constantly.  Other children were dying all around.  "As Itoh held her daughter in her arms one day in May, she cried out to her, "Go to the gods."  "The 2-year-old grabbed at Itoh's neck and died.  Itoh tried to commit suicide the next year.  "I have never told this story to anyone, she told me in a quiet voice."  Larson's photographs are gripping.  His images convey the survivors' pain and anguish with compelling emotions and sensitivity.  He was honor as Pulitzer finalist for his body of work.