Stories of Hope-Hiroshima Maidens
Maidens F - J
Takao Harada was very pleased with her situation in America while she received reconstructive surgery. (Like many of the other Maidens, she got along well with her host family.) She came back to Japan a changed woman. Takao took Koto, or Japanese harp, lessons for pleasure. She found a government statistics job in a Prefectural office, and also worked in the Hiroshima City Offices. She remained unmarried.
Yoshie Harada (Yanagibashi)
Ten days after Yoshie Harada returned to Japan from her reconstructive surgery, she became the first Maiden to get married. Her husband,Toso Yanagibashi, worked in a local factory. They had dated for three years and became engaged a few months before Yoshie left for America. Their small wedding included eight of the twenty-five Maidens. Soon, the couple had two healthy children, making her the first Maiden to have a child. Unfortunately, Toso suddenly lost his job. Yoshie found work at the Nagao Shoten Company, a seaweed factory. For six years she worked at the factory while her husband was unemployed. Eventually, her husband left the family to fend for themselves.
Hideko Hirata knew what it felt like to be an outcast, so she wanted to focus her time on helping out others that were labeled as outcasts. When she returned to Japan, she volunteered to work with those known as burakumin, people who do lowly tasks that keep them living in the slums because of centuries of social and economic discrimination.
Since she was a professional dressmaker, Hideko used her skills to help the women learn how to sew by opening classes for them. These courses became so popular that Hideko opened day and night classes for the women. She also worked in the New City Social Welfare Office.
Sadly, Hideko was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Nearly three years after her reconstructive surgery, Hideko passed away on April 8, 1958.
Suzue Hiyamam, Rodney Barker and Misako Kannabe at Mount Sinai Hospital where the Hiroshima Maidens received 138 surgeries to repair burn damages from the atomic bomb blast of 1945.
Suzue Hiyamam (Oshima)
Suzue Hiyamam ran a successful Darien Beauty Shop. She was the Japanese distributor of Covermark, a corrective concealment cosmetic made to cover facial scars and blemishes.
Although she was a very successful business woman, she still wanted to start a family. Using the example of her American host family, Suzue set out to find a mate. In Japan, she met a Japanese business man who painted the signs for her beauty shop. They fell in love and got married. Soon, she realized that their marriage was different than that of the American families; the feelings of love and happiness were not there. Her husband was focused more on his job than on her, which left her at home alone for many nights. However, Suzue settled into her new family life and had one daughter with her husband.