Stories of Hope-Hiroshima Maidens

Maidens T - W

Emiko Takemoto and Motoko Yamashita walking at the Red Bank.

Emiko Takemoto
Upon Emiko Takemoto’s return to Japan, she aspired to accomplish a lot. She enrolled at one of the most prestigious design schools in the country. Emiko loved the school and quickly become became a respected faculty member. She remained unmarried.

Hiroko Tasaka
Hiroko Tasaka received twenty-seven surgeries: fourteen in Japan and thirteen in the United States.  While in America, she fell in love with Harry Harris. She spent an additional year in America before returning to Japan. Hiroko attended the Tokyo Design School.

After she graduated, Harry wanted Hiroko to move back to America. Hiroko decided to stay and help Maiden Toyoko Morita in her new business. After a year, Hiroko moved to Hiroshima where she started her own business. She lost contact with Harry Harris, but they soon began to talk again.  

Hiroko decided to move back to the America and marry Harry. After a while, she became accustomed to the American lifestyle. Hiroko worked in two different dress shops before she found a job working with the Hecht Company. Within two years, she was promoted to supervisor of the apparel alteration department. Harry and Hiroko became a typical middle-class family. They frequently went to Japan for their vacations to visit Hiroko’s relatives. In 1983, the couple moved back to Japan so Hiroko could be close to her family.

Masako Wada (Tachibana)
Only fifteen years old when the atomic bomb fell, Masako Wada was severely burned. The bomb burned her clothes. She suffered with many scars on her face and body. She also was unable to use two fingers on her left hand. Masako blamed the war for her scars, not the American people.

When she came to the United States, Masako lived with a Quaker family for eighteen months. After she healed from the surgeries, Masako decided to stay in America. She wanted to be a hairdresser. She soon fell in love, married and moved to Canada. Masako couldn’t conceive a child. She blamed the radiation from the atomic bomb blast.  However, she still said she was happy with her life.

In her spare time she wrote a book called Reactions to the Flash. It was written in Japanese, but she wanted to get the book printed in English. On August 1st, 1995, Masako did an interview with CBS to discuss her story and the 50th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb. She’s been quoted as saying, “If [Japan] had a bomb they would have dropped it too” and “At least [the atomic bomb] stopped the war.”



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