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By: Bun Hashizume

The Day the Sun Fell

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The Day the Sun Fell captures on a deeply human and personal level the devastating effects of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in August 1945. The author, who at fourteen was seriously injured by the A-bomb, skilfully combines tender lyricism and stark realism to recount her own experiences and those of other members of her immediate and extended family in the aftermath of the bombing, and decades later. Not only a harrowing depiction of tragic historical events, nor just a remarkable story of survival, The Day the Sun Fell reveals aspects of the bombing never aired openly before, forcing the reader to pause to reflect on these haunting events and their continuing legacy seventy years on. It also makes for inspiring reading, for Hashizume never fails to discover hope and joy in living even in the darkest of moments.

Bun Hashizume:

Poet, writer and atomic-bomb survivor Bun Hashizume was fourteen and only 1.5 kilometres from the hypocentre when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, seriously injuring her. In 1985, her first anthology of ‘atomic bomb’ poetry titled The Youth Who Turned into an Insect appeared. Other poetry collections include Like an Abandoned Swing (1990) and Returning to the Earth; Rising to the Heavens (2009). Many of her ‘atomic bomb’ poems have been set to music and performed in concerts in Japan and overseas. Essay collections and memoirs include Turkey – A Mysterious and Wonderful Land (1993), Memoirs of the Atomic Bomb: The Experiences of a Fourteen-Year-Old Girl (2001), and From Hiroshima (2014). Currently residing in Tokyo, Hashizume continues to write and give talks nationwide, and occasionally overseas.

 

Susan Bouterey:

Susan Bouterey (DPhil, Tokyo University) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Global, Cultural and Language Studies, University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Key areas of research are contemporary Japanese literature including Japanese women writers’ fiction, atomic bomb literature, and Okinawan fiction. She also specializes in literary translation and has translated a number of Hashizume’s works to date. Monographs include Medoruma Shun’s World: History, Memory, Narrative (2011). Literary translations include Water’s Edge by Tsushima YÅ«ko in More Stories by Japanese Women Writers (2011), Fellow Humans! Let Us Foster Love & Wisdom – From Hiroshima (1997), Living Together and Little Brother in Australian Multicultural Book Review (1996).

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