Rising from the Ashes: A True Story of Survival and Forgiveness from Hiroshima


August 6, 1945, begins like any other day in Hiroshima during World War II. As 19-year-old Shinji Mikamo helps his father prepare their house for government-ordered demolition, working on top of the roof, there is a blinding flash and ear-piercing explosion. Right as Shinji turns toward the flash, a fireball blasts him into a chaotic world of darkness and total confusion.

An atomic bomb has just exploded right above, only 1,200 meters away with nothing to shield him, devastating all of Hiroshima in only a few seconds.

Severely injured and burned, Shinji is rescued from the rubble of their collapsed house by his father as a fierce fire roars toward them. As the two wander around their decimated city, looking for a rescue that doesn’t exist, Shinji is pushed forward by his wounded father, who refuses to let him give up even when their future looks bleak. Shinji, who has lost everything, begs for a permanent relief from excruciating pain, but his father wouldn’t allow him to even wish for such a thing. Shinji has no idea that pain and hardship will haunt him for decades to come – a miraculous journey that eventually leads him to meeting even his destroyers with empathy.

Poignantly told by one of Shinji’s three daughters, Dr Akiko Mikamo, "Rising from the Ashes" is a true story of the three-generation family. It shares a survivor’s message of love and the power of forgiveness, reminding the world that our worst enemies of yesterday can be our best friends of tomorrow.

Some comments by the readers:

-- An amazing story! Even with the heartbreaking detail of the human disaster and people’s pain, I felt very happy and grateful after I finished reading because of Shinji’s incredible attitudes for life. I recommend this for everybody. -- After reading "Rising from the Ashes," I realize we take for granted so many things in our life. The strength of Shinji’s and his family’s remind me of all the great things I have in my life, and I learned the importance of empathy and forgiveness even in the most painful situations. -- One of its kind. I’ve never read anything like this before... It was so intriguing, and I couldn’t put it down till the end.
-- A MUST read! Shinji is now 87 years old and is a living proof of human strength and power of forgiveness. I can see how his daughters are carrying his legacy, too. -- I learned how much I didn’t know about the history related to the atomic bombing. I feel so lucky to come across this book. Thank you so much for writing this! -- A disastrous story told so positively and powerfully. It really gave me tremendous courage and healing when I read this.

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An atomic bomb has just exploded right above, only 1,200 meters away

Not to be pickey, but 1.2 kilometers away is not "right above". The temperature right below the explosion rose to 6,000 degees C within tens of seconds, and all carbon based matter (including humans) was immediately vaporized (including bones).

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Forgiveness needs to come the rest of the world, to Japan, rather that from Japan. Read Unit 731 and The Rape of Nanking to see about forgiveness.

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