Keloid scars marred their faces and many of their hands were bent into claw-like positions. These women, as well as the other citizens affected by the A-bomb, were referred to as hibakusha, meaning "explosion-affected people".
The more specific nickname for the group of women – the Hiroshima Maidens – caught on when the women were brought to The Mount Sinai Hospital, New York in the United States to undergo multiple reconstructive surgeries. This highly publicized turn of events was largely the work of Saturday Review editor Norman Cousins, an outspoken advocate of nuclear disarmament.
One of these survivors, Miyoko Matsubara, has said:
|“||As a hibakusha, I am determined to continue appealing for the elimination of nuclear weapons from the Earth. That is what I must do. We survivors of the atomic bombing are against the research, development, testing, production, and use of any nuclear arms. We are opposed to war of any kind, for whatever reason.
I would like to say to young people in the United States and other countries: Nuclear weapons do not deter war. Nuclear weapons and human beings cannot co-exist. We all must learn the value of human life. If you do not agree with me on this, please come to Hiroshima and see for yourself the destructive power of these deadly weapons at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
- Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
- White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (2007)