Jacques Hymans at the LRB:
In her 1999 book Hiroshima Traces, the anthropologist Lisa Yoneyama describes the hibakusha’s intense relationship with the dead differently from Lifton’s ‘death in life’. Yoneyama sees the hibakusha as giving the bomb’s victims life after death. She writes that the hibakusha have developed ‘testimonial practices’ that can be compared to ‘a shamanistic ritual that summons dead souls’, to ‘resurrect the deceased and endow them with voices’.
Beyond the Mushroom Cloud, a 2012 study by the ethicist Yuki Miyamoto, supports Yoneyama’s interpretation. The testimony of the hibakusha, Miyamoto writes, ‘draws strength from the dead to resist and unsettle the conditions of this world, replacing them with an evolving vision of a different world – a world bound not by the image of the mushroom cloud, but by a sympathy for others that knows no earthly bounds.’