Wataru Namba, hibakusha

Dear all,

There was story with the headline, “Wataru Namba, 93, is among an estimated 3,000 Japanese American hibakusha, survivors of the U.S. atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” I was asked by Barbara Shimizu Sensei whether this is the same Wataru Namba Sensei that we had learned under when I first started refereeing. Through confirmation by Senseis Gary Takemoto and Richie Endow, we found that indeed this is the same Wataru Namba Sensei.

Not only is this the memorial of the 75th Anniversary of the Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki an important story about protecting humanity and ensuring that we can maintain peace in this world.

I only know Namba Sensei has an accomplished national referee, but many of you know his judo history and his contribution to judo in Nanka and the greater LA area. This is an amazing article about Sensei’s experience as a victim of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. I encourage you to share this story so that we can all continue to learn about Sensei and how his experience shaped who he is as an accomplished judo teacher, practitioner, leader, and referee.

Kind regards,
Calvin Terada

Japanese American Hiroshima victim on reality of being bombed by his own country

Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil wrote an article for NBC News. A few sentences follow:

On the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, Wataru Namba was in math class. Namba, a U.S. citizen, was 18 at the time, living with his grandparents in Hiroshima, Japan, and studying at a local college. That morning, just after 8 a.m., an American B-29 dropped an atomic bomb over the city. There was a blinding white light and an intense heat. Some of Namba’s classmates perished in front of him.

On the 75th anniversary of the bombing, his grandson Jared Namba, 26, a documentary filmmaker based in Los Angeles, has released a short film called “An American Hibakusha” about his life to raise awareness of the Japanese American survivors who are often overlooked by histories of World War II.