The Luckiest And/Or Unluckiest Man In History

Twenty degrees last night. You might say there’s a nip in the air.

And they definitely said that 76 years ago.

And that little foray by Japan into staggering overconfidence led to the US’ foray into nuclear weapons development….and..well….it didn’t end particularly well for the Japanese.

One Japanese, however, had the exceptional bad luck to be nuked twice and the unprecedented good luck to have lived to tell about it.

In January 2009, Tsutomu Yamaguchi was the first person to be officially recognized as a double atomic bomb survivor. He is one of 165 presumed double bomb victims, though he’s the only official one. How’d this all happen? Of course, there’s a pretty good story that goes along with it…

I don’t know what the Japanese phrase is for “Enormous, radioactive, brass balls” but getting nuked twice and living to tell about it has got to be the Japanese equivalent of being composed of 50% Clint Eastwood DNA, 50% Chuck Norris DNA, and 50% Toshiro Mifune DNA.

However, on a more somber note, this is always a good day to remember that your world (and in this case, everyone elses) can change just like that >fingersnap<.

 

4 thoughts on “The Luckiest And/Or Unluckiest Man In History

  1. Yup.
    Radioactively-related tangent: We installed “nuclear blast proof” glass on the bridge of our warship. Many thousands each of your tax bucks. One pane broke when dropped. The other shattered when a yardbird used a ball-peen hammer to simulate a pressure wave. Y’see, a ball-peen is in one spot, not spread evenly over the entire surface. Oops.

    My high school chemistry teacher related how she was attending a lecture on the biological effects of radiation when the lecturer slowly ground to a halt and just stared at a guy in the front row. Said guy displayed symptoms of radiation exposure. Turns out he was a researcher in the early days and had been taking the bad stuff home for safekeeping. In a shoebox under his bed. Yow.

    I’m hoping for a traditional end to Rocket Guy Kimmie by his own people rather than some sorta nuke. Sigh.

  2. Seventy six years ago my father was a butter bar lieutenant in the 9th Infantry division. He was due to get out from his year of active duty in a month. He didn’t. Three years and 8 months later, he was damn glad to hear about the A-bomb. And he wouldn’t have held a grudge against Tsutomu Yamaguchi.

    • AMAN. Had a great uncle and aunt at Pearl on the flight path the Japs took to hit the ships. She did not see him or hear from him for four days, he left the house in his slippers and bath robe. In all the time that I knew him he would not speak of though 4 days.

  3. “And that little foray by Japan into staggering overconfidence led to the US’ foray into nuclear weapons development….and..well….it didn’t end particularly well for the Japanese.”

    Actually, it ended well for BOTH sides since we DID use them. Without those two cities being nuked, we would have ended up invading the Home Islands. Read: “Hell to Pay”, by DM Giangreco, if you want to find out what was discovered after they surrendered. The Japanese Command was willing to lose 1/2 their population (about 22M casualties) to stop the Allies. We calculated 1M casualties on our side. That was before the examination of their actual defenses, and before we knew about the side effects of radiation poisoning. IIRC, the recalc was maybe 2x-5x in an attempt that would most likely have failed.

    The ONLY good thing that would have resulted from that sort of fiasco would be the obliteration of the Democratic Party. I expect quite a few of those politicians would have been introduced to a tree and a rope.

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