IWU Physics Department to Host Film on Atomic Bomb Survivor

April 20, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The Illinois Wesleyan University Physics Department will present a video, Red Back – Sumiteru Taniguchi: 60 Years Carrying the Atomic Bomb on His Back, on Monday, April 26 at 7 p.m. in Beckman Auditorium of The Ames Library. The event, which is free and open to the public, will begin with an introduction by Illinois Wesleyan Emeritus Associate Professor of Physics Ray Wilson. The video, which was created in 2005, will run for 50 minutes and is in Japanese with English subtitles.

Sumiteru Taniguchi was a 16-year-old boy on his postal route in Nagasaki when the atomic bomb dropped. Hit from behind by the heat rays of the explosion, Taniguchi was severely injured with burns down his entire back. Red Back is a film that explores the life of Taniguchi and raises awareness on the damaging effects of nuclear weapons.

“It is my belief that most people today do not really understand what happens to people caught in a nuclear war. Almost all of the photographs of injured Japanese people were confiscated by the military occupation of Japan and were not made available for more than 22 years,” said Wilson, who has taught about the effects of nuclear war since 1959.

Wilson hopes that the presentation will help those in attendance understand why world leaders want to achieve a world free from nuclear weapons. In his introduction he will briefly discuss the “overkill capabilities of world nuclear arsenals.”

For more information on the presentation, contact Ray Wilson at (309) 453-3069. 

Contact: Kristin Fields, ’12, (309) 556-3181