Date of Completion
Honors College Thesis
Asian Languages and Literatures
Kyle Keoni Ikeda
Nagasaki, Atomic Bomb, Seirai Yuichi, Catholic, Ground Zero Nagasaki, World War II
This paper discusses how the Catholic faith of the hibakusha (atomic bomb victims), their families, and their community members shapes their understanding of the atomic bombing in Seirai Yuichi’s fiction work Ground Zero, Nagasaki. In re-emphasizing the preeminence of the individual atomic experience and moving away from the canonical Nagasaki atomic narratives of Nagai Takashi and Hayashi Kyoko, Seirai illuminates the essential role that familial connection to the faith plays in an individual’s personal belief and how that belief thus affects one’s interpretation of the bombing. When the bonds of family are broken, post-atomic faith begins to falter and survivors enter a Dark Night of the Soul in which, caught between belief and doubt, hope and trauma, they seek meaning. Seirai explores these moments of searching within this traumatic gray space in his text, illustrating how atomic warfare destroys the self of the faithless individual.
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Coleman, Stratton Elizabeth, "Dark Night of the Soul: Catholic Articulations of Atomic Trauma in Seirai Yuichi's "Ground Zero, Nagasaki"" (2019). UVM Honors College Senior Theses. 327.