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Articles by Hayashi Kyoko

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Hayashi Kyōko, born in Nagasaki in 1930, spent much of her childhood in wartime Shanghai. Returning to Nagasaki in March 1945, she attended Nagasaki Girls High School and was a student-worker in a munitions plant in Nagasaki at the time of the atomic bombing on August 9. Hayashi made her literary debut with the 1975 Akutagawa Prize-winning autobiographical story “Ritual of Death” (Matsuri no ba), which records her exodus from the area of devastation to eventual reunion with her family. Her atomic bomb novella, Masks of Whatchamacallit (Nanjamonja no men) appeared the following year, followed shortly by a sequence of twelve short stories anthologized as Cut Glass, Blown Glass (Giyaman biidoro, 1978). These works established her as an important chronicler of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and the lives of hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors), themes she would elaborate in future work. For example, her Noma Prize-winning reportage writing, From Trinity to Trinity (Torinitii kara Torinitii e, 2000), records her trip to Los Alamos, New Mexico, the site of the first atomic bomb experiment, the source of her fifty-five years of experience of living with the bomb. (Kyoko Selden published a full translation of this powerful piece first in the Review of Japanese Culture and Society XIX (December 2007) and then in Japan Focus (May 2008).)