3-Minute Interview: Jack Dairiki 

The Sacramento-born Japanese-American, who was 14 years old and living near Hiroshima when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city, will be a guest at the screening of a documentary about the Aug. 6, 1945, attack. Director Steven Okazaki’s "White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki" screens today at 5 p.m. at the University of San Francisco. Call (415) 422-6828 to make reservations for the free event.

Did anyoneexpect what was coming when they saw the planes that day? We had no idea about the atomic bomb. We had no knowledge of it. Even in the United States, it was kept quite a secret.

Did the Japanese government provide any assistance for the survivors? At first, they didn’t. But, today, they are very helpful to the survivors.

How did the event shape your life? I became kind of religious. I’ve been religious from my younger days, but not to the extent that I am today.

How did you feel about Americans? I always considered myself an American. Whenever I saw an American aircraft coming over I used to wave at it. I used to say, "I am an American; I want to go home."

Was it hard to watch Steve’s film? It brought back a lot of memories. But I was glad that Steve could go deeper than just the superficial.

Do you have strong feelings about wars? Wherever it is, war is a horrible thing that we sure don’t want to get involved in. But for the sake of peace, if I were called today to go serve for the sake of forming peace, I might still go.

If there was one message you would want to spread, what would it be? Any type of nuclear weapon is such a horrendous weapon. I never want to see it used again anywhere in the world.

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Mike Billings

Mike Billings

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Mike Billings is the editor in chief of The S.F. Examiner.
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Monday, Oct 20, 2014

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