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Picture of girl who survived atomic bombing to be placed at Hiroshima peace museum

This August 9, 1945 picture shows Yukiko Fujii, an atomic bombing survivor. (Mainichi)

HIROSHIMA -- The picture of a 10-year-old girl who survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima is set to be placed at the entrance to the main building of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum when the facility reopens next spring following renovations.

The photo was selected at a May 18 meeting of experts considering post-renovation exhibits at the museum. It was taken in the Hiroshima city center, three days after the Aug. 6, 1945, bombing by the United States. Mainichi Shimbun photographer Yukio Kunihira captured the image of the girl, Yukiko Fujii, standing with an injured right arm in the middle of devastation caused by the atomic blast, looking lost and dazed.

The girl was identified after a Tokyo man saw the picture in the Mainichi Hiroshima Atomic Bomb archives online and contacted the newspaper in August last year, saying she might be his mother. Examination by a forensic expert determined that the girl was indeed his mother Yukiko. The woman was exposed to radiation from the blast at her home about 1.2 kilometers from ground zero. She died of cancer at age 42.

Museum officials had been discussing the possibility of including the photograph in the facility's exhibition. An official said it was worth inclusion "because few pictures captured people front and center shortly after the atomic bombing and thus the girl's photograph, along with a description of her later life, can provide an indication of the inhumanity of nuclear weapons."

The picture is set to be placed on a corridor connecting the main and eastern buildings of the museum, officials said.

(Japanese original by Azusa Takayama, Hiroshima Bureau)

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