Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Japanese Man Who Survived Two Atomic Bombs Dies at 93

You've probably heard the saying, "He was in the wrong place at the wrong time." That can be said emphatically of the Japanese man Tsutomu Yamaguchi. On August 6, 1945, just before the end of World War II, Yamaguchi, a maritime engineer, was in Hiroshima, Japan, on a business trip. At 8:15 in the morning, he heard a bomber fly over the city. Suddenly there was a great flash of light, and he was blown over by a powerful force. A U.S. bomber had dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, which killed some 140,000 people. Yamaguchi was not one of them, for he survived the blast, though his face and arms were burned. He also suffered temporary blindness, and his hearing was damaged.

He stayed in Hiroshima that night, and the next day, Yamaguchi was able to travel to return to his home city. His home city was 190 miles southwest of Hiroshima. His home city was Nagasaki. Those well-versed in history know that on August 9th, three days after the bombing of Hiroshima, a U.S. bomber dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Again Yamaguchi saw a great flash of light, and the building he was in was blown over. He was knocked unconscious, but was not seriously hurt. This atomic explosion killed some 70,000 people. Once again, however, Yamaguchi was not one of them. Again he lived through an atomic blast.

Interestingly, he is not the only one to have lived through the horrific experience. Although approximately 210,000 died in the bombings, some 260,000 people actually survived the blasts, including 165 people who, like Yamaguchi, were believed to have survived the deadly bombings in both cities. Still, Yamaguchi was the only person officially recognized by the Japanese government as having lived through both.

The man who survived two atomic bombs and the potential delayed effects of radiation poisoning survived the lesser perils of daily life for another 65 years. But even he could not cheat death forever. In the year 2010, at age 93, Yamaguchi finally succumbed to the stubborn, unyielding, implacable power of death. What two atomic bombs could not do, old age did.

Related Sermon Illustrations

Theology of Death

Death is a theological issue. Indeed, for most people, it is the theological issue.

[Read More]

Ash Wednesday vs. the Immortality Movement

There was a dark horse in the 2015 presidential race—a real political outsider named Zoltan Istyan. He was the presidential candidate for the Transhumanist Party, a party whose ...

[Read More]