Hiroshima

by: John Hersey

Toshiko Sasaki

Miss Sasaki is a twenty-year-old clerk who works hard to take care of her siblings and parents. The bomb collapses the factory where she works, and she becomes pinned underneath a bookcase that crushes her leg. For weeks she receives no real medical care for her badly fractured and infected leg, and she remains crippled for the rest of her life. After the war she suffers greatly as a bomb victim and a cripple. Her fiancé abandons her, and she is scarred emotionally as well as physically. After Father Kleinsorge encourages her to convert to Christianity and become a nun, she has a distinguished career, travels around the world, and becomes optimistic about her future.

Miss Sasaki comes closest to representing the many nameless, wounded survivors of the bomb. Several doctors treat her callously; because her injury is severe but not mortal or mysterious, she garners very little sympathy from anyone. She is completely immobilized, so she does not become involved in the communal efforts that most of the other characters take part in. As a result, she suffers mostly in isolation.