In this installment of our Thursday Fiction corner we will be featuring the just-published Ground Zero, Nagasaki: Stories by Seirai Yuichi and translated by Paul Warham.
Seirai Yuichi’s stories are set in contemporary Nagasaki, and draw an unflinching portrait of the A-bomb’s horrific, ongoing trauma. Whether they experienced the attack directly or have merely heard about it from survivors, many of the characters in these stories filter their pain and alienation through their Catholic faith, illuminating a side of Japanese culture little known in the West. For hundreds of years, Christianity was suppressed in Nagasaki, but the religion enjoyed a revival in modern times. The Urakami Cathedral, the center of Japanese Christian life, stood at ground zero of the A-bomb attack.
Here is the first story from the collection, “Nails”: