by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
In 1945 Sawako Hirago was a ten-year-old schoolgirl in Hiroshima. In the atomic bombing on August 6, she was exposed to severe radiation that burned her face, head, and legs. The burned parts swelled up to nearly three times their normal size. In the hospital, doctors feared for her recovery because one-third of her body was burned. Her mother gave her palm healing therapy over the abdomen every night, and Sawako ate the only food available, two rice balls and two daikon radish pickles each day. Inside the rice balls was umeboshi (pickled salted plums).
Although the medical doctors gave up on her, Sawako survived: "My mother didn't show me a mirror until I was cured. However, I was able to see my hands and leg, which were very dirty and had a bad, rotten smell. On the rotten spots there were always flies. When the skin healed, I broke it because it was itchy; finally it became a keloidal condition. I didn't see my face until it was finally cured. However, sores remained on my nose and pus remained on my chest. My hands and chest had masses of skin which remained until I was twenty." Because of her disfiguration, Sawako was ridiculed, nicknamed "Hormone Short," and told she could never marry or have children. After completing school, she became a high school physics teacher and met a young chemistry teacher who ate very simply. The couple married and attended lectures by George Ohsawa, the founder of modem macrobiotics in Japan, and he said that only people practicing macrobiotics would survive future nuclear war.
After talking with Mr. Ohsawa, Sawako gave up the modern, refined food that she had been eating since her survival and started eating brown rice and other foods. To her surprise, her problems including anemia, leukemia, low blood pressure, falling hair, and bleeding from the nose, started to clear up. Within two months, she was elated: "My face became beautiful."
Sawako went on to have seven healthy children and raised all of them on brown rice, miso soup, vegetables, seaweed, and other healthy food. Source: Sawako Hiraga, "How I Survived the Atomic Bomb," Macrobiotic. November/ December 1979.
In 1985 Lidia Yamchuk and Hanif Shaimardanov, medical doctors in Chelyabinsk, organized Longevity, the first macrobiotic association in the Soviet Union. At their hospital, they have used dietary methods and acupuncture to treat many patients, especially those suffering from leukemia, lymphoma, and other disorders associated with exposure to nuclear radiation. Since the early 1950s, wastes from Soviet weapons production had been dumped into Karachay Lake in Chelyabinsk, an industrial city about nine hundred miles east of Moscow. In particular they began incorporating miso soup into the diets of patients suffering from radiation symptoms and cancer. "Miso is helping some of our patients with terminal cancer to survive," Yamchuk and Shaimardanov reported. "Their blood (and blood analysis) became better after they began to use miso in their daily food."
Meanwhile, in Leningrad, Yuri Stavitsky, a young pathologist and medical instructor, volunteered as a radiologist in Chernobyl after the nuclear accident on April 26, 1986. Since then, like many disaster workers, he suffered symptoms associated with radiation disease, including tumors of the thyroid. "Since beginning macrobiotics," he reported, "my condition has greatly improved."