Aya Domenig’s grandfather never told her why he was so reluctant to speak about his experience as a doctor in Hiroshima at the end of World War II.
But in her search for answers, Domenig met a woman who treated patients with her grandfather for about a month after the atomic bomb leveled the city on Aug. 6, 1945.
The woman, Chizuko Uchida, 89, is now the main subject of Domenig’s work in Hiroshima Prefecture on a documentary about survivors of the atomic bombing.
The 39-year-old Zurich-based filmmaker has a Swiss father and a Japanese mother. Her grandfather, Shigeru Doi worked at a Red Cross hospital in Hiroshima during the war, and Uchida, a former nurse, joined the hospital five days after the city was destroyed.
Domenig came to Japan two years ago after reading an article about the Fuchu-based Junod no Kai (Society of Dr. Junod), a civic group whose members include Red Cross hospitals. The filmmaker wanted to hear first-hand accounts from Uchida, a member of the society.