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A Song for Nagasaki: The Story of Takashi Nagai-Scientist, Convert, and Survivor of the Atomic Bomb Paperback – October 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158617343X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586173432
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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The story of his conversion gives it depth.
J. Rios
This is a wonderful book which allows the reader to share Nagai's love and compassion for his fellow man.
J. Regnard
This book is the struggle of a man from Atheism to Catholism.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By J. Regnard on February 5, 2010
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This is a wonderful book which allows the reader to share Nagai's love and compassion for his fellow man. An outstanding example of christian self sacrifice in the face of insurmountable odds, and of a total faith and trust in God. I personally know someone who was cured of severe depression over 37 years after reading this book - but of course this would be a rare outcome. It is one of the best books I have ever read.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 13, 2010
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This was a mandatory reading for my Western Civilization class, and frankly, I'm glad it was. At first I thought this was going to be another boring book, but immediately after I opened it up, I was immersed in rich descriptions, truly fascinating plot, deep enough insight on the character so that you feel you are journeying with him, and a style of writing that makes a seemingly, boring history, come to life in a fun and new way...
MUST READ for all historians, especially christian historians.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By MOMO on April 7, 2010
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The story of this man and of Nagasaki is so beautiful and touching.I believe this man will be proclaimed a saint someday by the catholic church.What a wonderful example of true forgiveness he showed and lived by after all he and his family and city had been through. He was a true christian and followed Christ teachings on forgiveness and love.I will never forget Mr.Takashi Nagai and "A Song for Nagasaki"
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Michael Hoffman on January 5, 2010
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The life of Takashi Nagai embodies a paradox: a convert from the traditional religion of Japan to Catholicism, he nevertheless embodied the virtues of the Japanese character - virtues which were expressed through his faith in Christ. This book will appeal to many diverse persons: atheists and agnostics struggling for truth, medical students and physicians, Catholics and missionaries, and students of modern Japanese history and President Truman's criminal atomic bomb holocaust against the Christian city of Nagasaki. But it is primarily the story of a human being whose hard work, self-sacrifice and dedication, along with early weaknesses and failure that he overcame through Christ, offers us a candle in the darkness. This is a fascinating and heart-warming tale of love in the face of harrowing adversity. No one who reads "A Song for Nagasaki" will go away unrewarded.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Muzza on December 31, 2010
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This is the uplifting story of Dr. Takashi Nagai, a brilliant Japanese scientist who lived in the first half of the 20th century, became an unlikely convert to Catholic Christianity, became a war hero in the war with China in the 1930s, survived the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki but suffering the death of his wife, university colleagues, and decimation of the Christian community in that city, and towards the end of his life, terminally ill with leukemia (contracted before the nuclear attack because of his work as a radiologist) he was dedicated to providing spiritual comfort to the people of Nagasaki and Japan, both through his writings and his example, and by the time of his death had become a much admired and revered person in Japan and the world.

The story of Nagai itself follows important parallels with that of many great saints within Christianity: somebody who is an independent spirit, perhaps a bit rebellious but also very sensitive, highly accomplished in what they do, goes through difficult times which hasten a spiritual conversion (in Nagai's case the death of his mother), after which even harder times lead to growth and strengthening of faith, culminating, or I should say blossoming, in radiance and fulfillment through service and love to their fellow human beings. But the way the story is written by author Paul Glynn, providing the reader with the full historic and geographic context, make it all the more engaging and compelling.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mary B. Minnis on November 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
If you like history, philosophy and true heroism, you will love this book. It tells the true story of a Japanese physician and his journey from Shinto, atheism, agnosticism to Catholicism in a country that has historically persecuted Christians. It is also a touching love story of the doctor for his wife. More importantly it tells of the doctor's actions consistent with his faith. His insight into the meaning of the A-Bomb that incinerated his wife and nearly killed him that he delivered to some of the survivors just days after the bomb was dropped is just one of the many courageous, selfless acts where he witnessed his faith.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nora McDougall on June 19, 2011
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Is it possible for a man who has seen his own countrymen do terrible things and who has been through the bombing of his home town of Nagasaki to die in peace and surrounded by honor and love? This is such a story.

The main story is about an early pioneer of radiology and his experience with the experience of living through the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. But, the book starts much earlier as a frame of reference to Dr. Nagai's story. This book is very Catholic, and traces the history of Catholicism through Japanese history, which is an interesting story in itself. Even for a non-Catholic reader, such as myself, there is so much to learn and appreciate about the strong faith of these courageous Japanese people.

Issues of war tend to polarize people, into demonizing one side and defending the other. People also tend to use acts of war to promote their own interests and political views. This book supersedes both. "He expressed grave suspicions about "angry people" in peace movements. There is a great need for peace movements, he wrote, but only if made up of people with hearts that are at peace." p. 212.

Whether you agree or disagree with Dr. Nagai's position, his life had a message that changed people for the better.
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