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An Empirical Study of the Atomic-bomb Survivors’ Trauma and the “Vehicles” for Recollection
This empirical, cross-disciplinary study examined possible triggers of traumatic memories in the two sets of atomic-bomb survivors’ testimonies that were collected in 1985 and in 2005. When the survivors recall the “scenes of hell”, a specific type of vehicle is often used to express an emotional response to their traumatic experience which they lived immediately after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Various patterns relative to a strong conceptual association, between a particular type of vehicle and a specific kind of traumatic experience, are discovered. These patterns persisted in the two datasets despite the twenty-year gap between them. However, in the latter set of testimonies, linguistic intensity in describing death and physical injuries were somewhat attenuated when the memories are associated with a specific type of vehicle, even though the contents and the flow of narrative remained the same.
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