August is the month to remember the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Japan's surrender that followed. As it happens, my mother and her four children, including me, who were refugees from Taiwan following Japan's defeat, landed in Hiroshima in April 1946, and, in less than two years, moved to Nagasaki.

Not that my family was affected by atomic radiation effects in any direct way as we know it. Otake port in Hiroshima, where we landed, is a little north of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and 27 km southwest of ground zero in Hiroshima. Tobishima, a tiny island in northern Nagasaki Prefecture, where we moved from my father's hometown in southern Fukuoka following our stay in Hiroshima, is 70 km north of Nagasaki's ground zero.

But I thought of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Japan's defeat because Sumiko, my niece in Kitakyushu, sent me my mother's old resume. Just by simply giving the date and place of birth, a list of jobs, and repatriation from Taiwan, the resume shows how entwined my family was with Japan's history after it plunged into the imperialist contest in the late 19th century.