NAKAGAWA Cristiane Izumi, our co-researcher, was awarded for her psychological research on atomic bomb survivors

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is CrisS-2.png

NAKAGAWA Cristiane Izumi, LinguaHiroshima’s co-researcher, received the University of Sao Paulo (USP) Distinguished Thesis Award 2021 for her Ph.D. research in the field of human sciences. Her thesis is titled, “Trauma e sentido, culpa e perdão, vergonha e honra nos hibakushas: um estudo de testemunhos e seus paradoxos” (“Trauma and meaning, guilt and forgiveness, shame and honor in hibakushas: a study of testimonies and their paradoxes”). The award ceremony was held on October 20, 2021.

She conducted a psychological study of hibakusha’s testimonies, which she collected in Hiroshima in January and February 2018. In her master’s course, she recognized the historical and political facts that led to the development of the atomic bombs in the context of World War II. This perspective combined with the Freudian psychoanalytic theory of trauma made her research possible. In addition, her knowledge of the social sciences helped her avoid psychological reductionism in her thesis.

While working on approximately 200 testimonies of atomic bomb survivors, she noticed the recurrence of three psychological phenomena deeply marked by the deponents’ memories: trauma, guilt, and shame. As she did not explore these themes in detail during the master’s course, she included them as topics for her Ph.D. research.

She needed to examine hibakushas’ stories not only through a psychoanalytic approach but also from the perspectives of Japanese culture and the lessons of social psychology. Her Ph.D. investigation clarified that the following paradoxes are the keys to understanding the psychological aspects of atomic bomb survivors: trauma and meaning, guilt and forgiveness, and shame and honor.

NAKAGAWA Cristiane Izumi, Ph.D. in Human Sciences

She is LinguaHiroshima’s co-researcher, overseeing books available in Portuguese. She received a Ph.D. from the University of Sao Paulo. She was accepted as a Ph.D. Fellow at Hiroshima City University under Prof. Robert Jacobs’s supervision. She had two other supervisors: Prof. José Moura Gonçalves Filho at the Institute of Psychology of the University of São Paulo and Prof. Stephen Frosh at Birkbeck University of London. Her research, including international programs in London and Hiroshima, was supported by FAPESP’s scholarship.

About FAPESP, Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (Sao Paulo State Research Support Foundation):,op,sc