Kikuko Otake (maiden name, Furuta) was born in Osaka, Japan. Her family moved to Hiroshima, her parents’ hometown, just a few months before the explosion of the atomic bomb there. At the time of the attack, she lived just over a mile away from the hypocenter. She barely escaped death and sustained a wound to her head. She also suffered greatly from the “atomic bomb syndrome.” Her father, most of her uncles, and a number of cousins perished during the bombing.
After graduating from Tsuda College in Tokyo, she came to the United States in 1968. She received her M. A. in education from California State University at Los Angeles. She is now a naturalized U. S. citizen. Based on her mother’s account of the atomic bombing, she wrote an autobiographical book, Amerika e Hiroshima kara (To America from Hiroshima) in Japanese, and published it in 2003 in Japan. Masako’s Story is the English adaptation of her original book. She published its first edition through the publisher Ahadada Books in 2007, and this book is the revised second edition.
Kikuko Otake, an award-winning haiku, tanka and senryu poet, is a retired assistant professor of Japanese language. She lives with her husband in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California.