Literally "exposed person". Japanese term for (mainly) the survivors of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima
. Officially registered hibakusha are entitled to special social security
and health care
benefits from the Japanese government. In 1999, there were more than 200,000 hibakusha registered in Japan.
The amazing thing is that there are still people applying for such a registration now, over 50 years after the bombs! Now before someone starts sprouting naive libertarian crap about the evils of welfare and people leeching off the taxpayers' money, let me tell you that these are valid applications by people who were afraid to apply for those benefits before.
Why? Because hibakusha used to be severely discriminated against. Because the US occupation government put a media ban on all information about the atomic bombs, including the true aftereffects, all kinds of ugly superstitions sprang up. People believed that the effects of the radiation exposure were truly heredetary or even worked like a communicatable disease, so hibakusha were socially isolated and in some cases even their perfectly healthy children would find their fiancées parents oppose the wedding because of fears that the children would have deformities.