Autumn Gardening Symbolism - Hiroshima survivor story
Mitsuye's letter offered Mariko a unique opportunity to give herself a new purpose in life. By bearing witness at the anniversary event, she will be able to give a voice to those she watched die and those she had to pass over when she was treating the victims. The chores in the yard allow Mariko to work through her emotions and make a decision.
Mariko's facial scars are a reminder of the guilt she feels at having survived the bombing while others did not. She blames the scars for why she never got married, and she hides behind them almost as a defense mechanism. Her survivor's guilt runs deep, and she often feels empty.