SPECIAL REPORT: Kentucky resident recalls Japan during WWII and times following atomic bomb

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VERSAILLES, Ky. (WBKO) -- It's been 72 years since the United States dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending Japanese Involvement in World War II.

Mike Sato was 10 years old living just outside the city of Hiroshima as rumors began flying of an American A-bomb attack.

"We was scared every day," she says.

"You see, night time, we couldn't put our pajamas on and sleep. You had to put clothes on," she explains. "Soon they start the [sirens], so we got to get up and go. We didn't know what was going to happen."

For her own safety Mikie was sent away way into the countryside outside of Hiroshima.

"We stayed there for about maybe a couple weeks," she says. "One morning, we all go outside, and first they pray, and then we do exercises. When we were doing that, we hear real loud noise. Everybody said 'what happened?' We look over there, like mushroom, and we didn't know what happened. And then they say they drop bomb and my mother all of them are dead."

Mikie would eventually learn that her town of Kure was largely unaffected, and her family was okay.

"After all that, [Emperor] Hirohito told us the war was over. So now we can go home," she goes on. "So they put us on a school bus, and we had to pass through Hiroshima. Well, we passed by, there was nothing there. All the bodies, just piled up all over the place, just burnt there. Some of them walking around with no hair."

Mikie says her family would struggle for food following the bombing.

She'd go on to marry an American Army cook, who would bring her back to the United States.

"I was 21-years-old when I came to the United States," she says, "and I didn't speak any English. I had a hard time."

After a seven year stay in Kentucky, a place she'd learned to sing about as a young girl in Japan, Mikie and her husband opted for warmer weather and relocated to Florida, until her husband passed away.

"I was going to stay in Florida, but then my children called and said, you come back to Kentucky."

Kentucky would become home, but not without a little convincing.

"When I moved to Florida, I learned Bingo" Sato continues. "I win at bingo all the time... after that, they told me to come back to Kentucky. I said no they don't have Bingo in Kentucky, I ain't coming back. They say no they have a bunch in Louisville. I said okay, so I came back. So I've lived in Kentucky for quite a while then. I just love Kentucky."

Mikie learned to sing 'My Old Kentucky Home' when she was small child, before she'd ever learned where it was. She says it's a coincidence that that's where she ended up.

She's also become quite the fan of Kentucky Basketball, because "they're just good."

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