This is another of the very rare photographs of the immediate aftermath of the bombing. The photo, taken by Yoshito Matsushige, shows victims huddled at the west end of the Miyuki Bridge, 2,270 meters from the hypocenter, about 11:00 a.m., August 6, 1945. In the book, The Viewfinder Clouded with Tears, Mr. Matsushige writes, "I fought with myself for 30 minutes before I could take the first picture. After taking the first, I grew strangely calm and wanted to get closer. I took about ten steps forward and tried to snap another, but the scenes I saw were so gruesome my viewfinder clouded with tears."
Photograph of the mushroom cloud rising over Hiroshima taken about two minutes after the explosion. Photograph taken from the Kanda bridge, Furuichi-cho, about 7 kilometers from the hypocenter, the point of detonation.
Approximately 240,000 names of victims who were exposed to the atomic bomb in Hiroshima are written in the Hiroshima Register of Deceased Atomic Bomb Victims. It is stored in the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims (Memorial Monument for Hiroshima, City of Peace). -- A room in the National Peace Memorial Hall houses a searchable registry of the names and, when available, photographs of the victims. The photographs of the victims are displayed serially on this wall panel monitor. The photos include persons of all ages and stations in life; the bomb destroyed lives indiscriminately.
This photo shows the city in flame on August 6, as seen from Furuichi-cho, Asa-gun, 7,000 meters from the hypocenter.
The A-bomb devastated nearly all administrative agencies and destoyed official documents. Thus, the exact number of deaths due to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima remains unknown. Many victims were never identified. -- According to a document submitted by the city of Hiroshima to the United Nations in 1976 entitled 'For the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and the Reduction of All Armed Forces and All Armaments,' an extimated 140,000 (plus or minus 10,000) people died as a result of the A-bomb between August 6, 1945, and the end of December that year.
Passage from the Memoir of Yasuko Imai (female) â€œThe morning sun shone into the reception room, lighting up a corner where a young man lay facing the wall. He turned his eyes â€“ which probably were losing vision â€“ toward me and mustered his strength. â€˜Nurse,â€™ he called, and I stopped. He said, â€˜I got here before all these other people, canâ€™t the doctor see me yet?â€™ I said, â€˜Iâ€™m sorry for the delay. Iâ€™ll get the doctor to see you right away. You must not give up.â€™ He said, â€˜Excuse me, but please give me water.â€™ He died when he drank a sip of water. I picked up the cup with trembling hands. I could no longer control my feelings. Tears flowed onto my monpe work trousers. How he must have wanted to call out, â€˜Mother!â€™â€
The Fujitsuka home was totally destroyed by the blast. The youngest child in the family, Tadashi (then 4 years old), was exposed outside and severely burned by the blast. He died the next day. When his elder brother, Minoru (then 19), returned from miltary service in September, he was stunned by the death of his young brother and by the utter devastation of the entire city of Hiroshima. This lump of fused glass, ink bottles melted together by the heat, was found in a former ink factory that had stood across the street from the family's home. (Donated by Minoru Fujitsuka.) 1,800 meters from the hypocenter, Matoba-cho.
Ichiji Nakata (then 36) was standing by in his home on military orders. He was shaving when exposed to the A-bomb. His wife Fumiko and their two children were exposed just after they emerged from the bomb shelter. Ichiji and his children died instantly. Fumiko sustained serious injuries but survived. A few days later, Fumiko and Ichiji's mother found a lump of these melted cups in the ruins of their home and took it with them as a keepsake . . . Fumiko died on August 30. The entire family was lost. (Donated by Yukio Nakata.) 1,000 meters from the hypocenter, Teppo-cho
This aerial photo of Hiroshima was taken on August 9, 1945. (Use the magnifying glass tool in the left of the tool bar to enlarge the photo.) The legend in the upper right provides the key for the graphic colors -- buildings in the area in red were totally collapsed and burned, those in the pink area were totally collapsed, those in the yellow area were half collapsed and burned / irreparably damaged. The area of irreparable damage extended out as far as 4 kilometers and beyond. Between the blast damage and the ensuing fires, the devastation of Hiroshima was essentially total.
Trapped in a fallen house, this mother and child were surrounded by fire and calling for help. August 6, around 9:00 am, Tanaka-machi, about 1,000 meters from the hypocenter.
The heat of the fire partially melted these tiles and fused them like a lump of lava. Tiles melt at 1,200 to 1,300 degrees C. Thus, these fused roof tiles reveal how extremely hot the fire was.
These origami paper cranes were among those distributed at her funeral. In a story now known worldwide by millions of school children, Sadako Sasaki was exposed to the atomic bomb as an infant of two years age. She appeared to have escaped harm from the exposure, until ten years later, when, in her sixth year in elementary school, she suddenly became ill with leukemia. She was hospitalized and fought for her life for eight months, before succumbing to the leukemia. During her illness, she continually folded paper cranes, believing that they would help her to recover, and the paper cranes have come to be a symbol of both tragedy and hope. Sadako's death gave birth to a movement to erect a monument in the Peace Park to all of the children who perished in the A-bomb explosion.
Immediate effects from the heat and from the force of the blast and of the ensuing fires in Hiroshima. The glass bottles in this image were melted and deformed by the heat of the atomic bomb blast and the heat of the resulting fires, which consumed Hiroshima as an immediate after-effect of the initial explosion. The stacks of coins on the left in the image were fused together by the heat. The temperature required to cause these effects may have been in the vicinity of approximately 1500 degrees Fahrenheit and, obviously, the effect of this heat on human victims was unspeakable. These items are on display in the Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima.
At the time of the atomic bomb blast in Hiroshima, a Chinese Parasol tree sapling was burned, seared on the side of its trunk that was exposed to the horrendous flash of heat of the blast. But the core of the tree remained alive. Over time, the force of life again asserted itself. The tree grew and the side of the tree facing away from the blast grew around the injured portion, as if covering and protecting it. In May, 1973, the tree was transplanted to the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, where it continues to grow, an affirmation of hope and life.
A sobering image of the young girl, Sadako Sasaki, in her coffin at her funeral on October 26, 1955. Although she had appeared to have escaped harm from the A-bomb blast at the age of two, she succumbed to leukemia ten years later. This image is in the Peace Memorial Museum, Hiroshima, courtesy of Shigeo and Masahiro Sasaki.
About 350,000 people are estimated to have been in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped. Among these were many from Korean peninsula, which was then a Japanese colony, and include persons from China. Some of these had been conscripted. Also present were foreign students from China and Southeast Asia, and American prisoners of war.
Shinichi Tetsutani (then 3 years and 11 months) loved to ride this tricycle. That morning, he was riding in front of his house when, in a sudden flash, he and his tricycle were badly burned. He died that night. His father felt he was too young to be buried in a lonely grave away from home, and thinking he could still play with the tricycle, he buried Shinichi with the tricycle in the backyard. -- In the summer of 1985, forty years later, his father dug up Shinichi's remains and transferred them to the family grave. -- This tricycle and helmet, after sleeping for 40 years in the backyard with Shinichi, were donated to the Peace Memorial Museum. (Donated by Nobuo Tetsutani.) 1500 meters from the hypocenter, Higashi-hakushima-cho.
Even far from the hypocenter, dark areas on fabrics burned instantly from the thermal rays and railroad ties burst into flame. At 600 meters, the heat melted together these ceramic roof tiles, indicating an instantaneous flash of temperature well in excess of 1200-1300 degrees Centigrade (perhaps 2200-2400 degrees Fahrenheit), the temperature at which clay roof tiles would begin to melt.
Mrs. Koharu Hirakawa wa a teacher at Hjiyama Elementary School. She was exposed to the bombing while riding on a truck carrying the belongings of her pupils to the evacuation site in the countryside. her body was never found, but her belongings were handed over to her son about 4 months later. (Donated by Mihoko Naito and Akira Hirakawa.) 1,390 meters from the hypocenter, near Sumiyoshi Bridge.
This head of the Buddha figure, carved in sandstone, was found at the site of the Seigan Temple, 450 meters from the hypocenter, Zaimoku-cho (now Nakajima-cho).
This photograph, taken by US Army investigators on November 13, 1945, shows a woman's back and arms disfigured with growths called keloids. These growths hindered the movement of joints and were the cause of great suffering, both physical and emotional.
This is a section of a white wall from a house that was 3,700 meters from the hypocenter. The roof of the house had been set askew by the force of the atomic blast, allowing the black rain that fell following the blast to run down the white plaster wall, staining it. Analysis of the stains indicated that the black rain contained radioactive fallout from the atomic bomb blast. This section of wall was donated by Akijiro Yashima, and it is now displayed in the Peace Memorial Museum, Hiroshima.
People fleeing the fire, The 6th around 8:40 a.m. 1,300m from the hypocenter, Near the Yokogawa Bridge. The heat rays ignited the wooden bridge. All around the neighborhood was a sea of fire. As the conflagration grew, it generated frequent fire storms that greatly increased the momentum of the flames. The blaze bore down on the fleeing survirors.
Sea of flame near the hypocenter, Afternoon of the 6th. -- The scene at the Aioi Bridge, 300 meteres from the hypocenter. Flames totally engulfed the area near the hypocenter and countless victims lay on the ground. Beginning shortly after the blast, the city burned all day and into the night.
This photos shows the frame of the Odamasa Store that had stood on Ebisu-cho, 840 meters from the hypocenter. The steel framework of the building has been completely twisted by the extreme heat of the explosion and the ensuing fires that swept the city. Photographed in mid-August, 1945.