Because of the summer heat, it was crucial to cremate the bodies of victims quickly, although it was difficult because of the enormous number of bodies. Temporary cremation sites were set up throughout the city to cremate the bodies that were being brought continuously. In this photo we can see the bodies being piled one upon another with firewood to burn the bodies.
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."
On August 6, 1952, seven years after the bombing of Hiroshima, five war orphans unveiled the cenotaph for the victims of the A-bomb blast. It is known as the Memorial Monument for Hiroshima, City of Peace. Approximately 1,000 persons attended the unveiling ceremony. Each year, on August 6, the memorial service is held in front of this monument located in the Peace Memorial Park. In this photo from 1952, one can still see private houses that had been rebuilt after the war in the area that is now the Peace Park.
The First Elementary School, 2,600 meters from the hypocenter, and other building that survived the blast throughout the city were used as relief stations to provide the very minimal aid that was available to the victims of the blast.
In this photo of the ruins of Hiroshima, taken in the autumn, 1945, we can see a plant that had come back to life and blossomed. Superimposed on it is a poem of great hope and affirmation. It is displayed near the exit of the Peace Memorial Museum.
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.
The Cenotaph is a shrine to the victims of the A-bomb blast. Their names are listed in a registry in a stone crypt in the Cenotaph, which lies in the Peace Memorial Park on the axis between the A-Bomb Dome and the Peace Memorial Museum. The tables in the middle foreground in this image hold sand in which one may place an upright burning stick of incense in memory of those departed; flowers are placed at the front of the Cenotaph daily by visitors. Through the Cenotaph, one may see the Atomic Bomb Dome in the background. Viewed from the side, the Cenotaph is seen to turn upward at its ends, creating a form perfectly reminiscent of the form a haniwa house or the form of an old rural farm house still seen in some areas of Japan.
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.
Each year on the anniversary of the A-bomb explosion, a memorial ceremony is held in front of the cenotaph. The stone crypt in the cenotaph is opened each year and the names of persons who have died in the previous year from bomb related illnesses are added the the register of names kept in the crypt. This photo shows family members crowding around the crypt, hands clasped in prayer, on August 6, 1952. The annual ceremony continues to this day. It is estimated that approximately 340,000 persons were exposed to the A-bomb blast on August 6, 1945. By the end of December, 1945, 140,000 persons had died, either from the blast or from radiation illness. On August 6, 2004, the number of names of victims enshrined in the Cenotaph was 237,062, having swollen to that number over time because of the slow development of some forms of radiation caused illnesses, such as some forms of cancer. (This photograph, now in the Peace Memorial Museum, was provided courtesy of the Chugoku Shimbun ne
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.
Photographs of the immediate after-effects of the A-bomb are very rare. This photo was one of perhaps half a dozen or fewer taken by resident Yoshito Matsushige. It was taken at about 11:00 a.m., on the morning of August 6, at the west end of the Miyuki Bridge, Senda-machi, about 2,270 meters from the hypocenter. It shows survivors of the blast seeking aid for burns and other injuries. The photo has been enlarged to a mural sized image in the Peace Memorial Museum.
The first wave of the horrendous toll taken by the atomic bomb explosion was, of course, the concussion of the explosion and unearthly intensity of the heat of the explosion. These immediate effects were followed months and years later by illnesses resulting from exposure to radioactivity, such as the death of Sadako Sasaki, who succumbed to leukemia ten years later. In this image we see the unimaginable horror of the burns resulting from the blast, which generated heat rays so intense that they charred the patterns of fabrics on to victims' skin.
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.
This pocket watch and belt buckle belonged to Jiro Hataguchi, who was at work, at the Hiroshima Railway Bureau, at the time of the blast. His wife and brother found the watch and buckle and bones four days after the exposion under a safe in his workplace, 1850 meters from the hypocenter.