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.
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.
The plaque at the site of the Childrenâ€™s Peace Monument reads, â€œThis monument stands in memory of all children who died as a result of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The monument was originally inspired by the death of Sadako Sasaki, who was exposed to radiation from the atomic bomb at the age of two. Ten years later Sadako developed leukemia that ultimately ended her life. Sadakoâ€™s untimely death compelled her classmates to begin a call for the construction of a monument for all children who died due to the atomic bomb. Built with contributions from more than 3,200 schools in Japan and donors in nine countries, the Childrenâ€™s Peace Monument was unveiled on May 5, 1958.â€
These locks of hair belonged to a first year student at Aki Girls High School, Teruko Aotani, who was 13 years old. She was working at a demolition site 900 m from the hypocenter, Koami-cho. She was severely burned over her entire body by the blast, but still managed somehow to return to her home, where her mother cared for her until she died in the morning of the 7th, the day following the blast. Her mother cut these locks of hair, some of which are singed, as a keepsake. (Donated by Masae Himuro.) Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
The cenotaph at the heart of the Peace Memorial Park contains this stone chest. The stone chest contains a registry of the names of the known victims of the A-bomb blast. At each annual memorial service, the names of those who have passed away in the preceding year from the effects of the blast or from radiation-caused disease are added to the registry. On August 6, 2001, the list included the names of 221,893 victims who had been identified by relatives. Including other victims who were never identified, it is estimated that the death toll from the A-bomb at Hiroshima now stands at about 240,000 persons. - The cenotaph was designed by architect Kenzo Tange, then a professor at the University of Tokyo. The form of the cenotaph suggests the form of the roof of an ancient form of a house (see image ecasia000870), providing symbolic shelter for the souls of the victims. The inscription on the monument reads, "Let all the souls here rest in peace, for we shall not repeat the evil."
Searching for mother among the straw mats -- Explanation by the artist: "My mother, who lived in HIroshima, was missing so my aunt and I (I was 6 years old), who had been at an evacuation site, went to the riverbank near Misasa. We searched for her under the straw mats covering the many people who had breathed their last on the riverbank. One face was swollen reddish copper, but was still white around the eyes (probably where glasses had reflected the heat ray). Under the mid-summer sun, the stench was unbearable." -- The artist was 6 at the time of the bombing, 63 at the time when she drew this picture.
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.
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.
Downtown Hiroshima, engulfed in fire, glowing red, floating in the dark Night of the 6th. -- As seen from Koi, 2,500 meters from the hypocenter. Drawn by Gizo Shimomura.
Mother and me joyfully reuniting in the ruins -- Explanation by the artist: "Looking for my mother, I searched among the crowds of people trudging out of the city. Then, ahead of me I noticed my mother walking my way in her underwear and with blood on her shoulder. 'Mother!!' We held each other and cried by the side of the road. My mother had been trapped under the house, unable to get out, but neighbors freed her. It was a miracle. If we hadn't met then, I would have spent the whole night wandering through the rubble and smoke looking for her." -- The artist was 22 at the time of the bombing, 78 when she drew this picture.
View 3. A-bomb Dome in the Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima.
School children leaving paper cranes that they have folded at the memorial.
Detail of the memorial to the children who perished in the atomic blast on August 6, 1945, showing the statue at the memorial and strings of paper cranes left by school children visiting the memorial.
Hiroshima: A-bomb Dome. Plaque at entrance to site of the A-bomb Dome in the Peace Memorial Park.
Flowers and paper cranes left at the memorial.
Searching -- Explanation by the artist: "Bodies lined up along the road for pick-up." The artist was 25 at the time of the bombing, 82 at the time when he drew this picture.
Injured dying one after the next, people looking for familyured d -- Explanation by the Artist: king fMorning, noon and night, the injured died. White medicines applied [to] burns made pores look bright red. Many were carrying huge loads, calling out, searching for parents, siblings, friends. Relief teams called, 'Anyone here from such and such neighborhood?' I think it was about the 8th when three young soldiers saluted and left. After they left, we heard they were suicide troops sent in from Etajima island. -- The artist was 19 at the time of the bombing, 49 at the time he drew this picture.
Artistâ€™s explanation: â€œAfter noon on the 6th, crowds of people were walking through the fire, torn and exhausted, toppling over. -- Evening of the 6th, the ground at her feet burning, a woman holding a dead baby was burned to death still standing. Night of the 6th, many people trapped under rubble were calling for help, then were consumed by fire and burned to death. -- Morning of the 9th, a dead body floating in the river; swollen and skinned, white eyeball dangling out, tongue protruding; the only thing the body wore was something resembling hair around the neck.â€ -- The scenes depicted in this image were 180 â€“ 3600 meters from the hypocenter, Dambara-ohata-cho, Kawara-machi, Matsubara-cho, Oau 4-chome, and occurred in the period, August 6 â€“ 9, 1945. The artist, Shoichi Furukawa, was 32 at the time of the bombing, 63 when he drew this picture.
In a chapter of Japanese history that has only recently begun to be discussed openly, Japan colonized Korea in the decades leading up to the Second World War. Before and during the war, many Koreans were brought to Japan, many of them as conscripted laborers. At the time of the A-bomb explosion in Hiroshima, there were many Koreans in Hiroshima and it is estimated that as many as 20,000 Koreans may have died in the explosion. Given the enmity between the Japanese and the Koreans, and what some would label a prejudice against Korean nationals, the Japanese perhaps did not initially acknowledge fully the loss of Korean lives at Hiroshima. The plaque in this photo, at the monument erected on the edge of the Peace Memorial Park in 1970, describes the plight of the Korean victims.
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€
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.
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.
The female student I passed was my sister -- Explanation by the artist: "It was like a road but there was no road. Not a single person could get through. I was worried about getting there before dark, so I walked right by two female students. One had bandages on her head and arms. One arm was in a sling of calico cloth. The other was wearing a uniform drenched with blood, her head wrapped, face covered with blood, hair singed red. She looked like a demon. For some reason, I spoke to her and discovered to my astonishment that she was my sisiter. I pinched my cheek thinking I must be dreaming." -- August 6, 1945, 3:30 - 4:00 p.m. -- 800m from the hypocenter, near Dobashi. The artist was 18 at the time of the bombing, 48 when she drew this picture.
A line of burned lunchboxes, Art -- Exlpanation by the artist: buriedAfter morning assembly, they were probably doing calisthenics. They seemed to be junior high students. I wonder where the owners of these lunchboxes were, laid out so neatly. Because this drill ground was near the hypocenter, the lost lunchboxes were burned but still retained their shape, which makes my heart ache. Thinking of the kindness and love some mother put into each, for them to become last lunches. . . -- 360 m from the hypocenter, Western Drill Ground, Moto-machi. The artist was 25 at the time of the bombing, 82 when he drew this picture.