++The Destruction of Hiroshima++

A white flash. At the same instant, searing heat and blast whirl-winds. Flames rushed through the city. Several hours later, black rain beat down on those people still running about trying to escape. Gradually, a circle of motionless death spread outward from the center of the city.
From these ruins, Hiroshima was born. Never again should the use of a terrible, inhumane weapon like this be permitted. Hiroshima was transformed into HIROSHIMA, an A-bombed city to spread this message throughout the world.
++Truth of A-bomb++

The following verse is from "Flower of Summer" (Natsu no Hana), a collection of short stories by Tamiki Hara (1905-1951), writer and A-bomb survivor.

This is a human being?
Look how the atom bomb changed it.
Flesh swells fearfully.
All men and women take one shape.
The voice that trickles from swollen lips on the festering, charred-black
face whispers the thin words, "Please help me."
This, this is a human being.
This is the face of a human being.


++Charred Streetcar++
  When the atomic bomb exploded, seventy streetcars were operating in Hiroshima. Near the hypocenter, several were burned black. Occupants died where they sat.
Despite the devastation, streetcar service was restored between Koami-cho and Koi on August 9. In less than two months, most main lines were running again. With the center of the city still in ruins, the sight of moving streetcars greatly encouraged the survivors.

Remnants of a streetcar (1945).

++First News Reports++

Although paper shortages during that period limited newspapers to two pages, the August 7th announcement from the Imperial Headquarters that Hiroshima had been attacked with a new kind of bomb was headlined in extra-large print on August 8. But the extensive damage prompted one paper to insert a short article on August 7 under the headline "Hiroshima Bombed."
On August 10, the Japanese government formally protested the new bomb, claiming it to be a cruel, inhumane weapon that violated the international law, the August 11th edition reported the protest and informed the public for the first time that the bomb dropped by the United States was atomic.
++Signs of Survival++

Those who survived called the A-bomb "pika-don". Pika referred to the flash of light. Don was an onomatopoeic reference to the tremendous sound.
On a charred wall at Fukuromachi Elementary School about 500 meters from the hypocenter, people scrawled news and messages in chalk. In addition, small message boards were set up at the ruins of burnt houses telling of family members who had died or where survivors were taking refuge. Those looking for friends or relatives searched eagerly for these "signs of survival."
++Radiation Investigations++

On or about August 8, a Japanese study team discovered that film in the X-ray room of the Japan Red Cross Hospital had been exposed. From this evidence, the Japanese government deduced that the new bomb was atomic.
During September and October of that year, another team of Japanese scientists surveyed residual radiation. The documentary film they produced during their study was confiscated by the occupation forces and taken to the United States. It was finally returned to Hiroshima in 1973.
In October 1945, U.S. soldiers and scientists surveyed and measured what was called the A-bomb effect. The complete results of that study have yet to be made public.

East Building Index

Peace Memorial Museum Index