Pictures of Hiroshima 3 hrs. after the A-bomb Dropped
(attested) What was happening then there?!
Hereunder is my running translation of the narration and quotations with NHK introduction and sites:
Pictures Taken 3 hrs. after the A-bomb Dropped
What was happening
NHK Special, “What Was Happening under the Mushroom Cloud?”
Pictures Taken 3 hrs. after the A-bomb Dropped
Broadcast: October 22, 2015 (Thursday) from 2:15 a.m. (65 minutes)
http://www.nhk-ep.com/products/detail/h21594AA (with English subtitle)
One A-bomb obliterated the city seventy years ago.
The city of Hiroshima, (the picture was) taken seven months later by the occupation force.
The city picture taken by American Army three months later.
The black-burned tramcar is blown derailed from the track.
The shadow of a person printed by the heat-wave.
It is said that more than 140,000 people died in this year only.
August 6, 1945
The A-bomb dropped by America
Exploded about 600m above the sky emitting the fatal amount of radiations.
The atmospheric temperature caused by the heat wave emitted immediately after the explosion at the epicenter reached more than 3,000 degrees centigrade.
Further the explosion wind of 440m per minute speed was created.
After that the fire burnt down the city completely.
2km from the epicenter became so to speak the obliterated zone.
The details, however, of how people died are not known.
There are only two pictures to become the clues to know them remain in the world –
The pictures of people taken three hours after the dropping of the bomb.
People’s clothes were broken and their hairs extremely curled.
These are the important records of the people immediately after the dropping of the bomb, but have never been examined in detail.
The pictures were taken at 2.3km, just outside of the obliterated zone.
Can we make it clear what was happening there?
We looked for people who were there in the pictures and passed there witnessing it and listened to 31 people.
“Men and women were naked. They came bare-footed, pat, pat, pat,…”
“They cried – “Father, Mother, help me!” “Teachers, help me!” – cries came into my ears all at once.”
“Hell. Hell that was. It was really hell.”
We further deciphered the pictures with the newest technologies.
By changing the angles, enlarging the pictures, the real scenes became clearly visible.
A person lying, a person crouching, people about to die,…
Also the states of injuries became known by medical analyses.
They suffered the special burns by A-bomb, which could not occur in ordinary cases.
They must have felt the most extreme pain among pains humans can feel.
What was the Hell the witnesses told?
By the witnessing words, we reproduce the fact of the people taken in the pictures.
70 years after the A-bomb dropped, we press on the truth printed in the pictures under the mushroom clouds.
“What happened under the mushroom clouds “
There are the materials strictly stored in the newspaper company in Hiroshima.
They are negative film of the pictures taken 3 hours after the A-bomb was dropped.
It is said that they were developed at the river in the confused situation just after the bomb dropped.
The person who took the pictures was is Yoshito Matsushige, who was a cameraman of the newspaper company.
He, bombed at his house 3km from the epicenter, went out with his camera and witnessed the disaster scene with his eyes on the way toward the center of the city.
In those days It was prohibited to take pictures of damaged scenes which deprive people of their fighting spirits.
Mr. Matsushige pushed the shutter against this.
“The eye-sights of many people injured in front of my eyes were concentrated on me. It seemed as if this miserable scene might well reported, I also felt. Is taking picture here cruel? Is taking picture of this justice? I was not sure.”
The first picture, he pushed the shutter, thinking he must report this after a long hesitation. The second one taken after approaching ten steps closer. He was said to be unable to take more pictures due to clouding of the finder by his tears.
The place the pictures were taken was on the bridge called Miyuki-bashi. It was an important bridge to connect the city center and its suburbs since those days.
At the place of the pictures taken, there is the picture posted.
Many people were there in the pictures.
Why were they gathering there?
The mushroom clouds covering Hiroshima immediately after the A-bomb was dropped.
Under it the 2km zone was becoming the obliterated zone.
Miyuki Bridge was scarcely escaped from fire.
Because of this, it was the place where those who escaped from that zone could at last take rest.
The camera took the pictures of the people from about the middle of the bridge.
The right beyond lies the epicenter.
What kind of the state were the people taken in the pictures?
Their hairs were extremely rough with curling.
Their clothes were tattered and their skins exposed.
Most of the people were bare-footed.
They were thought to be running away as they only had been clothes.
In comparing the two pictures, we found the same persons were taken pictures – the girl wearing sailor’s uniform. Her left arm is bleeding with the split sleeve. Her hand seems injured.
In pursuing our search, we found that this girl is alive at present.
She was Ms. Mitsuko Kochi, 83 years old.
She was the 2nd grader of Hiroshima Women’s Commerce School then, 13 years old, fond of talking with her classmates about movies and make-up.
The reason why she found her in the picture was the triangle collar of the sailor’s uniform. She got it from her cousin living in Yamaguchi Prefecture. She was injured. I found broken glass pieces sticking all around my body, which I tried to shove off in this way. I was covered with blood, but was not conscious about pain. That time, Ms. Koch was occupied with the injury of her friend. The person next to her is her friend. Her shirts were ripped and her skin exposed.
What had happened until the time they reached the bridge?
In the morning of August 6, Ms. Kochi et al were working in place for adults who went to the battle fields.
Ms. Kochi was working at the Money Saving Bureau at 1.6km from the epicenter.
8:15 a.m. the A-bomb exploded. She was attacked by the strong explosion wind of more than 70m/sec.
“Shuh! Something like a fire ball came into fully through the window. I thought I was targeted. I remember I cried out, “It came!” My body flew up with the cards I held – Alas! I thought and swooned.”
Kochi was blown off and slapped on the wall.
She became conscious and found a girl lying down with her inner organs coming out and already breathed out. When she went out, taking care not to step on her, she found her friend with her face bloodied.
“My friend came embracing me saying, “Micchan, my head was broken!” She was bloody. As she got hold of me tight, I became bloody also.”
These are the fires confirmed in the obliterated zone. The fires were spreading out.
Ms. Kochi with her friend went toward their homes, but returned, as they heard that they could not go that way due to fire.
They looked for the streets passable and reached Miyuki Bridge
Three hours after the bomb dropped, they stayed there, not knowing what had happened.
There is the scene in the picture which Kochi could never forget.
“It was about here.”
The figure of a woman who was diagonally in front of her. The posture like running, holding something black.
“She was holding a baby, burnt black – unknown if it was alive or not. It didn’t cry.”
She was holding the black-burnt baby – she seemed like her sister.
What was the state of her?
While we listened to Ms. Kochi, her memory became clearer.
“She cried out, I didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl, “’X’-chan, Wake up! Wake up!” swaying and patting like this. She was screaming out, “Wake up! Wake up!”
What were the conditions of those who run away from the obliterated zone?
We decided to make what Kochi had seen into images.
According to the witnessing words, we reproduced her movements and voices and asked her to make sure of them.
The Scene Kochi saw:
“Wake up! Wake up! Yi-ah (Alas)! Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! Yi-ah! Wake up! Wake up,…”
“Miserable! Really miserable! But I could not do anything about it. I can never forget it. I think I take it to my grave.”
The two pictures showing people from the totally obliterated zone.
There is the gathered people on both pictures. What are they doing?
This person is taking off the sandals – smearing something on the feet
There was something like a box lying.
There was a person looking at this from a little distance.
This man is still alive.
Mr. Sunao Tsuboi, 90 years old, says people were applying oil on their burnt bodies.
He was waiting for his turn to apply oil
The lying thing at their feet was a can for edible oil.
They were instructed to use it for emergency treatment for burns.
“They brought rape oil. Edible oil is okay. One by one, however, they apply it minutely.
Everyone used it sparingly, sticking their hands into the can and applied well. Soon all gone.
He was a student of Hiroshima Kogyo Senmon Gakko (Engineering Professional School), then 20, wanting to become an engineer, helpful for people.
He was irradiated outdoor at the distance of 1.2km from the epicenter, where one out of two died.
He incurred heavy burn on his back and face. A half of his ear was torn off. There were people swallowed in fire, those who walk with their eyeballs ejected. He walked around seeking the place where he could be treated. He reached Miyuki Bridge at last after three hour’s search. He sat down there at the brink of death. He almost gave up his life. A young girl crouching in front of his eyes. Her upper body was hideously burnt.
At the bridge beyond people were the legs of people lying down without enough strength to apply oil. They were dying. There were many more lying down.
“No other way than only to die. The atmosphere of before dying, indeed.”
The people Mr. Tsuboi saw, we will reproduce the scene of the people lying down.
Tsuboi wrote with the stone near his hand: “Tsuboi dying here.”
“Lonely, miserable to say! At the last end, there-s no one to save me. There, lonely, miserable,…”
Miyuki Bridge – people reached desperately and near dying.
It became the boundary between life and death here.
The A-bomb claimed more than 140,000 lives – many due to burn.
The heat wave which brought burns – the temperature above ground became beyond 3,000 degrees centigrade, melting even iron.
In the Miyuki Bridge pictures, the unique burn due to A-bomb became understood.
The women’s face became blackened, eyes, lips were swollen. This person’s hand was swollen.
This heat burn is not caused by ordinary heat.
We asked Dr. Teruichi Harada, ex-trustee of the heat burn, to medically analyze it.
The especially noted point by him was this person considered to be a woman.
The seeming tattered clothes is actually her skin drooping down from her shoulder.
“Here is the rough skin, stripped off drastically at the deep layer in a very short time – this is not the heat injury seen in ordinary life. Dr. Harada says that it can’t occur in ordinary life.” The reason was shown in the American article written soon after the war.
The U.S., noticing serious burns occurred after dropping the A-bomb, secretly doing research on the burn. The report of the result was flash burn, special type of burn.
The burn of the woman was suspected as flash burn.
Dr. Harada pursued the mechanism: the extreme heat burns, the water in the skin becomes vapor instantly. The swollen skin splits and droop down – this is the flash burn specific to A-bomb. Then one is attacked by the terrible pain. There are pain nerves which perceive pain spread over in the skin, composed of the surface skin and the inner skin. The pain nerves were exposed due to the surface skin peeled off.
“I think it made considerable pain. The pain nerve is spread in the inner skin and perceives pain whichever part of the inner skin is stimulated. I think all the injured parts were stimulating the pain nerves. So, I imagine she was feeling the severest pain among the pains humans perceive.”
There was a person who directly saw the flash burn. She is Michiko Kochi who was taken picture of her wearing her sailor suit.
The man on the right side was her father looking for her, Kochi Michiko. He was irradiated outdoor and sustained heavy burn with his hands swollen. When Ms. Kochi called him and unwittingly held his arm, his skin peeled off.
“It came off, from his arm. I saw it wet all over. I threw it off to the edge of the road, saying Ye-aah! “Don’t hit me!” said he. I asked him, “Painful?” “Don’t ask me!” saying, he scolded me.”
We reproduce the skin color of the people in the picture under the consultation of Dr. Harada.
In the picture, people mourning with the cute pain were taken.
This time, we listened to the stories by thirty-one people who passed by Miyuki Bridge on the day when the A-bomb was dropped. (33.02)
The horrific scene caused be burns became revealed.
The person stretching out both arms – it is said to prevent the skin-peeled arms from being scrubbed.
“All in multitudes walked toward Miyuki Bridge, like ghosts appearing, in miserable figures.”
“They were tattered, as if drooping dirty zokin (dust-rags), smeared brown – all, children and adults altogether, were walking, stretched their arms out, in this way.”
The scene at Miyuki Bridge reproduced based on the collected information.
People walking with their skins drooping and groaning – it is said that multitudes of people came from the direction of the epicenter.
The people burnt lost their body water rapidly. They died, seeking water. (34:40)
“They said to give them water, “Oh-ye! Oh-ye!” called they in weak voices.”
“As they say, “Water!”, I came back with water, and found they were already dead. There were a lot of people in that way – Indeed.”
The place toward which those burnt was heading was the river.
Many who jumped in were said to be dead.
“Because of heat, there are people who jump in – jumping in continuously.”
“Under Miyuki Bridge, they were walking upstream, but (becoming) dead bodies streaming down. I don’t want to recall such a scene now.”
The scene those people who reached Miyuki Bridge saw:
The scene is the reality happening everywhere in the obliterated zone.
Miyuki Bridge, which became the boundary from the obliterated zone:
At 11 a.m., when the picture was taken became the front line of rescuing activities, as at that time, the place beyond Miyuki Bridge could not be entered.
The obliterated zone was enveloped by fire flames.
The uniform man in the center of the picture was a member of the guard band at rescuing activities.
Military trucks also came to rescue injured people.
The trucks were carrying them to hospitals in the suburbs repeatedly.
There was a witness words that tells the selection of life was happening at this rescuing activities.
It is Mr. Sunao Tsuboi who suffered burns.
It happened in front of the eyes of Mr. Tsuboi. (37:46)
While soldiers were loading injured people on their truck cargo board, a small girl ran to it and tried to get on the truck.
At that time a soldier shouted, “Hey! All children are afterward!”
They were selecting young males.
“Even I was terrified by the voice – It was a scary voice. Whoa! They were severe in that sense: “Let only those who are useful for war on board.” “
The girl shouted at was running away crying – beyond there was the city fire was raging.
“I cried out in my heart, “Run out of the fire! Escape from the fire!” I just prayed that, only that for the child.
Because it was a child, It was so unbearable. If that was an adult – as adults were fussing a;bout and started the war. Why this child has the responsibility? Where on earth is the reason she must die? I feel terribly sorry for not being able to save her. So, I can never forget that. I can’t forget it.”
Under the mushroom cloud, there was the reality of war that even a small girl could not be reflected upon. (40:16)
The pictures taken 3 hours after the A-bomb was dropped
were not seen by the public for a while after the end of the war.
The existence of it coming to be known was in America.
It was by the scoop in the picture magazine, LIFE.
“This is the LIFE magazine, issue of September 29, 1952.”
Seven years had passed after the A-bomb had been dropped.
Why seven many years had to be required before being publicized?
The person who knew the circumstances was found:
Mr. Greg Mitchel who was a journalist specializing in the theme of nuclear weapons.
He heard the story from Matsushige who took the pictures before he had died. (41:58)
“When I interviewed him, Mr. Matsushige said that the pictures of Miyuki Bridge had been confiscated by the American occupation forces.
They, occupying Japan after the war, were censoring the information of the war damages. They were searching for the pictures Japanese people took and confiscating them.
The American government tried to hide the dropping of the A-bomb actually brought. It did not want people to know the fact it had involved citizens and driven them into miserable deaths.
There is a person who says that the there is an important meaning in not letting the public know the pictures for seven years.
It is Prof. Peter Caznic who had an exhibition in Washington D.C. this year – exhibiting the Miyuki Bridge pictures.
“During those seven years when the pictures were not allowed for the public to know, Americans came to think that nuclear weapons are necessary, by 1952.”
Immediately after the end of WWII, the cold war between America and Soviet became serious, and their competition for nuclear development accelerated. (43:51)
There are now about 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world.
“Because these pictures were not publicly known, the one chance of knowing the dread of nuclear weapons was lost. If people saw these pictures, Americans also could have known that nuclear weapons should not be allowed.”
The pictures were exhibited in Japan also after the American public exhibit and many people came to know of their existence.
The pictures have been held up so that the fact that A-bomb was dropped over citizens may not be forgotten. (45:00)
Seventy years after the A-bomb was dropped –
there came out a new fact: many of the people in the pictures were children.
Beside the heavily burnt adult is a boy with his hair clipper-cut.
Beyond them is the figure of a child with his upper body naked is pictured.
According to a background researcher many of those along the bridge railing seem to be junior high students.
“The sailor suit collar, the length of the sailor suit to the waist is specific to the sailor suits (for junior high students). In those days, (junior high) girl students wore sailor suit or blouse and exactly monpe (war-time work pants) down part. They seem, I suppose, to be a group of friends.”
In those days junior high students were summoned to work in factories, etc. in place of the adults drafted to the battlefields.
Many junior high students were called to Hiroshima. The junior high students gathered within 2km obliterated zone were about 8,000, WHERE the A-bomb was dropped.
What happened to the children there?
From the witnessing words of a junior high student arrived at Miyuki Bridge came out the fact.
Mr. Mitsuo Kodama, was then 13 years old.
“The place taken picture of seem to be taken roughly here.”
Mr. Kodama was not taken in the pictures, but was just next to the cameraman, when the pictures were taken.
Mr. Kodama of a first grader of the First Hiroshima Junior High School was at school with 315 classmates. (48:25)
The school was located 800m from the epicenter, the distance within which more than 80% of people irradiated were killed.
When they were waiting in the school building, the bomb was exploded.
Most of his classmates lost their lives on the spot.
Mr. Kodama made a picture of the scene he saw, when he escaped from the school building.
He is standing frozen in the center. He tried to save his classmates, but flames pressed on to him.
Then came voices shouting, “Bless the Emperor! Bless the Icchu (First Hiroshima Junior High School)!” Voices of “Mother!” there might have been among them. Then came out the School song. Its chorus started.
Mr. Kodama who could not but leave there, was sitting at Miyuki Bridge ALONE.
“I with tears running down said, ‘Forgive me, friends! Forgive me!” – crying with gassho (palms together in prayer). The very heart of I’m sorry (for not being able to save them) remain until today.”
There was a girl student, who reached Miyuki Bridge after straying around with her friends.
Ms. Chiyoko Kuwabara – then 13 years old, a student of a second grader of the Third Kokumin Gakko (National School).
“I was sitting in this way, slanting, sitting in this posture.”
Girl students, Ms. Kuwabara, et al, were at work outdoors. (51:27)
She was Irradiated at 800m from the epicenter. Ms. Kuwabara and others who suffered heavy burn walked aiming at Miyuki Bridge.
“We walked making a line side by side with Taka-chan in the center, intending to “return to Ushina.” Children as we were, full of our eager hearts to go back home, said, “Let’s go back, let’s go back!””
Ms. Kuwabara and her friends started taking refuge, but one friend after crossing the river and another at the destroyed hospital became unable to move any further.
She desperately tried to find out water for her friend to drink.
“That much she wanted saying, “Water! Water!,” but she could not drink the water in front of her.
She could not open her mouth. So, I opened her swollen mouth. Her mouth remained open. I poured a little bit of water into her mouth, then she swallowed it. I gave water to her to gulp about two times. (53:21)
After advancing a while, another friend exhausted her strength.
When they arrived at Miyuki Bridge, there were only three people of them.
“We wanted to bring them also, but were exhausted. So, we could not do anything for them, but only say, “We will contact (your family), so stay there not moving away.”
“I can’t move any further,” said she, so we left her alone.
Out of 8,000 students 70% were deprived of their lives.
According to the investigation of this year, it became clear that among those who died on the day when the A-bomb was dropped the majority were junior high-school students, 12 and 13 year olds.
Ms. Kuwabara often visits even now with her friends the places where her friends died.
Here her friend became unable to move any further here.
“She sat down in this way here, and did not move any more.”
She could never forget her friends seeking water.
“Enjoy it (water)!” (55:36)
“It sticks to my head. I could not do anything (for them). I can never forget it. Tears come out.”
The greatest sacrificed ones of the A-bomb: children – (56:24)
Those children survived stayed here embracing the profound regrets.
There were only four people confirmed of their survival in the two pictures taken under the mushroom clouds: Ms. Mitsuko Kochi, her father, Mr. Sunao Tsuboi, and her classmate.
The classmate girl later got married and was endowed with her child.
But, fearing to be discriminated as hibakusha, she has not disclosed her identity in the pictures.
Those who were at Miyuki Bridge have been living embracing varieties of their memories.
Mitsuko Kochi, who was irradiated at 13, found her mother as a figure burnt black and dead in her house.
Those who died miserably and those survived have been facing each other.
“Most of them there have died. Why have I been living? Why have I been saved? I feel sorry somehow to be alive. I am, however, made to live. Is it to inform like this? I do not know.”
On Miyuki Bridge Mr. Sunao Tsuboi decided to accept his death. He has been fighting with his cancer, etc., thought to be effects of radiation. He is 90 years old this year. While hibakusha is decreasing in their number, he has been transmitting his experience to the young generation.
“When I got the A-bomb, I was twenty years old. Whatever there may be, human life is the most precious thing. Wars taking that life is beyond all bounds!”
At the end of our interview, he wanted something to be seen by us.
“Look at it well!”
The body burnt by flames and deeply dug out.
“This one. This one. There are only bones and skin. There is no flesh. From here way up…”
Is the truth of irradiation known well? He showed it to us for the first time.
“I have been trying my best for 70 years to survive. I am moving with such a body as this.”
Seventy years after the A-bomb was dropped,
the pictures taken at the border of life and death.
What was burnt into (pictures were) the profound despair,
which could not be erased from the people’s memories, even after seventy years! (1:03:50)
“Wake up! Wake up! Ye-ah. Wake up! Wake up! …”
Those who were dying deprived of their human dignities…
Children whose desires to live were cut off,
what do they bring?
– the pictures under the mushroom clouds are asking us now.