100,000 people died on August 6th, 1945 at 8:15 AM in Hiroshima. The United States just dropped an atomic bomb in Japan. Less than a year after the attack, New Yorker journalist John Hersey interviewed many people, but decided to focus on just six individuals.
Hiroshima explores the lives of six people during the atomic bomb: Hatsuyo Nakamura, a mother; Dr. Terufumi Sasaki, a young surgeon; Father Wilhelm Kleinsorge, a priest; Toshiko Sasaki, a young clerk; Dr. Masakazu Fujii, a physician; and Reverend Kiyoshi Tanimoto, a pastor.
I don’t want to spoil the book for you, so I have decided to include some Fun Facts.
Did you know?
1. For decades, the mayor of Hiroshima, Tadatoshi Akiba wrote letters of protest each time a nuclear test was conducted, as a plea to end the use of nuclear weapons?
2. After the first Hiroshima atomic bombing in Japan, one Hiroshima policeman went to Nagasaki to teach police about ducking after the atomic flash. As a result of this timely warning, not a single Nagasaki policeman died in Nagasaki’s atomic blast.
3. In 1945, a man named Tsutomu Yamaguchi survived the atomic blast at Hiroshima, dragged himself into an air-raid shelter, spent the night there, in the morning caught a train so he could arrive at his job on time in Nagasaki, where he survived another atomic blast.
4. The oleander is the official flower of the city of Hiroshima because it was the first thing to bloom again after the explosion of the atomic bomb in 1945.
5. “Hiroshima shadows”: When the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the intensity of the blast was of such intensity that it permanently burned shadows of people and objects into the ground.
6. “Horton Hears a Who” was an allegory about Hiroshima and the America’s occupation of Japan and may have been Dr. Seuss’s way of apologizing for his support of Japanese Internment.
7. Godzilla was created by Japan as a reaction to the bombings of Hiroshima, the monster itself spawning as a result of the nuclear detonations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
8. The USA originally denied that atomic bombs caused any lingering radioactivity whatsoever, calling such claims as Japanese propaganda. Even New York Times ran an article with the headline “NO RADIOACTIVITY IN HIROSHIMA RUIN,” citing only military sources and ignoring eyewitness accounts of radiation sickness.
I have had a few jobs in my life that I didn't enjoy: detassling corn, working in a small motor parts factory, framing pictures, serving food, and rejecting bad eggs in an egg factory. Today, I take part in a book club for teens and I love every minute of it.