A volunteer citizen corps from the city of Hiroshima, surrounding towns and villages, and local companies was working to demolish buildings to create a series of firebreaks in the city to contain fire damage from air raids.
As the atomic bomb exploded, the work parties scattered, attempting to flee the sudden attack. Confusion reigned as local authorities and workplaces sent out rescue parties. Families and coworkers waited anxiously for news. Then they raced desperately to tend to the terrible injuries of the returning workers.
In this exhibition, members of this volunteer citizen corps describe their experiences in the bombing.
Listen to their hearts and words.
11 related materials
A program on the three screen theater
(3 memoirs, about 12 minutes)
From the memoir (extract)
" In the evening, we arrived at a primary school in Yano. With each classroom of the school serving as accommodation for the injured, we were surprised to see these classrooms being crowded with people suffering from burn injuries and wounds. Although I myself had to get the skin of my back cut away, I was busy going here and there to procure medicine and oil for the treatment of burn injuries out of a sense of responsibility, in a situation where the school had no stock. Day after day, dozens of people departed from this life. Serving as the president, I mobilized and assigned members of the Women's Association to look after these injured people.
The scene was a representation of an atrocity like nothing on earth. Injured victims were carried into the facility one after another by truck. Some of them were total strangers to our community and died before we could ask their names and contact their families. "
written by Itou Sakae
"On August 6, 1945, I participated in a building demolition operation in Zakoba-cho at the back of the Hiroshima City Hall as a member of the Occupational Volunteer Corps, and experienced the A-bombing.
That day, 17 people were supposed to assemble in Zakoba-cho from their respective work stations and to be engaged in a building demolition operation for the relevant area. It happened while they were standing by, waiting for people who hadn't come yet.
At 8:15 a.m., by a tragic fate, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. We have often described the A-bombing as "Pika-don", and this is an excellent nickname. The A-bombing started with the fierce "FLASH (Pika)", similar to the intense light that is produced by burning magnesium at close range for photos, which made me feel as if the black veranda floor on which I was sitting was as pure as white. It was followed by a tremendous "BOOM (don)" after about two seconds, which caused my house to collapse."
written by Seo Haruto