Spiralling anger and nuclear dangers
Japanese troops rest in the Hiroshima railway station after the atomic bomb explosion. Photo: Us national archives
By Ramisa Rob
Aug 6 2019 (IPS-Partners)
In the summer of 1945, a jittery premonition marked the lives of the citizens of Hiroshima, as B-29 super fortresses—planes that the Japanese locals called B-San or Mr.B—had been stationed in the northeast corner of the fan-shaped city. Americans had been bombing Japan for months except in two key cities: Kyoto and Hiroshima. A rumour was lurking around, however, that the Americans were saving something special for Hiroshima. The prefectural government, sensing impending attacks, had ordered completion of wide fire lanes, hoping it would contain fire caused by raids. The depraved radioactivity of the fire to come was something that no one had comprehended.
August 6 started out as a tranquil day until at exactly five minutes past eight, a titanic flash of light cut through the sky: the Enola Gay. The rumour now manifested a deafening reality of hell on earth: a lethal “Little Boy” that killed 100,000 people. For Hatsuyo Nakamuro, a Hiroshima resident, the atomic bomb reflected that unlucky split second that buried her children in debris, and somewhere nearby, her mother, brother and sister too. The horrid aftermath unfolding around her reached so far behind human mind that it was impossible to think it was caused by human beings, like the scientists who designed the disaster, the pilot of Enola Gay, or President Truman, or even Japanese militarists who had helped to fill her surviving lungs with the aftermath of radiation, who had brought the spoils of war to her weak and destitute bones.
“The bombing almost seemed a natural disaster—one that it had simply been her bad luck, her fate (which must be accepted), to suffer,” wrote the New Yorker journalist John Hersey in his …read more