Hiroshima Insight

Hiroshima’s first collection of A-bomb accounts

The first collection of written accounts on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima was published on August 1, 1946. The title of the book is Izumi: Mitamano maeni sasaguru (Fountain: Offers Made to the Spirits of the Dead).

Thirty-nine students from First Hiroshima Prefectural Junior High School (today’s Kokutaiji High School) and First Hiroshima Prefectural Girls’ High School (now Minami High School) contributed their accounts to help comfort the souls of third-year students in classroom 35, and other students, who perished in the bombing. Heitaro Hamada, 82, a resident of Nishi Ward, was a third-year student at the time and helped edit the book.

Students of both schools were mobilized to work at the same factory, which produced airplane parts. The students from classroom 35, however, were helping to dismantle buildings to create a fire lane and were killed in the blast.

The collection of accounts was mimeographed on rough paper. It is a B5-sized book and consists of 67 pages. It expresses such sentiments as “I feel so sad that I lost my friends” and “What does the world know about this?”

Satoru Ubuki, 66, a former professor at Hiroshima Jogakuin University who has researched the history of the atomic bombing, said, “The book is an expression of mourning, but it also shows the will of the contributors to convey the damage caused by the atomic bombing soon after the war ended.”

The collection of accounts has been preserved at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. A reproduction of the book can be viewed and read there.