Manga story of the A-bombed city newspaper

 On August 6, 1945, at 8:15 in the morning, Hiroshima was destroyed in an atomic bombing by the U.S. military. The Chugoku Shimbun’s rotary presses and office building were incinerated in the bombing, and 114 employees, about one-third of the company’s workforce, perished. Against those odds, surviving employees worked tirelessly to report the news and restart publication of the newspaper. In 2022, in conjunction with the 130th anniversary of the company’s founding, the Chugoku Shimbun created what is called “Manga story of the A-bombed city newspaper,” a series designed to illustrate the post-bombing situation in Hiroshima. The manga series has been translated into English and is posted here on our website.

 The manga story is made up of four volumes. Ichiro Osako, a reporter who covered the city immediately after the atomic bombing, plays the lead role in “August 6—I’ll never forget that horrifying day.” Staff photographer Yoshito Matsushige appears in the segment “Viewfinder blurred with tears.” Reporter Natsue Yashima’s role in helping communicate important aid information verbally in her own voice is reprised in “the A-bombed city newspaper that worked to help the city orally.” The story of Akira Yamamoto, a head office manager who worked indefatigably to restart publication of the newspaper, is told in “Newspaper published by the Chugoku Shimbun from amidst the ruins.” The volumes together represent the origin story of the Chugoku Shimbun’s continuing coverage of the atomic bombing and peace.

 Manga artist Naoko Kubo, who lives in Hiroshima City’s Asaminami Ward, created the series of work with a gentle touch of humanity, based on her hope that “the positive attitudes of people at the time, not only the horrors of the atomic bombing, can also be communicated to children.”

 A one-volume booklet compiling the entire manga series, including a chronology of events and a glossary of terms, is available in print form. The publication provides readers with basic information about the atomic bombing and the societal backstory at the time. The compact B5-size volume is composed of 84 pages and priced at 770 yen. The booklet is now being sold at the Chugoku Shimbun’s head office, located in Hiroshima’s Naka Ward, as well as at the Rest House, in nearby Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. For more information, contact the newspaper’s Reader Relations Department, at 082-236-2455 (weekdays, 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.).

1. Ichiro Osako
2. Yoshito Matsushige
3. Natsue Yashima
4. Akira Yamamoto