CliffsNotes Hiroshima

CliffsNotes Hiroshima

CliffsNotes Hiroshima

CliffsNotes Hiroshima

Synopsis

On August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb is dropped from an American plane on the 245,000 residents of Hiroshima, Japan. Most of the city is destroyed and thousands of its inhabitants die. Some of its citizens survive and suffer the debilitating effects of terrible burns and radiation illness. The lives of six of those survivors are recounted in the days following the bombing.

When the bomb detonates, Mrs. Hatsuyo Nakamura is watching her neighbor’s house and overseeing her sleeping children; all end up covered in debris when their house is destroyed. Miss Toshiko Sasaki, an office clerk, is leaning over to speak to a fellow worker when she is blasted out of her desk and trapped under heavy bookcases. She sustains a severely broken leg. A medical doctor, Masakazu Fujii, is reading on his porch when he is catapulted into a river and squeezed between two large timbers. Still another doctor, Terufumi Sasaki, falls to the floor in theorridor of the Red Cross Hospital and gazes in wonder at the scene outside the window. Father Wilhelm Kleinsorge awakens in the vegetable garden of the Catholic mission house, injured and dazed. The Reverend Kiyoshi Tanimoto throws himself between two large rocks and is hit with debris from a nearby house. Most of the six survivors are hurt, but they are all alive.

In the hours following the bombing, each survivor attempts to free himself or herself, find loved ones, and help others if possible. Dr. Sasaki grabs bandages and works 19 hours at a time, trying to bandage the 10,000 injured people making their way to his hospital. In the hours and days after the bombing, he becomes an automaton, going from one patient to another. Dr. Fujii, injured badly himself, attempts to help his nurses and find his way to his family’s home where he can get first aid supplies. Mrs. Nakamura works relentlessly to uncover her three children in the debris; they appear unhurt but dazed and shaken. She takes them to Asano Park where they can find some shelter under trees. Miss Sasaki spends days and hours in the debris, but she is finally rescued although semi-conscious and in pain and left in a lean-to. Father Kleinsorge helps those trapped under houses and makes his way to Asano Park along with Mr. Tanimoto. Both ministers help people in the park put out fires and get medical help.

During the evening of August 6...

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