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6, 1945, and Nagasaki three days later—was that rare historical moment that requires little hindsight to gain its significance.World War II would end, and the Cold War soon begin.Their skin had peeled off their bodies and faces and hung limply down on the ground, in ribbons.
When the nuclear age began, there was no mistaking it.
The decision by the United States to drop the world’s first atomic weapons on two Japanese cities—Hiroshima first, on Aug.
My sister begrudgingly stayed home, while my mother and I, aged 6, went grocery shopping. When we finally crawled out from under the tatami mat, there was glass everywhere, and tiny bits of dust and debris floating in the air.
Every- one was out on their verandas, enjoying the absence of piercing warning signals. ’ Everyone scurried into their homemade bomb shelters. As the ground began to rumble, she quickly tore off the tatami flooring, tucked me under it and hovered over me on all fours. The once clear blue sky had turned into an inky shade of purple and grey.
New frontiers of science were opening, along with new and frightening moral questions.
As TIME noted in the week following the bombings, the men aboard the Enola Gay could only summon two words: “My God!We rushed home and found my sister – she was shell-shocked, but fine.Later, we discovered that the bomb was dropped a few meters away from my sister’s school. My mother singlehandedly saved both me and my sister that day.” Shigeko Matsumoto TESTIMONY “There were no air raid alarms on the morning of August 9, 1945.” But, even as world leaders and ordinary citizens alike immediately began struggling to process the metaphorical aftershocks, one specific set of people had to face something else.For the survivors of those ruined cities, the coming of the bomb was a personal event before it was a global one.As the anniversaries of the bombings approach once again, here is a selection of that work.Yasujiro Tanaka TESTIMONY “I was three years old at the time of the bombing. But since that day, mysterious scabs began to form all over my body.As a firsthand witness to this atrocity, my only desire is to live a full life, hopefully in a world where people are kind to each TESTIMONY “American B-29 bombers dropped leaflets all over the city, warning us that Nagasaki would ‘fall to ashes’ on August 8.The leaflets were confiscated immediately by the kenpei (Imperial Japanese Army).It was on this peculiar day that my mother insisted that my older sister skip school.She said she had a ‘bad feeling.’ This had never happened before.