Hiroshima Book Report

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The book begins with descriptions of what each of the six main characters was doing the morning that the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, up to the moment of the blast and immediately after. Miss Toshiko Sasaki, a personnel clerk at the East Asia Tin Works factory, had awakened that morning of August 6, 1945, at three a.m., to catch up on housework and cooking duties for her family. She worked until seven, then left her home in the suburb of Koi for her factory in a part of town called Kannonmachi. She arrived at work, planned a former employee’s funeral for later that morning, then settled at her desk. When the bomb flashed, Miss Sasaki had sat down to rest from her office work and turned to chat with her co-worker. The impact of the blast caused the bookcases behind her to fall and crush her leg. The floor above fell through on her as well, and she lost consciousness. Dr. Masakazu Fujii, a middle-aged physician, rose much earlier than usual that morning, which resulted in his life being spared. As a wealthy and pleasure-loving doctor with his own private clinic, he usually slept in until nine or nine-thirty, but he awoke at six to see a friend to the station. He returned by seven and, stripping to his underwear, relaxed on the riverside porch of his clinic to read the newspaper. The bomb’s blast threw him into the river, and the remains of his clinic followed him. He was trapped by two long pieces of wood across his chest, but his head was above water. Mrs. Hatsuyo Nakamura, a tailor’s widow with three young children, had spent a hectic night shuttling her family back and forth to evacuation spots because of air raid false alarms. Exhausted, the children were still resting when the bomb fell. Mrs. Nakamura, however, was awakened at seven by another air raid siren. The all-clear signal sounded at eight o’clock and the relieved Mrs. Nakamura began studying her next-door neighbor tear his house down to make way for a wider fire escape route. She was annoyed...
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