Junji Sarashina was 16 years old and 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) from the hypocenter when the bomb was detonated over Hiroshima
He was working at the Asahi Eiki factory where he and his classmates were making anti-aircraft bombs. He stepped outside of the building when he saw a bright orange glow. At the same time, he was hit by the bomb blast and buried in debris. He does not remember hearing the bomb explosion.
He and some of his classmates spent the next two days wandering through the city. He finally returned to his home on the third day.
“The a-bomb will kill young and old and everybody who happened to be there. I’ve seen five-thousand, six-thousand dead people. Nuclear weapon will kill any human being regardless of age, sex, and we should stay away from nuclear weapons.”
Wataru Namba was 18 years old and 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the hypocenter when the bomb was detonated over Hiroshima.
He was in a classroom on the second floor when the bomb went off. A large wooden beam fell and crushed the student in front of him. When he crawled out of the classroom, he found himself on the ground level. The building had completely collapsed.
His classmates looked at him and told him they didn’t think he would make it. He was covered with blood. They examined his body, and to Namba’s relief, they could not find any open wound. Namba says the blood was from his classmate that was sitting in front of him.
“Those innocent kids I saw, hundreds piled up in the schoolyard, and school chairs and desks piled on top, and they poured the gas and started to cremate [them]…I don’t want to see this thing, never, in my life, anymore.”
Mary "Kaz" Suyeishi was 18 years old and 2.2 kilometers away from the hypocenter when the bomb detonated over Hiroshima.
She stayed home from school that day because she wasn’t feeling well. She was talking to her neighbor across the street from her house when she saw the powerful, yellow, orange flash. She ran and dove to the ground. A heavy gate and debris fell on top of her and she was unconscious for an unknown period of time. When she tried to get up, she couldn’t move. Her back was broken and her knee was injured.
“Today is my turn. Today is my turn to die. One by one, healthy people dying, dying, dying, dying. That’s nuclear bomb…Very healthy looking and all of a sudden [they] become sick and die.”
Izumi Hirano was 16 years old and 2.1 kilometers (1.3 miles) from the hypocenter when the bomb was detonated over Hiroshima.
He was on the second floor in a classroom at Hiroshima Technical College. He doesn't remember the sound of the B-29s or the bomb blast, but he said he heard the sound of "big rain," but when he looked out the window, he saw the firestorm coming. He was knocked unconscious and woke up next to the teacher's desk.
"My father was killed. My grandfather on my mother's side was killed. My brother-in-law also was killed. My mother was hurt. My brother, younger brother, wasn't hurt too much. Staying in Japan was hopeless. We lost our house. Nothing was left."
Howard Kakita was a little boy when he went to Japan with his Dad, Mom and older brother to check on his grandfather's health. When Mom and Dad decided to return to the USA to take care of some unfinished business, they left Howard and his older brother in Hiroshima with their paternal grandparents. This is Howard's story.