Daigo Fukuryū Maru (第五福龍丸, F/V Lucky Dragon 5) was a Japanese tuna fishing boat with a crew of 23 men which was contaminated by nuclear fallout from the United States Castle Bravo thermonuclear weapon test at Bikini Atoll on March 1, 1954.
The crew suffered acute radiation syndrome (ARS) for a number of weeks after the Bravo test in March. All recovered except for Kuboyama Aikichi, the boat’s chief radioman, who died on September 23, 1954, from complications of radiation sickness. Kuboyama is considered the first victim of the hydrogen bomb and of test shot Castle Bravo.
Lucky Dragon Fishing Boat
Daigo Fukuryū Maru in early 1950s, shortly before the incident
Daigo Fukuryū Maru
Hauling the line. The line hauler (upper left) reels into the main line as fishermen prepare to pull aboard a tuna.
Throwing the lines. Crewmen pay out the main line over the stern of the tuna ship as the fisherman at the extreme left heaves a float into the sea.
The Lucky Dragon, March 17, 1954. It is in the process of being moved from the main pier to the opposite shore, where it will be isolated.
Chief Engineer Yamamoto is examined in the hospital by Dr. John Morton of the ABCC as Dr. Shimizu and Dr. Tsuzuki look on. The crewman's hair was cut off as a decontamination measure.
A portrait of a crewmember of the fishing boat DaiGo Fukuryu Maru (Lucky Dragon No. 5). Hitoshi Yamada
A crew member of the Daigo Fukuryu Maru having his hair cut for examination at the University of Tokyo Hospital in March 1954.
Medical professionals, before the era of whole body counting, assessing the radioactivity of a bedridden crew member by using a geiger counter on 31 March 1954, focusing on the person's hair, which would have collected dusty fallout.
Aikichi Kuboyama just before his death
Aikichi Kuboyama, who was exposed to the "ashes of death" in the US hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll, died at Tokyo No.
Wife and mother breaking down in tears at the news of Kuboyama's death
Mrs. Kuboyama and her youngest daughter visit Mr. Kuboyama at the Tokyo Daiichi Hospital. Looking very happy with his visitors, the radioman plays with his daughter while his wife, Suzu, looks on.
The widow Kuboyama picks tea leaves on a mountainside near her home.
Kuboyama's funeral. In the foreground his eldest daughter carries a mortuary tablet. The mother bears the ashes of her late husband while her second daughter holds her father's picture.
Men wearing rubber suits to protect themselves from any contamination in the Osaka Central Fish Market.
Fishing Master Yoshio Misaki on the new pier at Yaizu.
The Daigo Fukuryu Maru was damaged by radiation during tuna fishing in the waters surrounding Bikini Atoll on March 14, 1954.
Daigo Fukuryu Maru, which has changed its name to Busa Maru and decays (photographed in July 1968)
Aboard the Lucky Dragon, Captain Takuo Kido and crewman Shinzo Suzuki (left) show Ralph Lapp and his wife how the line hauler (winch) operates.
Marmoru, the first baby born to the irradiated fishermen, is center of attention as Ralph Lapp's wife gets the smile instead of the cameraman. In the background is the tokenoma gaily decorated in honor of Boy's Day.
Dressed in native kimonos, crewman Masuda and his former nurse pose for a picture after their wedding.
Contaminated shark fins are tested and found radioactive by Dr. Nishiwaki and his American wife, Jane, in the port of Yaizu.
An inspector checks each fish which arrives in port to find out if it can be eaten. If the fish is considered safe to eat, it is stamped to indicate this. Having found these fish too radioactive to eat, the people of Yaizu dispose of them in the only safe way they know, by burying them deep in the ground.
Inspection of tuna with a geiger counter before sale at a fishmonger's on 31 March 1954
Tuna brought back by Daigo Fukuryu Maru on March 16, 1954