Yosaburo Yamasaki

On August 6, 1945, a photograph of an atomic cloud taken from Kaita City, Hiroshima Prefecture (now Kaita Town) was found at Honkawa Elementary School in Naka Ward, Hiroshima City. In 1949, Yosaburo Yamazaki (1889-1976), who devoted himself to collecting and preserving atomic bomb materials, obtained it and donated it to the school. It is a valuable record that even the city’s Atomic Bomb Museum does not possess. (Editorial committee Masami Nishimoto)

According to the museum’s research, the photograph was taken from a military supply depot in the same town, about 10 kilometers east of the hypocenter, about 20 to 30 minutes after the atomic bomb was dropped by the U.S. military. Based on the description left by Yamazaki, the photographer is believed to be a military official.

At that time, the Hiroshima District Meteorological Observatory wrote in its “Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Damage Investigation Report” that “It looks like a matsutake mushroom sprouting up, or on top of a pumpkin. It captures the state of the atomic cloud vividly. Honkawa Elementary School, which is using the A-bombed school building, which was left unburned, as a peace museum, will re-examine the series of materials with the cooperation of the Atomic Bomb Museum, and plan to display it from this spring.

The two photographs of the atomic cloud that were found are not even in the Atomic Bomb Museum. Twenty-one photographic prints of atomic clouds recorded from the ground have now been confirmed.

According to Yamazaki’s records and his eldest son, Motosada (82), who lives in Naka Ward, the photos from the military supply depot in Kaita-cho were run by a second-hand bookstore in Senda-cho (Naka Ward). In 1949, he purchased it from a former military official. He wrote of this donor that he “had left unspoken for fear of the Occupation Forces’ strict press code (censorship).”

The photo taken from Asaminami Ward is the one that was trimmed and used in the “Photograph Record of the First Atomic Bomb Hiroshima” published by Asahi Publishing Company in 1952, after the occupation by the General Headquarters of the Allied Powers (GHQ). with. Mr. Yamazaki cooperated with the editing.