“Those who were burned moaned, “Mizu, mizu! Water, water!” Mr. Tanimoto found a basin in a nearby street and located a water tap that still worked in the crushed shell of a house, and he began carrying water to the suffering strangers…”

HiroshimaCisternLarger

“Mr. Tanimoto, fearful for his family and church, at first ran toward them by the shortest route, along Koi Highway.  He was the only person making his way into the city; he met hundreds who were fleeing, and everyone of the seemed to be hurt in some way.  The eyebrows of some were burned off and skin hung from their faces and hands.  Others, because of pain, held their arms up as if carrying something in both hands.  Some were vomiting as they walked.  Many were naked or in shreds of clothing.  On some undressed bodies, the burns had made patterns-of undershirt straps and suspenders and, on the skin of some women (since white repelled the heat from the bomb and dark clothes absorbed it and conducted it to the skin), the shapes of flowers they had had on their kimonos. Many, although injured themselves, supported relatives who were worse off.  Almost all had their heads bowed, looked straight ahead, were silent, and showed no expression whatsoever.” (p. 39-40)

“Mr. Tanimoto’s way around the fire took him across the East Parade Ground, which, being an evacuation area, was now the scene of a gruesome review: rank on rank of the burned and bleeding. Those who were burned moaned, “Mizu, mizu! Water, water!” Mr. Tanimoto found a basin in a nearby street and located a water tap that still worked in the crushed shell of a house, and he began carrying water to the suffering strangers…”(p. 42)

John Hersey, Hiroshima (Bronx, N.Y.: Ishi Press International, 1946).

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