Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Foreword to the 1995 Edition

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pp. v-xvii

A HALF century has passed since Dr. Michihiko Hachiya wrote his diary in the ruins of Hiroshima. Forty years have gone by since his observations became available to English-language readers through the devoted translating and editing of an American doctor, Warner Wells. The translation was hailed...

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Foreword

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pp. vxix-xxii

THE BOMBING of Hiroshima marked a new era in man's growing skill in the art of self-destruction. During the saturation bombing of Germany and Japan in World War II, cities were destroyed, but the destruction was segmental, requiring days or weeks, so that city dwellers had some chance to flee...

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The Place and the People

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pp. xxiii-xxv

SINCE DR. HACHIYA began his diary with no thought that it might be published, he saw no need to describe either the hospital that was its setting or the members of the staff who were the principal characters. The Hiroshima Communications Hospital served the employees in the Hiroshima area of the Ministry of Communications, which in Japan controls...

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6 August 1945

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pp. 1-9

THE HOUR was early; the morning still, warm, and beautiful. Shimmering leaves, reflecting sunlight from a cloudless sky, made a pleasant contrast with shadows in my garden as I gazed absently through wide-flung doors opening to the south. Clad in drawers and undershirt, I was sprawled on the living room floor exhausted because....

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7 August 1945

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pp. 9-16

I MUST have slept soundly because when I opened my eyes a piercing hot sun was shining in on me. There were no shutters or curtains to lessen the glareā€”and for that matter no windows. The groans of patients assaulted my ears. Everything was in a turmoil. Instruments, window frames, and debris littered the floor. The walls and ceilings were scarred...

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8 August 1945

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pp. 16-34

THE DAY began hot and clear. The sun was hardly up before my body was moist with oily sweat that dripped from my armpits and the inner sides of my thighs. Smoke no longer rose from the second floor. Dr. Sasada's face was more swollen this morning...

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9 August 1945

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pp. 34-40

THE DAY began hot and clear, but upstairs the sun did not shine directly on us as it had downstairs. In addition, a cool breeze that blew right across the ward helped make our situation altogether more agreeable than it had been yesterday. My mouth was more comfortable...

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10 August 1945

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pp. 40-46

THERE WAS a cool breeze when I awakened this morning. After an exchange of good mornings, I asked my companions how they had fared through the night. Those who could, raised their heads; the others, their hands. Happily, no one had expired. Outside, people were combing the ruins...

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11 August 1945

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pp. 46-55

THE DAY dawned hot and clear. For the first time since the bombing I slept soundly all night and awakened refreshed. Looking around, I discovered that Miss Yama had been admitted. Her bed was between Miss Omoto and Miss Susukida, both of whom were quite ill. Miss Yama was the only one who could not raise her head when I called...

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12 August 1945

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pp. 55-64

I AWAKENED at dawn but dozed off again until the faintly lighted sky had become bright day. I had spent a restless night in penalty for the walking I did yesterday and this morning felt dull and sluggish. My muscles were sore, and every time I tried to move my stiff joints, I groaned with pain. For the first time...

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13 August 1945

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pp. 64-71

ANOTHER HOT, sunny day. After breakfast I borrowed a bicycle and pedalled to the Prefectural Office. The experience was altogether different from the one I shared with Dr. Hinoi because I was stronger and my wounds no longer hurt so much. To feel well enough again to go about unassisted was a pleasant experience. The electric wires, the power lines, all the other obstructions...

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14 August 1945

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pp. 71-80

ANOTHER HOT day! At an early hour, the air-raid alarm sounded, and fearing that some of us may not have heard it a man from the Bureau ran through the wards warning us to take cover. No one attempted to leave his bed but lay calmly looking out the windows. In every mind must have been the same thought. Could this happen again after...

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15 August 1945

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pp. 80-84

THIS WAS the day for the broadcast. Despite my resolve to avoid speculation or conjecture I succumbed to a personal debate and finally concluded that the broadcast would announce an enemy invasion on our shores. General headquarters would order us to fight to the bitter end. What a hopeless situation. I could escape to the hills...

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16 August 1945

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pp. 85-87

THE DAY began bright and clear. Our ward had a restless night. The desire and will to go on were submerged by the sorrow and sadness of defeat. We wondered when the enemy would come. All were uneasy. During the night the "Double...

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17 August 1945

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pp. 88-90

ANOTHER clear day. I slept poorly last night. I worried about the Emperor and confess that his welfare loomed larger in my mind than the spectacle of defeat. He had been victimized by the military clique who, in defeat, were prepared to thrust the entire responsibility on his shoulders. Insidiously, and by degrees, the military group, professing allegiance to the...

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18 August 1945

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pp. 91-94

THE DAY began clear, but clouds soon gathered and we had a much needed shower. I began my rounds early. The number of deaths had decreased significantly, but each day one or two patients died and in each instance petechiae developed before death. The number of patients with petechiae was increasing. In Mrs. Yoshida's case, they were more numerous...

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19 August 1945

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pp. 95-98

GENERALLY clear with occasional clouds and the sound of thunder in the distance. The railway tracks were no more than one hundred meters from the hospital and each time I heard a train, I sat up in bed and looked out. Trains passed in both directions crowded with demobilized soldiers and made the reality of defeat more emphatic. Here at the Bureau, the soldiers...

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20 August 1945

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pp. 99-100

TEMPORARILY overcast, but generally clear. The much desired microscope I had requested arrived this morning from the Communications Hospital in Tokyo. It had been sent down by a special messenger at the behest of Chief Ikuta, a former head of the Communications Bureau. No time was lost setting...

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21 August 1945

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pp. 100-103

A CLEAR day. Visitors increased daily and all had something to tell of what they had seen, heard, or thought. By now, I was bored listening to stories they insisted on telling from morning until night, but my boredom did not worry my visitors. "Doctor, where were you at the time of the pika?" they would ask and, without giving me a...

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22 August 1945

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pp. 104-109

A CLEAR day. I awakened long before day and was unable to go back to sleep. While my companions slept, I slipped out of bed and went up on the balcony to see the sun rise. It was clear and crisp, and I stayed on the balcony until the sun was well in the sky. This would be a good time, I thought, to examine the ruins of the second corps area and the headquarters detachment that had been stationed in the old...

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23 August 1945

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pp. 110-114

A CLEAR day with occasional clouds and a refreshing breeze. I started by visiting the elegant toilet I found yesterday. When I got back to the room, I found Mr. Shiota grinning. He had watched me from the window. Mr. Shiota was our manager and for several days had been back at his post. When he was able to walk, one of the first things he did was to show up with two...

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24 August 1945

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pp. 114-117

GENERALLY overcast. The night had been close with many mosquitoes. Consequently, I slept poorly and had a frightful dream. It seems I was in Tokyo after the great earthquake and around me were decomposing bodies heaped in piles, all of whom were looking right at me. I saw an eye sitting on the palm of a girl's hand. Suddenly it turned and...

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25 August 1945

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pp. 117-120

OVERCAST early in the day, then clear. I awakened and went to my toilet. Returning, I stopped where Mr. Sakai and Mrs. Hamada had been cremated. The skull and hip bones are not always completely consumed in the cremation fire, but this time, the job had been well done. Nothing remained but white ashes, so I surmised that a bountiful supply of wood had been used thanks to our new...

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26 August 1945

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pp. 121-125

RAIN WITH overcast skies through the day. I was working on my notes after breakfast when a nurse rushed in to inform me that Miss Kobayashi was dying. By the time I reached her she was dead. She had continued to comolain of intense abdominal pain earlier this morning although her abdomen was but slightly distended. We did not believe she had...

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27 August 1945

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pp. 126-130

RAIN. LATER cloudy. The 2ioth day * was approaching, so we could expect a rainy spell. Since there was no glass in the windows the building soon became thoroughly wet. Here and there, water puddled on the floor, and bedding became damp and musty. Mosquitoes and flies increased our discomfort. I had not bathed since the...

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28 August 1945

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pp. 131-136

CLOUDY. The notice I posted yesterday summarizing our experience with radiation sickness had its effect because quite early several newspaper reporters came in. I tried as best I could to answer their questions about the patients, their symptoms, prognosis, and our future plans for their care. Later, I was visited by a close friend, Mr. Yamashita, who had been employed by the Post Office Department before the pika. Mr. Yamashita had well...

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29 August 1945

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pp. 137-141

CLOUDY WITH occasional clearing. I did not sleep well during the night for worrying about my wife. Why had I not been mindful of the dampness caused by the continuing rain and the coolness of approaching autumn in the early morning? If she had not gotten chilled or wet, she would not have pneumonia. I should have thought of the...

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30 August 1945

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pp. 141-145

CLOUDY WITH occasional rain. The remains of Mrs. Chodo were cremated during the night and since it looked like rain I went out early to gather her ashes and bones. Customarily, one uses an urn, but since that was out of the question, I used an empty paper box I found in the pharmacy. Choosing one bone each...

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31 August 1945

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pp. 145-149

RAIN EARLY in the day. Later generally clear with occasional clouds. My first act this morning was to go to the roof balcony and, with head bowed to the east, pray for the Emperor. I did this because of a dream that troubled my sleep during the night. It seemed I was in a vast throng gathered to see...

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1 September 1945

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pp. 149-154

RAIN WITH heavy overcast. Rain soaked my bed sometime during the night, but I slept so soundly I was not aware of it until I awakened this morning. In consequence, I developed symptoms of a full-blown cold. Rain was falling in a regular downpour when I awakened. My discomfort was increased by being unable to make the usual visit to my private toilet. After...

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2 September 1945

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pp. 154-156

DRIZZLING rain. The hospital was quiet this morning and I lay for a long time in bed and gazed absently from the broken windows at the patterns made by the drizzling rain. It was old Mrs. Saeki who finally came in and broke my trance: "Sensei, what is the matter with you? Breakfast is ready, and here you are lolling about in bed...

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3 September 1945

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pp. 156-165

DRIZZLING rain. The rain showed no signs of letting up. Because of it, a pall of gloom hung over the hospital. The unceasing downpour made everything damp and we were chilled to the bone. Drops of water glistened on the walls, our clothing and bedding were moldy, and everything had a musty odor. Yesterday...

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4 September 1945

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pp. 165-166

RAIN WITH heavy overcast. Most of the morning I spent trying to arrange papers and collect the statistical data necessary to report our findings. Again, I got confused. Impatient to see the work finished, I neglected the work itself. I was convinced our observations would make a more detailed report than any others collected in Hiroshima. Outside investigators only stayed a short while...

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5 September 1945

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pp. 167-168

CLOUDY; LATER clearing. The zioth day, which marks the beginning of the typhoon season, passed uneventfully. Possibly because of the rain there was no storm, but great cloud masses flew through.the sky and the wind blew hard enough to make things rattle. My sleep was interrupted by the rattling and I dreamed something was chasing me, but in the morning I had...

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6 September 1945

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p. 168

CLEAR! Occasional clouds. Today, for the first time in weeks the sun was out in all its brilliance; the sky blue, the air clear. Once again we could see and worship the sun. Everything moldy and damp was put out in the sun: bedding, clothing, and even the colored flags from the Engineering Battalion were...

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7 September 1945

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p. 169

CLOUDY. I awakened with a cool, light head, refreshed from a sound, dreamless sleep. For the first time since the pika I felt like concentrating and before breakfast had abstracted ten cases. After breakfast, I completed twenty more cases before my work was interrupted by visitors. It was hard to control my impatience until they left and I was...

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8 September 1945

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pp. 170-174

CLOUDY WITH occasional rain. I awakened around 8:00, refreshed and ready for work. In general, I found those closest to the hypocenter to have the severest symptoms, and the greater the distance, the fewer and milder the symptoms. There were, however, a few exceptions. Some patients quite near the hypocenter...

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9 September 1945

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pp. 170-174

CLOUDY WITH clearing skies. I got up at 8:00 and looked over my paper until breakfast time. What had appeared so good last night when I was in the high heat of my writing ordeal now seemed poor, indeed. I had gone up like a rocket and come down like a stick. Or like the old proverb: "The head is like a dragon and the...

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10 September 1945

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pp. 174-176

CLOUDY WITH occasional rain. I slept well last night because the tension I had worked under while writing the paper had disappeared. Morning passed pleasantly, for I loafed about the room, drank tea, and joked with old Mrs. Saeki and others who came in. In the afternoon, I made rounds, but there was little to do since all the patients except...

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11 September 1945

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pp. 176-178

CLOUDY WITH occasional rain. Early this morning Mr. Shiota came in, and I asked how he had found things at home. I neglected to mention that when he left the hospital to visit his home, it was the first time since the bombing. "Sensei, my home was badly damaged," he informed me. "Some of the 250 soldiers who had been sent down from Tokyo to help clean up the city were quartered in...

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12 September 1945

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pp. 179-181

CLOUDY WITH occasional rain. For a day or two it looked as though we might have some fair weather, but rain set in again and left us as uncomfortable as ever. Nearly every morning, I would awaken with my blankets wet, and each day, old Mrs. Saeki would hang them out in the corridor to dry. This morning, when she...

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13 September 1945

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pp. 181-186

CLOUDY WITH occasional rain. I awakened to find my blankets wet as usual. Sometime during the night rain must have got in under the screen. Looking closely, though, I found the screen undisturbed, so water could not have come in through the window. To solve the mystery of the wet bed I began a systematic search of the room. After...

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14 September 1945

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pp. 186-189

OVERCAST SKIES with recurring rain. Dr. Tamagawa was visiting in Okayama when Miss Takata died, so no autopsy was done. Until she died, we had had no deaths in several days. The history of Miss Takata's illness was recorded in detail and is interesting enough to justify presentation: Takata, female, aged 28. Date of examination: 28...

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15 September 1945

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pp. 190-193

CLOUDY WITH occasional rain. After breakfast, some of the Kure Post Office staff came to visit and I learned for the first time that occupation forces had landed. Even the term shinchu-gun, which in general means an occupation force, was as strange and foreign to me as the forces themselves. It saddened me to think of the great naval port of Kure being occupied by the Allied...

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16 September 1945

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pp. 194-197

RAIN WITH low hanging clouds. Early this morning I was visited by Dr. Akiyama. It was unusual for him to be abroad so early. Something must have upset him although he was always easily disturbed and ready to jump to conclusions or give life to the vaguest rumor. "Let me compliment you for...

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17 September 1945

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pp. 197-201

RAIN. LATER, a violent storm. It was raining when I got up. After breakfast, I got my mail and found a letter from Dr. Moriya with some pictures enclosed. These were pictures he had taken during his visit. Studying the pictures, I was surprised at how poorly our scars showed up. I had at least 150 scars and Dr. Sasada's face...

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18 September 1945

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pp. 201-202

CLOUDY, LATER clearing. I awakened to find the storm passed, and it was unbelievable the morning could be so quiet. I had tried to sleep huddled on the concrete floor and now my shoulder and hip ached and my nose was stopped up. Going up to the balcony, I saw a great lake of water in front of the hospital, and the small shacks that had sprung up on all sides were blown...

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19 September 1945

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pp. 203-208

CLEAR. The morning was clear and beautiful, the sun bright and warm. I had slept so well and felt so rested and refreshed that I thought it might be a good day to go to Miyajima to see the bank director Professor Hata had asked me about yesterday. Then, I had not thought I could feel so well so soon. In the dining room, everyone...

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20 September 1945

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pp. 208-211

CLEAR, GENERALLY, with passing clouds. The trip to Miyajima had been almost too much. I was so tired last night, in fact, I slept poorly, and when I awakened this morning my legs were aching so I hardly felt like getting up for breakfast. I returned to bed after breakfast and was resting when an old friend, the proprietor of a...

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21 September 1945

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pp. 211-213

CLOUDY. LATER, light rain. This morning, I learned that after the twenty-fifth of September navigation in Hiroshima Bay would not be permitted. This news came from Mr. Sumitani, the Godo newspaper reporter, who had lost his wife. He had returned to Hiroshima to be present on the forty-ninth day, a Buddhist fast...

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22 September 1945

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pp. 214-215

RAIN WITH thunder and lightning. This morning, I awakened earlier than usual. Old Mrs. Saeki was already up, busy getting our breakfast in the kitchen. Mr. Mizoguchi was still asleep on his bed in the corner of the mess room. Stealing out quietly, lest I wake him, I stopped in the corridor and looked at Miss Yama's empty...

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23 September 1945

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pp. 215-217

CLOUDY, LATER clearing. Today was the forty-ninth day. I awakened pondering how I could hold a Buddhist Mass for my friends killed by the pika. After breakfast, old Mrs. Saeki departed to pray for her three sons. I was preparing to go too and was changing my clothes, when two visitors appeared. They were Mrs. Kaneko and her son's wife. The moment she saw me, she began...

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24 September 1945

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pp. 218-219

CLEAR GENERALLY with occasional clouds and thundershowers. My wife was to leave at 6:00, and the car was at the entrance before we had finished breakfast. Mr. Iguchi was to chauffeur her in an old Buick which belonged to the Bureau, and this was the first time the car had been used since the pika. It looked like an old covered wagon. My wife's departure...

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25 September 1945

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pp. 220-220

CLEAR. I had a drink of tea with salt in it and asked if we had any plum vinegar because I wanted something sour. Later, I asked if I might have some omoyu or rice gruel. Tenesmus continued with the passage of bits of blood and mucous. Never had I felt so empty or so weak and helpless....

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26 September 1945

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pp. 220-220

CLEAR. LATER, cloudy with rain. I remained much the same today as yesterday with continued tenesmus, diarrhea, aching, and profound weakness. Codeine was added to my other medicine and all day I ate nothing but three bowls of rice gruel. Altogether, I had a miserable day. Toward evening, the...

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27 September 1945

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pp. 221-221

RAIN. LATER cloudy. I awakened with a dry throat. Old Mrs. Saeki was boiling water for tea and it seemed like hours before it was ready. This morning, a cup of hot sugar water was added to the rice gruel, which I now detested. The sugar water was delicious and I decided to drink hot sugar water instead...

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28 September 1945

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pp. 221-224

ALTERNATING cloudy and clear. My appetite was better and at breakfast I managed to swallow two bowls of gruel in addition to a cup of hot sugar water. Old Mrs. Saeki praised me and remarked: "Everything will be all right, now. Just...

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29 September 1945

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pp. 224-226

CLEAR WITH occasional clouds. This morning I stayed in bed. I had little appetite for breakfast but succeeded in downing two bowls of gruel. I visited my outdoor toilet after breakfast; and the warm, bright sunshine seemed to make me feel better. I passed a plug of mucous about ten centimeters long and cylindrical...

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30 September 1945

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pp. 226-229

HEAVY RAIN clouds throughout the day with repeated showers. I awakened shortly before dawn, feeling better. My stomach was so much easier, in fact, that I was impatient for day to come. How nice it would be, I thought, if more Americans like the ones we saw yesterday would come today. I looked over at old Mrs. Saeki. She was asleep, her mouth...

Postscript

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pp. 231-233

Glossary

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pp. 263-266