Essay on Miraculous Survivor: Tsutomu Yamaguchi's Story of Two Atomic Bombs

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  984 Words
Date:  2022-12-29

Tsutomu Yamaguchi was a Japanese engineer who survived two atomic bombs during World War II. From the story he told few years before he died, Yamaguchi at 29 was on a three months business trip in Hiroshima where he worked for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. On 6th August 1945 when he was getting ready to return home to his wife Hisako and son Katsutoshi, was when the first atomic bombing happened. He was in the Mitsubishi shipyard with his colleagues that morning when he heard the sound of a drone. Looking upon the air, he saw an American B-29 bomber dropping an object in a parachute. The 'Enola Gay' in the form of a "small boy" suddenly light up the sky and raptured. Yamaguchi had time to dive into a nearby ditch while the bomb touched the ground. Although he was 2 miles away from ground zero, the waves from the rapture dug him from inside the ditch, uncovering and throwing him to a nearby potato patch (McDonald).

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According to Evan Andrews, Yamaguchi could not tell what had happened because upon opening his eyes, everything was dark; he temporarily went blind. Yamaguchi was washed by ash falling from the sky and all he could see was a mushroom cloud of fire rising from Hiroshima burning city. He then realized that his face and forearms had been burned and his eardrums ruptured. He staggered around the Mitsubishi yard where he found his two colleagues, Akira, and Kuniyoshi who had also survived the blast. After the three spent a restless night, they went to the train station set to go home, after they found out that it was still operating. On their way to the station, Yamaguchi crawled across rivers with floated burned dead bodies. In the train, Yamaguchi stumbled upon dead bodies all over the seats (McCurry). He traveled overnight to Nagasaki. When he arrived at Nagasaki on 8th, he went direct to the hospital for treatment. The doctor, who was his old friends did not recognize him at first due to his black burned face and body. Upon arriving home, his wife could not recognize him. He was covered in badges all over his face, at one point, Hisako thought it was his spirit.

Although still injured, Yamaguchi proceeded to work the next day, on 9th. He narrated the whole Hiroshima incident to his Mitsubishi boss but then, he would not believe how a single bomb could destroy a whole city. In the midst of the talk, it was when the second bomb blasted. Yamaguchi told the "independent" newspaper that the white flash suddenly reappeared with a landscape explosion. He promptly dropped on the floor before the office windows were scattered throughout the room. "I thought the mushroom cloud had followed me from Hiroshima" (Andrews). Yamaguchi narrated adding that the Nagasaki atomic bomb was stronger than that dropped in Hiroshima. He later discovered that the city landscape and stairwell had covered the office he was in, surviving for the second time. Although he was exposed to cancer-causing radiation after his badges were blown off, he was unhurt this time around. Apparently, he was 2 miles away from the ground zero just like in Hiroshima. He immediately rushed to his home to check on his family. Luckily, they were unhurt. A few hours later Japan had surrendered after America had threatened to release another bomb. The bomb in Hiroshima killed 80,000 people instantly while others died later. The Nagasaki bomb killed 70,000 at the spot.

Days later the double radiation that struck Yamaguchi started to the take toll. His hair started to fall off. His arms wounds started to decay. He was vomiting, could not eat and rarely drunk anything. Yamaguchi thought that he was going to die. He had given up. His daughter reported that she grew for 12 years while her father was covered in the badges. However, Yamaguchi and his wife later gave birth to 2 daughters ("The independent"). His wife, Hisako suffered from the bomb radiation too. Her daughters said that she might have passed the radiation effects to them during birth. Hisako was covered in black rain when the poisoned radiation fell during the bomb. She suffered much agony due to her husband's condition. Yamaguchi children were also affected by the radiation. They suffered health problems. The son, Katsutoshi died at the age of 59 due to cancer. His daughter has been sick all her life and his wife died at 88 due to liver and kidney cancer. Toshiko, his second daughter says that she suffers from low white blood cells count. She is always worried about what will come of her. Yamaguchi later recovered from his burns and started to work again. He lived a normal life that people sometimes forgot that he was a survivor. Yamaguchi declined to be involved with nuclear bomb abolitions until in the 2000s when he started to tell his story and asking the American government to stop the nuclear bombing (Kruse). Yamaguchi started to write books and participating in films and interviews on TV and radios. He was publicly recognized as the only official "Niju Hibaku" for double radiation, double survival by the Japanese government. At 93, Yamaguchi died in 2010 due to cancer caused by the two atomic bomb radiation.

Works cited

Andrews, Evan. "The Man Who Survived Two Atomic Bombs." HISTORY, 7 Aug. 2015, Accessed 16 Apr. 2019.

The independent. "How I Survived Hiroshima ? and then Nagasaki." The Independent, 15 Apr. 2014,

Kruse, Colton. "The Man Who Survived Two Atomic Bombings: Tsutomu Yamaguchi." Ripley's Believe It or Not!, 6 Dec. 2017, Accessed 16 Apr. 2019.

McCurry, Justin. "Hiroshima and Nagasaki Survivor Dies Aged 93." The Guardian, 1 Dec. 2017, Accessed 16 Apr. 2019.

McDonald, Mark. "Tsutomu Yamaguchi, Survivor of 2 Atomic Blasts, Dies at 93." The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia, 6 Jan. 2010, Accessed 16 Apr. 2019.

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Essay on Miraculous Survivor: Tsutomu Yamaguchi's Story of Two Atomic Bombs. (2022, Dec 29). Retrieved from

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