After the fierce
fires subsided, the people looked out over a burnt plain extending
in every direction. The surviving articles of dayly life
lay burned and smashed where they had fallen. Unrecognizable bodies
lay everywhere. The survivors hauled away debris, mourned over the
bodies, and began eking out a life in the rubble. They hid from the
elements in damaged air-raid shelters, huts of burnt tin sheeting,
barracks built by soldier rescue teams.
For ten days starting immediately after the bombing, area towns and villages
sent food to the city. Then, the food rationing system floundered. To prevent
starvation, people supplemented rations with food from kitchen gardens
dug near their makeshift dwellings. They went to the countryside to get
farmers, typically by barter. Many survivors had nothing to barter. The
food for sale was nicknamed "Eba dango" (rice balls from Eba). These "substitute" rice
balls were mixed with grass or gulfweed growing along the railroad track
in Eba and other suburbs. Such food staved off hunger, and nothing more.