Children in Post-war Hiroshima

Despite serious shortages of classrooms and textbooks, schools reopened.

Children who had been evacuated returned. The schools in Hiroshima City had either been destroyed by the bomb or were being used for relief or temporary shelter for A-bomb victims. Thus, only about one fourth of the former schools could actually be used as schools. Still, by borrowing other buildings or clearing school grounds of rubble in order to hold classes there, teachers gradually put together places where children could learn.

●Open-air Classroom
Soon after the start of the new school year at Nobori-cho Elementary School, April 1946.
Photo: Stephen Kelen
Courtesy of Hiroshima Municipal Archive

●A-bomb Orphans
It is said that 2,000 to 6,500 A-bomb orphans lived in Hiroshima after the war. Having lost their families to the A-bomb, they were left all alone. Many lived in "war casualty children's homes," but some ended up living on the street, supporting themselves by shining shoes or doing whatever else they could.


A-bomb Orphans at a Memorial Ceremony (Ninoshima Island, Hiroshima City)

Photo: Stephen Kelen November 1946
Source: I remember Hiroshima
          Hale & Iremonger (1983)