Hiroshima had been reduced to a scorched plain by the atomic bomb, and yet, grass, flowers and trees soon sent out new shoots. At this sight, residents began walking in earnest the long and difficult road to recovery, a road strewn with enormous obstacles. Food and other necessities were in desperately short supply. Much of the population, fighting the aftereffects of radiation and trauma, were unable to work as productively as they once did. Most were struggling just to survive.
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial City Construction Law enacted in 1949 provided assistance from the national government. This assistance made recovery possible, but thorough censorship by the Allied Occupation of news and research regarding the atomic bombings prevented the Japanese public from learning much about the suffering of the A-bomb survivors and other aspects of A-bomb damage. Therefore, desperately needed medical and economic assistance from the national government were extremely late in coming. The A-bomb Survivors Medical Care Law, which provided the first national assistance to the survivors, was not passed until 1957, twelve years after the bombing.
During this long interval, slow but steady efforts by Hiroshima residents were supported and encouraged by generous contributions from groups and individuals around Japan and around the world. Because of the censorship in Japan, some communities overseas knew more about what had happened in Hiroshima than did the general public in Japan, and many were quick to extend a helping hand.
This special exhibition honors the many people outside of Hiroshima who gave so generously and those who worked locally to assist the hibakusha. These donors provided both material and moral support when it was most crucially needed, and we are pleased to present their contributions.

The World Hears of an Atomic Tragedy

US President Truman announced the bombing of Hiroshima over the radio early in the morning of August 7 Japan time. Subsequently, many foreign newspapers reported the bombing. Toward the end of August, special foreign correspondents filed eyewitness reports describing the damage. The images they conveyed to their home audiences revealed a city in ruins, communities gone without a trace, and horribly injured people suffering and dying one after another.

City of scorched earth August 1945 Kami-nagarekawa-cho (now, Teppo-cho)
870m from the hypocenter
Photo by Satsuo Nakata
Fukuya Department Store (Left is the former building, right is the new building) August 1945 Ebisu-cho 710m from the hypocenter
Photo by Mitsugi Kishida Courtesy of Teppei Kishida
Reporting by Wilfred Burchett September 5, 1945Daily Express
Courtesy of The British Library
Wilfred Burchett, a reporter from the British Daily Express newspaper, came to Hiroshima at the beginning of September 1945. Walking amidst the ruins, he reported about the destroyed Hiroshima Castle and similar scenes.
©The British Library Board. All rights Reserved
Reporting by Leslie Nakashima August 30, 1945 Honolulu Star Bulletin
Courtesy of US Library of Congress
On August 22, Leslie Nakashima, a second-generation Japanese-American born in Hawaii, came to Hiroshima, his parent's hometown, in order to look for his mother. Once there he sent a telegram to UP describing the situation in Hiroshima. His article described how the downtown area of the city was in complete ruins except for a few steel-reinforced concrete buildings and how deceased victims were emerging daily from the relief stations.
The collapsed ceiling of Hiroshima Station October 1945 Matsubara-cho 1,900m from the hypocenter
Photo by Shunkichi Kikuchi