Fall of 1945

Signs of Recovery

Rumor had it that nothing would grow in Hiroshima for 75 years after the bombing. However, Hiroshima did not die. Transportation, communications, and electric power lifelines quickly recovered. People and goods were transported. Information and energy supplies were secured.
Two months later, makeshift huts made of wood and tin sheets began appearing in the charred rubble, and black markets sprang up in front of train stations and other places where people tended to gather. The makeshift huts and black markets were accompanied by problems of public security and sanitation, but they also symbolized the start of recovery.
In the scenes he saw near the train stations, Kikuchi discovered signs that the city and the people in it were recovering. He captured these signs with his camera.

Makeshift huts near Yokogawa Station Location: Yokogawa-cho Distance from hypocenter: approx. 1.7km Photograph taken toward the east from the front of Yokogawa Station, passing through Kusunoki-cho 1-chome and along the road to the Misasa Bridge. In this area there were a large number of makeshift huts that victims built from rubble and scrap materials.
Outdoor draft beer stand Location: unknown Outdoor beer stands were set up at several locations within the city, including in front of Hiroshima Station and Yokogawa Station. Beer was sold for approximately one hour both in the morning and afternoon. In the midst of the widespread burnt ruins, people would seemingly appear from nowhere and form lines.

Temporary ticket wicket at Hiroshima Station Location: Matsubara-cho Distance from hypocenter: approx. 1.9km A ticket wicket (gate) was temporarily constructed to the west of the station house. Signs indicating the train departure time and platform are posted. Due to train damage and coal shortages, only a few trains were running, but all of the tracks were open.

People waiting for trains at Hiroshima Station Location: Matsubara-cho From one end to the other, this platform was filled with people waiting for trains. Some people are sitting on luggage while others are lying down, suggesting that they may have been waiting for many hours. The upbound direction is in the foreground of the photograph.

People trying to buy tickets at Hiroshima Station Location: Matsubara-cho Station business was conducted in an office that was hastily constructed in front of the bombed station house. Many people seeking tickets crowded around the service window.
Koi Recovery Festival Location: Koi-machi (now, Koi-hon-machi 1-chome) Distance from hypocenter: approx. 3.2km On October 19, Kikuchi and his group took photos at the Recovery Festival in Koi. The Chugoku Region Recovery Foundation, the first organization for recovery, hosted the festival, which doubled as the district's annual Autumn Festival.
People looking at an event information posters at the Recovery Festival site

Portable shrine with rice bales, representing a celebration of the harvest. Behind the large crowd of onlookers, badly damaged houses and buildings remained.
Young men shouldering rice-bale portable shrine

An entertainment show that was held on a small, makeshift theater stage.