In the days following the bombing, a growing number of people searched in the burned out rubble for relatives and friends who hadn’t returned. Concerned only about their loved ones, they spent days walking around the city searching for any clue no matter how small.
Searchers inundated the larger refuges looking for confirmation that their missing loved ones were safe. They struggled desperately with each other over the reception lists.
Though wounded and often unrecognizable, families were brought together by powerful emotions. Even in that utter chaos, many miraculous encounters took place.
Older brother's work shoe
Katsuyuki Kinoshita's older brother, Yoshiharu Kinoshita (then, 13), was exposed to the bomb at a building demolition site.
Katsuyuki's father, Hawaichi, began looking for him from the afternoon of the sixth. At his final destination, the Hiroshima Army Clothing Depot in Deshio-cho, he walked by a stretcher bearing the remains of his son.
Yoshiharu was wrapped from head to feet in bandages, making it impossible for anyone to tell who he was, but Hawaichi noticed his son's name on a name tag that was pinned to the body, and brought his son's remains home.
Donated by Katsuyuki Kinoshita
42 days after the bombing
Oyuki Nishimoto's third-born son, Hiroka Nishimoto (then, 12), was exposed to the bomb while working at a building demolition site.
Oyuki walked around asking about Hiroka's whereabouts, and found his air raid hood on the fourth day. On the 42nd day after the bombing, Oyuki decided to give up looking for Hiroka having completely walked the city. She returned to his work site, put her hands together in prayer, and then noticed a white cloth between the rocks. Pulling it out, she found it was the cloth bag for Hiroka's training booklet.
Oyuki placed the hood and bag on her Buddhist altar and carefully looked after them.
Donated by Oyuki Nishimoto
Second Hiroshima Prefectural Junior High School button
Akira Tamaya's younger brother, Meiji Tamaya (then, 13), was exposed to the bomb on his way to his mobilization site. His parents searched all over town for him but they were unable to find his remains.
In May of the following year, some remains were found under a collapsed earthen storehouse near the Atago railroad crossing. Based on the clothing and buttons, they were able to verify that it was the body of Meiji and finally bring him home.
Donated by Akira Tamaya