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Date: Friday, 5 October 1945
Place: Kami-Nagarekawa-cho District, Hiroshima, Chūgoku-chihō, Japan
Photographer: Shigeo Hayashi
Panorama of devastation from the roof of Chugoku Shimbun (Newspaper) Building in Kami-Nagarekawa-cho District, 950 yards (870 meters) from the hypocenter. A commission from the Japan Science Council was sent to study the effects of the bomb in October 1945. Filmmakers and photographers from the Nihon Eigusa Studio were recruited. Shigeo Hayashi, an Imperial Japanese Army veteran of Manchuria and a former reporter for FRONT Magazine, was selected. The team arrived at Hiroshima on October 1, 1945 and began at the hypocenter at Shima Hospital. When the weather cleared, he climbed several buildings and made these panaramas. He later wrote, "Every few steps I saw the remains of another makeshift crematoria. Wherever I aimed the camera, voices from the hell of two months earlier flooded toward me." 1.) Nagarekawa Methodist Church of Christ. Reverend Kiyoshi Tanimoto, Minister, famously administered first aid to Hiroshima's massive number of casualties for days. 2.) On the right, the Old Fukuya Department Store. 3.) On the left stands the New Fukuya Department Store (now, Fukuya Department Store). The new building was completed in 1938 with eight stories above ground and two below. During the war, the army, control corporations, and other government agencies took over most of its retail space. The atomic bombing completely gutted the interior and killed dozens of occupants. 4.) Odamasa, a kimono fabric store, made military uniforms as well. The steel structure survived the blast but caved in soon after. 5.) Higushi Police Station, Shimo-yanagi-cho District. Relief Efforts began around these stations and moved out to the city. 6.) Hirataya-cho District's Kirin Beer Hall and Shimomura Jewelers, also known as Hondori Clock Tower. It lacked internal support and shifted. The financial district is behind these buildings. 7.) Chimney of Chugoku Shimbun Building where photo was taken. All of Hayashi's work was confiscated by Supreme Command Allied Powers (SCAP) run by US General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. 540 35mm photos and 174 4x6 photos were donated to the Hiroshima Peace Museum after their return in 1973. Hayashi later became head of the Anti-Nuclear Photography Movement. Chugoku Shimbun Building, rebuilt in 1949, was torn down in 1970. The Mitsukoshi Department Store stands on the spot today.
Hiroshima Peace Museum