The “Shadow” of a Hiroshima Victim, Etched into Stone, Is All That Remains After 1945 Atomic Blast

At 8:15 on the morn­ing of August 6, 1945, a per­son sat on a flight of stone stairs lead­ing up to the entrance of the Sum­it­o­mo Bank in Hiroshi­ma, Japan. Sec­onds lat­er, an atom­ic bomb det­o­nat­ed just 800 feet away, and the per­son sit­ting on the stairs was instant­ly incin­er­at­ed. Gone like that. But not with­out leav­ing a mark.

As the Google Cul­tur­al Insti­tute explains it, “Receiv­ing the rays direct­ly, the vic­tim must have died on the spot from mas­sive burns. The sur­face of the sur­round­ing stone steps was turned whitish by the intense heat rays. The place where the per­son was sit­ting became dark like a shad­ow.”

That shad­ow last­ed for years, until even­tu­al­ly rain and wind began to erode it. When a new Sum­it­o­mo Bank was built, the steps were relo­cat­ed to the Hiroshi­ma Peace Memo­r­i­al Muse­um, where they’re now pre­served. You can see the “Human Shad­ow Etched in Stone” above.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Sto­ry of Akiko Takaku­ra, One of the Last Sur­vivors of the Hiroshi­ma Bomb­ing, Told in a Short Ani­mat­ed Doc­u­men­tary

The “Shad­ow” of a Hiroshi­ma Vic­tim, Etched into Stone Steps, Is All That Remains After 1945 Atom­ic Blast

This 392-Year-Old Bon­sai Tree Sur­vived the Hiroshi­ma Atom­ic Blast & Still Flour­ish­es Today: The Pow­er of Resilience

Watch Chill­ing Footage of the Hiroshi­ma & Nagasa­ki Bomb­ings in Restored Col­or

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Comments (2)
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  • Mark says:

    I don’t think they were sit­ting. Looks to me like a per­son with a cane descend­ing the last stair. The bomb det­o­nat­ed above the ground, so flash would be com­ing from some­what above. Per­haps the per­son was look­ing up at the plane pass­ing by.

  • Tim says:

    I came here to say the same thing, but you beat me to it. I agree 100%. Per­son was prob­a­bly just about to ascend the steps.

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