Japanese Soldier Walks Alone in Ruins of Hiroshima

A Japanese soldier walks through the flatten center of town, near Hiroshima Castle, 2625 feet (800 meters) from the hypocenter in Motomachi District. The 2nd Area Army under Field Marshal Shunroku Hata, a veteran commander in China, defended Kyushu and part of Honshu with its Headquarters in Hiroshima Castle. Chugoku Military District Headquarters, the base of the 5th Division, was also located there. Both military installations were destroyed. Private Yutaka Nakagawa later said, "Some time later I returned to the barracks. Inside the barracks were civilian victims, lying on the ground. When I approached they cried out for water but our officers said, 'Don't give them water - if you do that they'll die immediately.' But there was a pond inside the barracks - water reserved for fire-fighting - I saw black, burned bodies in the water - it was like a nightmare."
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
National Archives
Date Photographed: 
Wednesday, September 5, 1945
Hiroshima Prefecture