The book “Hiroshima” describes the war that took place between the America and the Japanese as a total war. The definition of a total war is everyone does what they have to do no matter what or who gets in the way to claim victory. That’s what the Americans did on August 6, 1945. Americans created total war based upon the weapons they used the territory they hit and the people they aimed for was unrestricted. This caused heartache in the lives of the Japanese people for decades.
The weapon the Americans used was an atomic bomb, and was dropped by the “B-29 Elona Gay.” It was not dropped once but twice, in two locations; two major cities in Japan at the time Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Showing how severe it was, the atomic bomb released 12,000 tons of trinitrotoluene, also known as TNT, exploding 1900feet over the city. A brief description of Ms.Sasaki’s first impression on the dropping as she went through it was “…Just as she turned her head.. The room was filled with a blinding light.. There, in the factory, in the first moment of the atomic age, a human was being crushed by books” (P.16). In the book, one of the characters Nakamura-san described the incident as “the bombing almost seemed as a natural disaster” (p.53). The bomb seemed even crueler due to the momentary and lasting effects it caused the Japanese. Many people contracted radiation sickness in the moment and well after due to the radiation that the bomb gave off and amount that was still lingering in the air. With this much radiation, symptoms came about like nausea, hair loss, fevers, blood disorders, diarrhea etc, and eventually leading into many people contracting many different cancers. No one wanted to get to the third level of radiation sickness which lead to your body no longer being able to compensate for itself and in reaching this stage many people died if not before this stage. Mrs.Nakamura was thought to be fine at first until she contracted radiation sickness not showing any symptoms at first even for a few days. “..who suffered no cuts or burns at all. Had been rather nauseated. Began fixing her hair and noticed, after one stroke that her comb varied with it a whole handful of hair.” (P.68).
When it came to the territorial boundaries, there were none, and were very unrestricted in the land they destroyed to the people that were targeted. The bombing was on major populated cities with no threat to the war. They didn’t restrict to the military in which they, were fighting this war. They wounded many civilians that didn’t affect their war efforts. Although they did harm a fair amount of the Japanese army, once they were injured the civilians still suffered. Once the military began being sent into hospitals to be tended for many civilians were either turned away or pushed to the side, because priority was the military and very badly wounded. At the beginning of the war, instead of dropping the bomb upon a military base, it was dropped over a hospital which had sick people again not a threat to the war. At the beginning of the war there were 40,000 buildings, and at the end of the war only 28,000 remained. At the beginning of the war there were 200 doctors, at the end only 20 were left alive and capable of working. At the beginning of the war there were 1,780 nurses, at the end of the war there were only 150 able to work and tend to those that need medical help.
The most affected were the people