A unit of explosive power roughly equal to 15 kilotons, or about 6.28 x 1013 joules. Equal to the yield of Little Boy, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and is named to signify this. Often written as "hiroshima bomb". Ex: "Even the smallest new warheads each pack over 300 hiroshima bombs worth of explosive force."

Not an official unit of measurement, the term is not used in scientific work, but more commonly in popular literature or work intended for public consumption. Few civilians have much of sense of what a megaton is, or even a kiloton for that matter. As such, the detonation of Little Boy, the world's most well-known high-yield explosion, often serves as a useful reference point when discussing nuclear weapons.

May also refer to other aspects of the bombing of Hiroshima, such as amount of fallout or deaths caused.


Hiroshima literally means "broad island," and is both a city and prefecture in Japan: city population 1.1 million, prefectural population 2.9 million (1997). Built on a river delta in western Honshu, roughly equidistant from Fukuoka and Osaka, it is the largest city in the Chugoku region. It is also the third-largest destination for foreign tourists in Japan after Tokyo and Kyoto: the anti-American sentiment many would expect is virtually non-existent.

Hiroshima was the site of several Japanese military bases during the war, although not as many as some American accounts imply. In 1945, Hiroshima was one of only three major cities in Japan spared from American firebombings (the other two were Kyoto and Nagasaki). At the time, many residents believed that the US was planning to spare those cities for future use as military bases and American communities, but August 6, 1945 proved the common assumptions to be false.

IMHO, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima is depicted best in Ota Yoko's short story City of Corpses, and in the manga/anime Barefoot Gen.

Hiroshima was, needless to say, completely devastated by the A-bomb. The only structures in the inner city that survived the blast were reinforced smokestacks and the building directly at ground zero, now known as the gembaku-dômu or Atomic Dome. Hiroshima Castle, an artifact of the Edo period, was leveled.

The city has since been rebuilt. Much of the area around ground zero is now part of the Peace Park, where the A-bomb museum is located. The castle was also rebuilt to resemble the original. Astute visitors to the city can notice the subtle changes in architecture between the areas inside and outside the blast radius.

Hiroshima is also a great place to get okonomiyaki.

You can get there by Shinkansen: Hiroshima is west of Osaka and Tokyo on the Tokaido-Sanyo line. There is also direct air service from several major cities in Japan and South Korea.

25 Oct 2002: I've just come across this poem by Toge Sankichi, which appears on the memorial at Hiroshima. It follows, first in Unicode hiragana, and then transliterated and translated:

ちちをかえせ ははをかえせ

わたしをかえせ わたしにつながる

にんげんの にんげんのよのあるかぎり

Chichi o kaese, haha o kaese
Toshiyori o kaese
Kodomo o kaese

Watashi o kaese, watashi ni tsunagaru
Ningen o kaese

Ningen no, ningen no yo no aru kagiri
Kuzurenu heiwa o
Heiwa o kaese

Give back the fathers, give back the mothers
Give back the elders
Give back the children

Give me back, and give back
The people that are tied to me

And the peace that never crumbles
While mankind's, mankind's world exists
Give back the peace
As I looked toward the eternal flame, I stopped when I saw the words: Rest in peace, for they shall not repeat the mistake.

Right now, somewhere—maybe next door, maybe a thousand miles away—a bomber is flying over someone's head. Think about it.

I read John Hersheys book 'Hiroshima' when I was a small child in the 1960's, I was fascinated and horrified by it at the same time, especially by the vivid descriptions of various peoples experiences who survived the two bombs. I was particularly awed by the story of one man who was on the outskirts of Hiroshima when the first bomb went of, and decided to go to his mother's in Nagasaki, and was 5 miles from Nagasaki on the train when the second bomb was dropped, becoming possibly the only Japanese person on the ground to see both bombs and survive.

Then, a year or two later, I stumbled on a medical book which, when I tried to relocate it 20 years later, had vanished from the face of the earth. At the time I was doing research at a large University, and had vast library resources available to me, including access to the British Museum Library, but despite asking libraries all over the world, I never located a single copy.

The book I was searching for, which so impressed itself on me at the age of about 10, was an American publication dated 1954, entitled 'The Medical Effects of the Atomic Bomb in Japan'. It was full of studies, statistics, data, descriptions such as symptoms of radiation sickness, and and horrific photos of keloid tumours and burn effects, including one that I can still visualise even today, more than half a century later, a young Japanese girl caught by the intense flash of light, which had burned the pattern of her kimono into her skin.

To this day I am convinced that because of the CND campaigns of the 60's and 70's, every single copy of that book was hunted down and destroyed, because the contents were too contentious to leave in circulation.


I would like someone to explain why, after I posted this, several people set about trying there hardest to prove me wrong. What I posted is my opinion, based on my experiences. Since none of the people who have set about trying to prove me wrong never actually read the original book at the time, and never then tried to find it again 20 years, then what the fuck do they think they know about it? . Im writing based on my experience. The book was unlisted or deleted in dozens of major libraries across the world in the early 1980's. I havent searched for it since. Its now 30 years later, and theres no cold war, so its possible we MIGHT find a copy, nowadays. The fact that collectively you people have only managed to unearth TWO copies for sale, one at $150 and one at $200 reflects the fact its practically vanished. I didnt post this experience to provoke a fucking debate, this is how it was for me, end of conversation. Jesus Christ, do you guys get off on trying to demolish people? If this is the fucking reaction I get just posting a memory then its clearly best not to bother. Thats probably why this is an obscure unheard of website that doesnt even rank on any of the major search engines, the web equivalent of a holiday in Scunthorpe.

Ill not bother again..........

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