Did you meet your mom? A boy standing in the atomic bomb on August 14 at 12:37

On the day the atomic bomb was dropped, the boy met in an evacuation site was desperately searching for his mother with his young child on his back. Did the boy meet her mother after that? How did you live after the war?

In the wake of a certain thing, there is one atomic bomb survivor in Nagasaki who has begun to search for the boy. Why do you search for the boy until you have traced the memory of the hard exposure? I wanted to know and started interviewing.

(Nagasaki Broadcasting Station reporter Ryo Tomita)

Encounter in "Hell"

Muraoka Masanori (85), who lives in Nagasaki City, was bombed 74 years ago at his home 1.5 kilometers away from the hypocenter. He also evacuated in the war while supporting his mother who was difficult to walk with burns.

Muraoka Masanori:
“Anyone who is injured, who is looking for a person, is really panicking. I really thought this was hell.”

It was exactly in the middle of meeting the boy.

Muraoka Masanori:
“A boy with a one-year-old child came in. When I heard“ What a shit! ”,“ Kaachanba, look for it. You may be looking for it. Early, I wouldn't want to go home again? ”I said,“ Yes ”.

"That boy!"

Muraoka became an elementary school teacher and served as the principal after the war. One day, when he witnessed a picture of a boy standing in a grill, his memory at the time of the bombing revived.

Muraoka Masanori:
“I was instinctful as that boy. It ’s still that time. I ’m old, but this boy I ’ve seen is still that way, because the photo does n’t age. I thought it momentarily. ''

"The boy's face itself. Then, the child who was wearing it. The figure with his head behind, this as it was. I tried to look into the child a little, when talking to the boy. The faces of the children are exactly the same, and the bands are very similar. "

The photograph of “The Boy Standing in the Grill” was taken in Nagasaki after the atomic bomb was dropped by American military photographer Joe Odanell, and then released worldwide.

Mr. Odanell himself came to Japan before his life and searched for the boy's whereabouts, but he couldn't find it, and even now, more than 70 years after the atomic bomb, he knows who this boy is and where the film was taken. Is not ...

Was the boy able to meet his mother safely afterwards? Mr. Muraoka said that in the confusion immediately after the atomic bombing, the figure of the boy of the day often came to mind in his memory of being evacuated with his mother's death.

Muraoka Masanori:
“Because I was looking for my mom. I was wondering if I had met my mom. I ’m having a hard time. The feelings for my mother are the same as the boys standing at this roasting place. "

Pope sent to the world

In 2017, this “boy on the grill” once again attracted worldwide attention.

Pope Francisco Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, who has a strong interest in the abolition of nuclear weapons, sent the photos to the world with the message “what the war brings”.

Ms. Muraoka raised a sense of crisis while getting attention. From the indication that the background of the photo is unnatural as an A-bomb site, “It may have been taken at a hypocenter,” and “It may have been taken at a place different from Nagasaki.” The voice that pointed out began to rise.

Muraoka Masanori:
“There are many people who have the suspicion that the Pope is also a Nagasaki boy and wants to send it to the world.
I've played together in elementary school, met and talked. I would like to make a strong appeal that there should be no Nagasaki boy. This is what I felt like I was silent. ''

Slight clues

My memory is certain, but there is no evidence to link that memory with a boy in photography. Muraoka began searching for boys, mainly in parents' homes, elementary schools, and areas where there were national schools.

That process also reminded me of my hard past. I still remembered it, and it was also a book and material written about the boy. I went to the place where I met the boy, met the local people and listened to the story.

There were few people who could testify at that time after 70 years, and the teeth were terrible, but about a year after I started searching, I finally reached a man who was a boy's classmate.

According to the man, the boy's name is Akihiro. After the war, it was possible that he moved to Isahaya City, Nagasaki Prefecture, where his mother's parents' house was.

Based on the testimony, when Muraoka listened to each elementary school in Isahaya city, a child named “Akihiro” was enrolled in an elementary school with the same graduate of Showa 21 as Muraoka. I understood that.

Muraoka showed me past graduation photos with the thought that if there were graduation photos at that time, they could be compared with boys.

Muraoka turned back the pages one year at a time while holding back the heart, and looked for a photo of Showa 21 in the same graduation year.

However, due to the confusion during the war, the graduation photo I was looking for was not left.

Re-examine the photo at the origin

Apart from Mr. Muraoka, there are people who have repeatedly tried to obtain information related to boys from the photos themselves.

Takashi Matsuo, who has been studying materials for many years at the A-bomb Succession Division in Nagasaki City. Focusing on this world-renowned photo, we have continued our own research.

Among them, Matsuo noticed the possibility that the picture of the boy standing in the grill was flipped left and right.

There are two grounds Matsuo points out. First of all, the front of the jacket is not visible for men. Furthermore, during the war, the name tag that had been instructed to sew on the left chest was on the boy's right chest.

We concluded that it is highly probable that the photos were “backed” and flipped horizontally.

Matsuo, who is also a second-generation survivor, says he feels that he has a role to connect the survivors with the next generation. Mr. Matsuo did not grasp the possibility of “back grilling” negatively, but arrived at his own findings with the thought that it would help him reach the boy.

Takashi Matsuo:
“The original origin is still different, so it may be necessary to modify the origin a little. I thought it would be necessary to correct it and start the investigation again.”

"Abnormality" found by original colorization

NHK, on ​​the other hand, worked on colorizing this “boy on the grill”. Based on the background of the times, we used the latest digital technology to bring it closer to the colors of the time.

I found out that there was a possibility that something was wrong with the boy's body. There was a grayish part next to the eyes that seemed black.

What does this mean? I visited Dr. Nori Saito, a doctor who has been involved in A-bomb survivors in Hiroshima for 48 years.

Dr. Saito says that the gray part of the eye is thought to be after bleeding.

Looking further into the picture, I found that the boy's nose had something like a stuffing, and pointed out that it might have been put in to prevent bleeding in the nose.

They say that exposure to a certain amount of radiation could damage the bone marrow and make it easier to bleed throughout the body. The possibility that the boy was exposed in some way has emerged.

"You" appeal to

74 years have passed since the atomic bombing, but I found new discoveries and possibilities for the boy in the photograph, but I could not get any reliable information related to the boy.

In the process of this interview, I talked to many A-bomb survivors and experts, including Muraoka, and I realized the strength of the appeal of this photo once again.

“What life did the boy go after?” I felt that many A-bomb survivors had come to think of themselves and boys who lived after the war.

For about a year and a half, I asked Mr. Muraoka who had been searching for a boy, "What words would you like to say if you met a boy?"

Muraoka Masanori:
“I would like to call you“ appealing peace with photos ”and“ appreciate, applause ”