Tsutomu Yamaguchi: The Luckiest Man In The World!
The Second World War bid adieu with quite a storm.
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor resulted in terrible repercussions on innocent Japanese people four years later. Life wasn’t safe anywhere. Hiroshima and Nagasaki weren’t just two bombed cities in 1945.
They turned into a ground for human debris in the aftermath of the destruction. Only the luckiest people survived the disaster. However, one man was a shade luckier than the luckiest people.
He survived not one only one, but two atomic blasts in Hiroshima and in Nagasaki! His name was Tsutomu Yamaguchi.
In 1945, when Yamaguchi was merely 29, he was on a three-month long trip to Hiroshima for business. He had to leave the city on the 6th August.
At 8:15 in the morning, an American B-29 bomber dropped the first atom bomb on Hiroshima.
The shock wave emanating from the bomb sucked Yamaguchi from the ground, tossed him in the air and threw him away like paper into a potato patch near the impact zone. Yamaguchi was just at a distance of two miles from ground zero.
His face and forearms were the most damaged parts of his body after his ruptured eardrums. Yamaguchi was so badly injured that when he returned home, his family failed to recognize him. His mother went as far as to think that the man in front of her was actually a ghost!
But that was not the end of Yamaguchi’s troubles. On 6th August 1945, despite the severity of his wounds, Yamaguchi decided to report to work.
When he related his experiences at Hiroshima to his boss, he thought Yamaguchi has turned mad.
The second atom bomb hit Japan’s Nagasaki the very moment Tsutomu Yamaguchi was trying to explain the situation to his boss. This was the second time in three days that Yamaguchi found himself within two miles of the impact zone and miraculously surviving in the end!
It seems as if for most of the people, the war was a futile expression from the start. Yamaguchi was one of them.
He had “no feeling” about the surrender. Tsutomu Yamaguchi was “ill with fever” and he was “hardly ever drinking”. He also felt that he was “about to cross to the other side.” The radiation’s effect on Yamaguchi overshadowed his shame of surrender at the end of the War.
Although 165 people were reported to have experienced both the bombings, Yamaguchi is the sole person who is recognized as “nijyuu hibakusha”, in other words, “the twice- bombed person.” Yamaguchi passed away in 2009, at the ripe age of 93 years.
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