The ‘Lucky’ Japanese Man Who Survived Two Atomic Bombs

InterestingShitPublished: June 28, 201740 plays$0.09 earned
Published: June 28, 2017

This is the story of 'Lucky' Yamaguchi who survived both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombs in 1945.

Tsutomu Yamaguchi was a 29 year year-old naval engineer in the employ of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, where he designed oil tankers. After a three month stint in Hiroshima, he was preparing to return to his hometown to his wife, Hisako and young boy, Katsutoshi on August 6th, 1945.

When he arrived at the railway station, he realized he had left his travel papers behind at the shipyard and returned to collect them. That is when he heard the drone of a large aircraft overhead - the American B-29 bomber Enola Gay.

Yamaguchi saw the bomb Little Boy drop, connected to a small parachute, less than two miles away from where he was standing. He dived into a ditch before the boom split his eardrums, and the shock wave lifted him like a rag doll and threw him further away. “Lucky” was badly burned across the face and arms, and feared blindness, but this was the blotting out of the sun by the debris.

After sleeping the night with two other surviving co-worker, Yamaguchi set on foot to reach the train station, where the train was miraculously waiting to take him home, to Nagasaki.

Three days later, despite the doctor's orders to stay put and rest, Yamaguchi's work ethic was still robust enough for him to go back to work, when the second bomb hit. He thought the mushroom cloud was following him, but the blast spared his family.

Tsutomu 'Lucky ' Yamaguchi was the only person officially recognized by the Japanese government as a “nijyuu hibakusha,” or “twice-bombed person.” He was given the the distinction in 2009, only a year before he died at the age of 93.

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