On the morning of Monday August 6, 1945, there wasn't a cloud in the sky over Hiroshima.
An air-raid warning had sounded a little after midnight, but nothing happened, and the all-clear was given at 2:10 a.m. Again at 7:09 in the morning, a yellow alert was issued, but the all-clear came at 7:31. People were relieved and, after a simple wartime breakfast, were beginning their day's work. Then, at 8:15 a.m., there was a flash of light in the sky.When the yellow alert was issued a little past seven o'clock, a B-29 had in fact appeared over Hiroshima to conduct a weather survey for dropping an atomic bomb. Nobody imagined such a thing was happening. It was a midsummer day and people in the city were starting to move about.
Approximately 8,400 mainly first and second year middle-school students (mostly twelve to fourteen-year old boys and girls) were about to help dismantle buildings to make firebreaks as protection from air raids. About 10,000 volunteer guards were coming from neighboring towns and villages into Hiroshima City to join them, and they were also arriving at their work sites. There were students who had been mobilized to work at military factories, and others who were ready for a day at school.
Akira Ishida, who would later work to promote peace education as a teacher and as a hibakusha (A-bomb survivor), was on a streetcar in the center of the city. Fumio Shigeto, who from this day on would work for the rescue activities of survivors and give them medical treatment at the Red Cross Hospital, had just arrived at Hiroshima Station. Ichiro Moritaki, who would dedicate the rest of his life to hibakusha relief movements, was at the Hiroshima Shipyard of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, in the south of the city where, together with his students at Hiroshima Higher School of Education, he had been mobilized as part of the labor force. The experience of the three, of whom only Ishida is still alive today, was in many ways typical of a large number of other hibakusha.
Although it was still wartime, another day had just started for people in Hiroshima. At 8:15 a.m., people were going to work, doing housework, going to receive rations, seeing the doctor, visiting sick friends or relatives, going to the bank to draw money out, or busy with other things.