Voices of War brings together first-hand accounts from different perspectives on the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945,  drawing on IWM’s extensive sound archive.

The voices belong to those who were there, including a Japanese school mistress who was living and working in Hiroshima, a Japanese Methodist minister and a German churchman.

‘I went up to the hillside and took a panorama view of the city and found the whole city on fire.’ Kiyoshi Tanimoto, Japanese Methodist minister.

Click on the audio player below to listen to our three minute soundscape.

Take a moment to reflect on what happened in Hiroshima

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Who am I listening to?

Discover more about the voices in the soundscape by exploring their profiles. 

  • Hugo Lassalle

    A German Jesuit priest who was one of the foremost teachers to embrace both Roman Catholicism and Zen Buddhism. 

    He went on to be involved in the construction of a cathedral in Hiroshima, which is now described as “a memorial to the victims of the atomic bomb and war and a Christian church built with a wish for world peace.”

  • Taza Shibama

    A Japanese school mistress, living and working in Hiroshima. After the bomb, she escaped from the ruin of her family home with the help of a neighbour, She walked to her father's home in the country, having to cross a burning bridge on her journey. 

  • Kiyoshi Tanimoto

    A Japanese methodist minister when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. He studied at the Candler School of Theology in the United States and was ordained in 1940. He served in churches in California, Okinawa and then Hiroshima. After the war, he went on extensive speaking tours of the US, raising funds for his project of a Hiroshima peace centre, and for the ‘Hiroshima Maidens’, Japanese school girls scarred by the explosion. He appeared on the popular television program This Is Your Life, where he and his family were placed in the uncomfortable position of meeting with Captain Robert A. Lewis, co-pilot of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima.


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