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Friday, June 8, 2012

GSDF school finds rare A-bomb-scorched clothes

Kyodo

A piece of clothing with diamond-shaped holes burned through it by radiation from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima has turned up at the Ground Self-Defense Force's Medical School in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo.

News photo
Scorched: A piece of clothing with holes burned through it by the Hiroshima atomic bombing is seen at the Ground Self-Defense Force's Medical School in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, in May. KYODO

The item was apparently taken to Tokyo by a research team sent by the Imperial Japanese Army to Hiroshima two days after the Aug. 6, 1945, bombing, according to school officials.

Noting that very few pieces of clothing clearly showing the extent of damage from the radiation remain in existence, officials at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum described the item as "precious material that clearly conveys the severity of the bomb's heat rays."

According to the medical school, the piece measures about 18 by 15 cm.

Because they were black, the diamond-shaped patches absorbed heat, and were burned out of the white cotton fabric.

The clothing's owner is unknown, but a note written in ink on an official army document says the person did not suffer radiation burns because they were wearing white underwear at the time of the bombing.

The damaged clothing was discovered among materials related to reports by the Imperial army's research team when the school's medical archives division relocated in March 2010.

The item was in a poor state and the Defense Ministry only completed its restoration this spring, according to school officials.



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