Pika. It means glitter or flash in Japanese. It’s what survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima remember from exactly 75 years ago. The flash that popped in a blue cloudless morning sky. Followed immediately by a brilliant blue-white light that was far stronger and erased all shadows.
Survivors say they heard no sound.
Then the city of Hiroshima — homes, barracks, hospitals, factories, government offices, rice paddies, schools, street cars — simply vanished, along with Japanese soldiers, American prisoners of war, farmers, grandparents, schoolchildren.
An estimated 140,000 died. The shockwave leveled a two-mile radius and threw people into the air, bodies raining down in trees and bamboo thickets. Survivors in the rubble found themselves naked, their clothes blown away