I am currently reading “Burnt Shadows” by Kamila Shamsie. A riveting book I must say. The novel centers on Hiroko Tanaka, a Japanese woman that, in the first section of the book, survives the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. A German lover sadly does not, and is believed to have been completely eradicated and only his body fat staining stone like a shadow might.
Those nearest to the epicenter of the blast were eradicated completely, only the fat from their bodies sticking to the walls and rocks around them like shadows. I dreamt one night, soon after the blast, that I was with a parade of mourners walking through Urakami Valley, each of us trying to identify the shadows of our loved ones. The next morning, I went to the Valley; …. and I looked for Konrad’s shadows. I found it. Or I found something that I believed was it. On a rock. Such a lanky shadow.
– p. 76
I googled the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and found out that those said shadows were true.
The left photograph shows the stone steps of the main entrance of Sumitomo Bank which is only 250 meters from the hypocenter. It is believed that a person sat down on the steps facing the direction of the hypocenter, possibly waiting for the bank to open. By a flash of the heat rays with temperatures well over a 1,000 degrees or possibly 2,000 degrees centigrade, that person was incinerated on the stone steps
The summary attached to the below youtube video states,
An excerpt from Janice Mirikitani’s poem, a reflection she had when viewing ground zero of the Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The Shadow in Stone was all that was left of one of the victims after being completely vaporized by the blast, the poem is from their perspective.
Something’s I wish I never knew.