Character List


Miss Toshiko Sasaki A twenty-year-old personnel department clerk for the East Asia Tin Works. On August 6, 1945, she is at work. When the bomb explodes, she is buried in the debris and her leg is crushed under heavy bookcases. She survives, raises her siblings, and converts to Catholicism, becoming a nun.

Dr. Masakazu Fujii Prosperous and fifty years old, he owns a single-doctor hospital overlooking the Kyo River. After the bomb explodes, he finds himself in the river, suspended between two timbers, but with his head above water. He helps many people despite his injuries. He restores a modest medical practice and eventually accompanies Japanese survivors when they have plastic surgery in the U.S.

Mrs. Hatsuyo Nakamura A widow of a tailor, Isawa, who was killed in the war, she has had a hard life, taking in piecework to support three children. When the bomb is dropped that morning, she and her children are buried under debris in their house. She leads her children to Asano Park, where they are evacuated to the Jesuit Novitiate. In later years, she works for a chemical company that gives her financial security and sees her children marry and leave home.

Father Wilhelm Kleinsorge This German priest, a member of the Society of Jesus, is reading on the third floor of the mission house when the bomb explodes. After the explosion, he finds himself dazed and wandering in the garden, bleeding from cuts. He selflessly helps people who are injured from the bombing. He later becomes a Japanese citizen. Father Kleinsorge suffers from radiation sickness at various times all throughout the rest of his life.

Dr. Terufumi Sasaki An idealistic twenty-five-year-old member of the surgical staff at the Red Cross Hospital. He miraculously survives the bombing because he is walking down a hallway of the hospital in a relatively protected area. He is the only doctor unhurt at the hospital. Tirelessly, he treats people after the bombing. He later marries, raises a family, and continues his medical practice, becoming a wealthy man.

The Reverend Kiyoshi Tanimoto Educated at Emory College in Atlanta, Georgia, this Methodist minister has adopted American ways and speaks English fluently. When the bomb detonates, he is in Koi, away from the center of the city. He survives the bombing by jumping between two large rocks. After finding out that his family is safe, he goes to Asano Park and aids people who are suffering. Eventually he raises money to help the Japanese hibakusha ("explosion affected persons").

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