The Day the Sun Fell

Written by Bun Hashizume
Review by Susie Pruett

On August 6, 1945, fourteen-year-old Bun Hashizume started her day in Hiroshima under a serene, blue sky. She walked along the road on her way to the Saving Bureau, where she worked under the student mobilization scheme and arrived at 8:00. She had begun her morning tasks when she saw a tremendous flash of light. The atomic bomb had fallen. It was 8:15. Her building was less than one mile from the hypocenter of the blast.

With blood streaming from a head wound, Bun joined other survivors to escape the burning building. Sparks and ash rained down on Bun and a friend as they sheltered by a bush and covered with a sheet to protect them from the falling cinders. With the aid of her friend, Bun slowly made her way across the burned-out city back to her home, passing charred, barely alive bodies, total skeletons, and badly burned corpses that were indistinguishable as male or female, old or young.

Bun describes her memories of that awful day and relates the story of each of her family members with compassion and sympathy. Throughout her life she suffered many physical ailments that could only be attributed to the radiation. She wrote poetry and in her later years was persuaded by her family to put her memories of the bomb in a memoir. At age 60 she began traveling the world as an anti-nuclear advocate. Bun is one of the few survivors, or “hibakusha” as they are called, still alive today. This book is written with heartfelt anguish, yet hope for the future.