TinEye Alert You can find this photo on TinEye.com, but the quiz will be a lot more fun if you solve the puzzle on your own.
1. Dropping the bomb on Hiroshima
2. Akito Kawagoe
3. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
How Carol Gene Solved the Puzzle
It was the writing on the card that was the clue. My thought was that something really bad happened in an Asian country. With my limited knowledge of Asian history, only two things came to mind, the bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. This watch belonged to Akita Kawagoe and it is on exhibit at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The time shown on the watch is when the Enola Gay dropped the bomb, Little Boy, on Hiroshima. Mr.Kawagoe was a soldier. He was about 1.1 miles away from the blast and he survived it.
Carol Gene Farrant
Comments from Our Readers
I do not have any independent knowledge on the timing of the drop, but the collection of available evidence seems to lean heavily toward the 8:10 - 8:20 time frame. I would tend to think the 9:15 time is in error. If the flight records of the Enola Gay are extant, they would very likely help greatly in pinning down the time the bomb was released.
An interesting puzzle.........
Interesting [about the time discrepancy]. I don't think the time is really too important. I thought it was the trick part of your question. He didn't have his watch synced with the atomic time clock or a GPS system that is for sure.
Here is a link that identifies the watch's owner as Sadako Sasaki... It appears to be the owner/admin of a photo facebook page called "Photos with Horrifying Backstories". I should have checked for a second source. - Steve Hall www.facebook.com/318515618312882/photos/a...
Stephen P. Hall
A grim subject but one we should not be allowed to forget. Actually this is not the only stopped watch that is/has been displayed at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. So that was a potential trap for the unwary. I'll put the detail in a further email.
About Mr. Kawagoe - I heard that still the next morning he took the train to work so he wouldn't be late. He worked in Nagasacki....- Q. Gen.
Yes, I saw that when I was researching “the watch”.
Isn’t it amazing how times have changed. Today and electrical storm will keep people from going to work. Then, the atomic bomb didn’t deter him. Of course, he probably would not have known what had hit. It is surprising that the trains were running!
Cheers for now,
Thank you for that Colleen but I thought Akito Kawagoe was a soldier billeted 1.1 miles away but there was a mention of a Tsutomu Yamaguchi with a similar story. Whatever the details it was the most horrific thing that happened...
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Mr. Kawagoe was a soldier billeted in the Futaba-No-Sato army barracks, 1.1 miles (1.8 Km) from the Hiroshima blast's hypocenter. His watch broke when debris fell on him.
"Was the Atomic Bomb Really Dropped at 8:15?" by Kazuo Chujo
Report concerning the bombing of Hiroshima by Kure Naval Base
approximately 8:10 (revised to 8:16 )
Material concerning the bombing of Hiroshima by the Military Training Division
Exhibit in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
"Ruin from the Air" by Gordon Thomas
"The Making of the Atomic Bomb" by Richard Rhodes
43 seconds before the explosion
The former Hiroshima Meteorological Observatory (record of atmospheric pressure)
8:18:06 (the blast)
"Now It Can Be Told: The Story of the Manhattan Project" by Leslie R. Groves and Richard H. Groves
9:15:30 (1 hour time difference)
50 seconds after the drop
The former Hiroshima Meteorological Observatory (daily log)
approximately 8:30 irevised to 8:15
Radio broadcast on August 6th ("30 Years after the Atomic Bomb: the Post-War History of Hiroshima")
Opinion paper regarding the new type of bomb by the Commander of the Experimental Weapons Department, Kure Arsenal
At the Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima, "8:15am" is stated for both the time the bomb was dropped above the city of Hiroshima and the time the bomb exploded.
The museum's famous pocket watch stopped at 8:15 and 40 seconds. The man who owned the watch was about 1.6 kilometers from the hypocenter. However, a total of 83 watches have been donated to the museum and they display differing times.
Of course, it's hard to trust the accuracy of watches in those days. And we can't really know whether or not the watches stopped immediately after the bomb exploded. We need some type of more dependable evidence. Perhaps the meteorological records of that time will be helpful?
The local meteorological observatory in Hiroshima has a record of the change in air pressure noted at that time. This observation was made at the observatory's former site, about 3.7 kilometers from the hypocenter. The handwriting on the graph indicates "blast 8h 18m 6"-apparently, 8:18 and 6 seconds.
This impressive photo series shows the everlasting shadows of Hiroshima which were caused by the nuclear bomb. The shadows are caused by the atomic blast. When the heat of the bomb hit a person that was standing close to a wall, the person's body 'protected' the wall. So what you see in the series is an opposite of a burned in image. The enormous heat of the bomb made it to the wall, the curb, building etc. and changed the color of it. The body stopped some of the heat and it created what appears to be a shadow. The person died, horribly of course, but his or her image was left behind to remind us of how terrible the explosion was.
In the daily log of the former Hiroshima Meteorological Observatory, the time of 8:30 was changed to 8:15.
There is also a daily log with the note "B29 attacked Hiroshima around 8:15," but it looks like this note was revised and that, originally, a time of "8:30" was recorded. This makes the mystery even more difficult to resolve.
Next I looked into references made in Japan right after the atomic bomb was dropped. At 6:00pm on August 6th, the main radio station in Osaka stated that the bomb was dropped at 8:20. The next day, on August 7th, the Kure Arsenal also reported a time of 8:20. However, the Kure Naval Base first announced a time of 8:10, then later revised this time to 8:16.
How about in the United States? According to a book written by the director of the Manhattan Project, Leslie R. Groves, the atomic bomb was dropped at 8:15 and 30 seconds; 50 seconds later, it exploded. A book by an American journalist who interviewed the crew of the Enola Gay indicates a drop-time of 8:15 and 17 seconds, with the bomb exploding exactly at 8:16. Compared to the original flight plan made on the island of Tinian, the difference is less than one minute from this recorded time.
But a former journalist, Kazuo Chujo, 80, doubts that the plane was able to arrive at its destination at the scheduled time. Even today, airplanes have difficulty arriving at their destinations on time. Mr. Chujo grew up in Hiroshima and experienced the atomic bomb when he was 19 years old. He wrote a book in 2001 entitled "Was the Atomic Bomb Really Dropped at 8:15?"
So my research reveals that there are differences in regard to the time the atomic bomb was dropped. Still, it's true that the time of "8:15" has become an accepted fact for the people of Hiroshima. The director of the International Peace Promotion Department at Hiroshima City Hall remarked, "Unless we uncover new evidence, we would never change the time of the silent prayer at the Peace Memorial Ceremony."
- Kyoko Morioka
Stopped Watches by Megan Neilsen
As I noted previously, the stopped watch depicted in the puzzle is not the only one that was donated to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
The one that gets most exposure on the web is a the silver pocket watch of Kengo Nikawa
His story is at tiny.cc/zla8zx where we are told: Kengo Nikawa, 59, was on a bridge 1,640 meters from the hypocenter. The blast blew him into the water. He was badly burned on his shoulder, back and head. Nevertheless, he managed to flee to a relative's house in the suburbs. His family gave him the best care they could, but he died on August 22. This pocket watch was a gift from his eldest son Kazuo, and Kengo kept it with him at all times. The
glass cover is missing. It was probably broken by the blast as he was blown into the river.
Similar information is given in several other places; e.g., tiny.cc/kd47zx. But I also found reference to this same watch as having belonged to Kengo Futagawa, e.g., tiny.cc/gna8zx. Since the museum's own version is presumably the correct one, I've decided that the latter is incorrect and possibly began at a site that is now only found on the Wayback Machine: web.archive.org/web/20110823093224/ and tiny.cc/zna8zx
Another stopped pocket watch was given to the museum but is there no longer.
This burned watch belonged to Fukuichi Mikamo and its story is beautifully told at tiny.cc/yra8zx There we learn of Fukuichi's son Shinji and his granddaughter Akiko. Shinji and his father were both in the blast. Shinji survived but his father didn't. Shinji returned to the site that was once their home and there he found the watch. We are told:
"The watch remained Shinji's only family heirloom. He felt it contained a part of his father's soul. And yet, in 1949, when Hiroshima was officially designated an International Peace Memorial City, he decided to donate it to the Peace Memorial Museum.
I wanted the watch and my father's name to be widely seen and known as a reminder of both the destruction and the heroism that were displayed that fateful August day" He felt Fukuichi would have approved.
Akiko saw the pocket watch only once, on a school trip to the museum at the age of seven - she remembers feeling much closer then to the grandfather she had heard about in her father's tales. Then, in 1985, the watch was sent to New York to be part of a permanent commemorative exhibit in the United Nations headquarters.
For years, it gave Shinji great pleasure and pride to think of the watch telling its story about Hiroshima to museum visitors in New York.
In 1989, when Akiko travelled to the US to study psychology, the first thing she wanted to do was to see her grandfather's watch. A tour guide took her to the case containing the precious pocket watch – and it turned out to be empty. There was nothing there but the label. Confused, the guide went to find out what had happened, only to come back with the terrible news that it was missing - presumed stolen. Nobody had informed the museum in Hiroshima, or her father."
At tiny.cc/xta8zx there is a picture of another scorched watch, but no account of who owned it. And at tiny.cc/p3a8zx there's a picture of another stopped wrist watch, again no story. There must have been many more ...
So, what about Akiko Kawagoe who owned the watch in the puzzle? I found his name on the image at tiny.cc/d9a8zx which gives an account of a visit to the Peace Museum. As for who he was, googling <akiko kawagoe watch> gets me to tiny.cc/nab8zx where it says "Mr. Kawagoe was a soldier billeted in the Futaba-No-Sato army barracks, 1.1 miles (1.8 Km) from the Hiroshima blast's hypocenter. His watch broke when debris fell on him. Akito Kawagoe survived." Google gives lots of other sites but, as far as I looked, I didn't find further information about him. Maybe you have?
So I've ended up with more info about who wasn't the owner of the puzzle watch, than who was. So it goes. Anyway, this stopping of time has served as a nice counterpoint to the earlier puzzle of the constant flowing of time, don't you think?