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Photos: Japanese pensioner who survived the Nagasaki bomb shows remains of his body 70 years later

Constant pain: Sumitery Taniguchi's wife still rubs moisturiser into his scars every morning to relieve the irritation, while his three rotten ribs press on his lungs





The frail 86-year-old body of Sumitery Taniguchi is a web of scars, that have criss-crossed his skin for 70 years.
The elderly man was one of the many tens of thousands of victims of the atomic blast that destroyed the Japanese port city of Nagasaki, on August 9 1945.
He is still unable to fully straighten his left arm, while his wife rubs moisturising cream onto his scars every morning to reduce the irritation.
Three of his ribs half rotted away following the attack and still press against his lungs, leaving unnatural dents and swellings in his scrawny chest.



Web of scars: He was just 16 when the five-tonne plutonium bomb, known as the 'Fat Man', detonated 500m above the thriving Japanese port city
Web of scars: He was just 16 when the five-tonne plutonium bomb, known as the 'Fat Man', detonated 500m above the thriving Japanese port city
Survivor: Mr Taniguchi, 86, was one of the many tens of thousands of victims killed or severely injured by the atomic blast over Nagasaki, on August 9 1945
Survivor: Mr Taniguchi, 86, was one of the many tens of thousands of victims killed or severely injured by the atomic blast over Nagasaki, on August 9 1945
He has revealed his scars as part of his work with the Nagasaki survivors' group that he leads, in the struggle against nuclear proliferation.
He and his group hope that no one will ever again suffer the pain of a nuclear blast.
Mr Taniguchi was just 16 when the five-tonne plutonium bomb, known as the ‘Fat Man’, exploded 500 metres above his home city of Nagasaki, on the western side on the Japanese island of Kyushu.
The city was one of Japan’s most important ports, providing vital access to and from Shanghai.

Scarred: Mr Taniguchi has revealed what remains of his horrific injuries as part of his work with the Nagasaki survivors' group that he leads, in the struggle against nuclear proliferation

Scarred: Mr Taniguchi has revealed what remains of his horrific injuries as part of his work with the Nagasaki survivors' group that he leads, in the struggle against nuclear proliferation
Devastated: Mr Taniguchi's back was torn apart in the blast, which threw him from his bicycle as he worked as a letter carrier. He was just over a mile from the epicentre of the bomb
Devastated: Mr Taniguchi's back was torn apart in the blast, which threw him from his bicycle as he worked as a letter carrier. He was just over a mile from the epicentre of the bomb
It was two minutes past noon when the bomb detonated, the second such atomic blast unleashed on Japan in just three days.
Just 72 hours earlier, the first nuclear weapon ever used for warfare fell on Hiroshima. The two attacks killed up to 226,000 people between them.
On the job as a letter carrier at the time, the powerful blast threw the teenage Mr Taniguchi from his bicycle.
He was just over a mile from the epicentre of the blast that killed more than 70,000 people.
Dazed in the wake of the blast, he wandered aimlessly for three days, completely unaware of the severity of his injuries.
He could feel something like a ragged cloth hanging from his back, shoulder and arm, which he later realised was his own skin.

August 1945: US drops atomic bombs on Japan forcing surrender
Permanent: The 86-year-old is still unable to straighten his arm, which grew  in the 21 months that he lay unable to move while his wounds healed, and blocked the joint
Permanent: The 86-year-old is still unable to straighten his arm, which grew  in the 21 months that he lay unable to move while his wounds healed, and blocked the joint
Catastrophe: The blast over the vital Japanese port city of Nagasaki killed at least 70,000 people, and wounded many thousands more
Catastrophe: The blast over the vital Japanese port city of Nagasaki killed at least 70,000 people, and wounded many thousands more
On the brink: In the months following his recovery, Mr Taniguchi lay drifting in and out of consciousness. He could hear the nurses passing each other in the hallway, asking each other if the boy in the bed was still breathing
On the brink: In the months following his recovery, Mr Taniguchi lay drifting in and out of consciousness. He could hear the nurses passing each other in the hallway, asking each other if the boy in the bed was still breathing
After being rescued, he spent the next 21 months lying on his stomach, receiving treatment for his burned back, decomposing flesh and exposed bones.
Drifting in and out of consciousness, he could hear nurses walking in the hallway outside his room, asking one another if the boy inside was still breathing.
He lay immobile for so long that his teenage arm bones grew and blocked the joint, disabling his arm for the rest of his life.
In a final insult, more than three million leaflets were dropped over the country by American aeroplanes in the hours following the second attack.
Struggle: Mr Taniguchi and his group are determined that no one will again suffer the pain of an atomic blastThe mushroom cloud over Nagasaki in the wake of the blast

Struggle: Mr Taniguchi (left) and his group are determined that no one will again suffer the pain of an atomic blast, while (right) the mushroom cloud over Nagasaki in the wake of the blast
Onslaught: The other Japanese city of Hiroshima had been struck by a similar, but more devastating, blast just three days before
Onslaught: The other Japanese city of Hiroshima had been struck by a similar, but more devastating, blast just three days before
Final insult: Just hours after the brutal attack, American aeroplanes dropped leaflets over the country, warning that unless Japan ended the war, atomic weapons would be used 'again and again'
Final insult: Just hours after the brutal attack, American aeroplanes dropped leaflets over the country, warning that unless Japan ended the war, atomic weapons would be used 'again and again'
The leaflets warned the Japanese people that more atomic weapons would be used ‘again and again’ to destroy the country, unless they ended the war.
Six days later, Japan surrendered.
‘I want this to be the end,’ said Mr Taniguchi, weak-voiced and struggling for breath, as he slipped his shirt back over his scars. 

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Photos: Japanese pensioner who survived the Nagasaki bomb shows remains of his body 70 years later Reviewed by jisieike samuel on August 08, 2015 Rating: 5

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