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On August 6, 1945, Yoshito Matsushige of the daily Chugoku Shimbun newspaper, survived the deadly atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. For decades, his five pictures of the bomb’s aftermath were the only known photos documenting that day.

Matsushige developed the five photos by washing his film in a river and hanging it to dry on a charred tree. He only had the courage to take seven pictures, out of 24 possible exposures, in the 10 hours he spent wandering the devastated city.

Twenty years after the bombing, Matsushige had no regrets about not having taken more photos. “I feel I did all I could do. I could not endure taking any more pictures that day. It was too heartbreaking,” he told Greg Mitchell of Editor & Publisher. 

Read Matsushige’s chilling, first-hand account of the event here.