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On Aug. 7, 1945, 50-year-old governor Genshin Takano sat down to write a letter to a superior. Takano was lucky to be alive, and the weight now on his shoulders was immense. On the morning of the previous day, an American B-29 plane dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Takano’s city: Hiroshima.
The bombardier had aimed well. Little Boy, the 9,000-pound uranium bomb released from the plane’s belly, detonated 1,200 feet above the Shima Hospital just south of the Aioi Bridge—the very center of the city.