Then a bright cloud appeared overhead, and a voice from the cloud proclaimed, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye Him."
Not many Japanese writers are willing to address the bomb directly. David's right - the bomb is a 20th century archetype. It has become a powerfully emotional image in the collective unconscious that, for the Japanese, is excessive to linguistic representation.
Ango Sakaguchi on the Tokyo air raids:
(more people died in repeated firebomb attacks in Tokyo than in the one bomb in Hiroshima.)
I truly detest the sight of blood. When I saw a traffic accident occur right before my eyes I immediately turned the other way and fled. But I loved the fantastic destruction that took place in Tokyo. Though I shuddered in fear as the bombs and incendiaries rained down, terrified and panic stricken as the destruction raged, at the same time I felt as though I had never loved or felt such longing for humanity as I did during the firebombing.
I held my ground there in Tokyo, refusing the kindness of a number of people who not only warned me to evacuate, but even tried to offer me places to stay in the countryside. I intended to make my final stand at the burned out air raid shelter of my friend Oi Hirosuke, but after we were separated when he was evacuated to Kyushu and I had lost my best friend in all of Tokyo, all I could do was try to conceal the sound of my breathing in that air raid shelter as I conjured up images of the Americans about to invade at any moment amid the heavy artillery shells exploding all around me. At the time I was calmly resigned to whatever fate awaited me. I thought that I might die, but I believed much more strongly that I would live. Yet to say that I had some kind of vision of how I would manage to come out of the ruins alive would be wrong. There were no thoughts in my mind beyond merely surviving. A miraculous return to life in a world so new and fresh it lay beyond all conception. That was the curious feeling I had; that my entire life would begin anew.
It was for that reason alone that I lived with my cowardly fear as the bombs fell all around me for two hours on the night of April 4, 1945. As tracers lit up the night sky overhead to the brightness of noon, my brother, who had just come to Tokyo, asked me from the air raid shelter if the light was coming from the incendiary bombs. I was so scared that it was all I could do just to tell him that the light was coming from the falling tracers.