Part 1 World War II

Section 2 Nagasaki in World War II

Chapter 2:Air Defense Measures

1.The Establishment of the Nagasaki City Defense Department and Plans for Air Defense Nagasaki Defenses
2. Air Defense Installations and Countermeasures
3. Air-raid Shelters
4. Evacuations and the Dispersion of Facilities and Supplies

On April 1, 1942, some four months after the outbreak of war, Nagasaki City established two new administrative sections: the Defense Department and the previously mentioned Commodity Department. As its name indicates, the Defense Department was concerned with improving and strengthening air defense measures and fire protection facilities in the city, and it played a central role in the development of a number of air-raid defense plans and measures.
          The Air Defense Act, promulgated in April 1937, provided the legal basis for public air defense measures. In 1941 and 1943 it was amended and broadened to enhance its effectiveness. A major feature of this legislation was that it placed responsibility for the formulation of air-defense measures in the hands of community associations, prefectural governments as well as specially designated municipalities, towns and villages. In Nagasaki, air-defense plans for both the long term and present year were drawn up and hastily effectuated. These plans addressed various urgent issues such as surveillance, communications, warning alarms, blackouts, mandatory relocation of citizens, firefighting, fire prevention, bullet and bomb proofing, poison gas defense, evacuations, relief activities, distribution of emergency provisions and emergency restoration work.
          On April 18, 1942, 16 B-25 bombers flew from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet in the northern Pacific and conducted the first air raids of the war, in broad daylight, on the Japanese home islands (Tokyo, Nagoya and Kobe). As a result, the government hurried ever more frantically to improve air defense facilities and equipment. Nagasaki experienced its first air-raid alert the same day, but this was lifted without incident a few hours later.

Fire Prevention Works
One element of air defense policy under the Air Defense Plan was the implementation of measures to control and prevent the spread of fire in the city core where the predominantly wooden buildings were vulnerable to incendiary bombs. On October 2, 1941, Nagasaki City enacted a municipal ordinance approving subsidies for fire-prevention renovations to wooden buildings. The ordinance aimed to enhance fire prevention in areas designated by the mayor’s office by providing subsidies to citizens making appropriate modifications to wooden buildings. The city started by designating Nishihama-machi, Higashihama-machi and part of Kajiya-machi as a fire-protection zone, and by 1944 renovations had been carried out across a swath of some 86,000 m2 in central Nagasaki. Among the buildings modified were cinemas, theaters, department stores, hospitals, Japanese-style inns, furniture stores and the Women’s Commercial School.
Designation of Evacuation Sites
A two-tiered approach to the designation of evacuation sites was adopted on the basis of two possible emergency situations during air raids, and information pertaining to evacuation was passed on to the general public through neighborhood associations and defense units. The first designated 38 evacuation sites in school buildings and other reinforced-concrete structures in the inner city, while the second designated 18 sites on the outskirts of the city in locations such as the foot of mountains, open fields and the grounds of Shinto shrines.
Installation of Water Tanks for Fire Prevention
Starting in 1938, large water tanks were installed in various locations such as schoolyards, temple precincts, public spaces and major buildings to prepare for firefighting efforts. By the end of March 1944, approximately 70 of these tanks (ranging in size from 40 to 260 tons) had been installed. In addition to these government-installed tanks, many individuals and private organizations built tanks around the city.
Establishment of the Nagasaki Fire Department
In January 1943, the three fire stations in Nagasaki (downtown, Umegasaki and Inasa) were abolished and replaced with a new Nagasaki Fire Department in Kozen-machi under the jurisdiction of the Nagasaki Prefectural Police Department. Branch stations were also established in Matsugae-machi and Inasa-machi. Although the branches at Ohashi-machi and Maruo-machi, as well as the firefighting detachment at Nagasaki Medical College, were yet to be established, these initial steps clearly strengthened Nagasaki’s fire prevention system. From this time on, the fire department worked in unison with civilian defense units to pursue fire-fighting duties.
The Japanese forces had shifted to the defensive by this stage of World War II, and now, on the domestic front, efforts began to focus on the protection of cities and industries.

        In 1944, with American air raids on the Japanese home islands growing more frequent, the need to strengthen air-defense measures became a matter of serious concern to people living in cities. The Ministry of Home Affairs issued orders for the construction of various types of air-raid shelter, including covered trenches and cliff-side tunnels, which would serve as “appropriate and effective facilities to protect the public from air raids and firebomb attacks.” Nagasaki Prefecture formulated general guidelines concerning the construction of public air-raid shelters and sent orders for their implementation to cities, towns and villages.
In accordance with these guidelines, public air-raid shelters appeared in every corner of Nagasaki City, with ordinary citizens handling digging chores at neighborhood centers, schools, workplaces and other sites. The municipal government actively provided assistance in these efforts.
Nagasaki was fortunate enough to have a hilly terrain surrounded by mountains. The laborers from neighborhood associations were able to dig tunnel-type shelters in nearby cliffs and hillsides. Companies meanwhile built air-raid shelters underground. There were shelters of various size, everything from large units to be used collectively by neighborhoods to medium-sized or smaller ones built in the yards of private homes.
Earlier, ordinary citizens had dug vertical shafts under their homes and in their yards for use as a temporary refuge in times of emergency. After hearing accounts of actual air raids in other regions, however, people realized the urgency of efforts to build tunnel-type shelters.
Citizens also dug tunnel-type and trench-type shelters at public offices, companies and schools. Nagasaki Prefecture employees dug a tunnel into the cliff at Butokuden, Suwa Park, and lined it with concrete. After reaching completion in late March 1945, this cave-like shelter served as the Nagasaki Prefecture Air Defense Headquarters. Moreover, from the middle of 1945, Nagasaki City employees began digging into the cliff at Ogawa-machi, north of city hall, to create a tunnel to the south gate of the building (this was still incomplete at the time of the atomic bombing). Also of note is the large-scale tunnel built at the Mitsubishi Nagasaki Arms Factory, extending all the way from Akasako to Sumiyoshi.
To provide an evacuation route from the city center, the authorities also started construction of a tunnel under the rise of land at Yorozuya-machi (from Kabashima-machi to Imashita-machi). By the time of the atomic bombing, the work had proceeded to the point that passage was possible.
In January 1944, the population of Nagasaki City had reached 286,230.

  (1) Removal of Buildings and Evacuation of Residents
The evacuation of residents and relocating of industries outside cities, one of the most drastic wartime policies carried out under the Air Defense Act, were initiated in the major cities of Tokyo-Yokohama, Osaka-Kobe, Nagoya and Kitakyushu in January of 1944.
Authorities in Nagasaki, assuming that this city would also be designated for the implementation of evacuation procedures, adopted preliminary measures to restrict residents of other cities from moving into Nagasaki and to encourage voluntary evacuation of infants, elderly people, the ill and others to the countryside. Injunctions to adhere to this policy were included in a notice issued by the mayor of Nagasaki on May 5, 1944, which was sent to neighborhood association leaders and then communicated to the general public. It is likely that voluntary evacuations to the countryside began around this time. Aside from individuals commencing employment and cases deemed absolutely unavoidable, people from other cities were prohibited to move into Nagasaki, even when invited by friends or relatives. In this respect the policy was enforced with a firm hand.
a) Removal of Buildings
On November 27, 1944, the governor of Nagasaki Prefecture issued an order for the removal of buildings in the city of Nagasaki to prevent the spread of fire in the event of air raids. The compulsory demolition of buildings that took place at this time is referred to as the “first stage of building removal.”
During this first stage, buildings located in the vicinity of munitions factories such as the Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard and Mitsubishi Nagasaki Electric Works, in congested neighborhoods along Nakashima River and in areas lining evacuation routes to community air-raid shelters were designated for removal. Houses were demolished in a total of 41 neighborhoods, including Akunoura, Mizunoura and Senowaki.
Nagasaki Prefecture established the Urban Building Removal Headquarters and the Nagasaki Building Removal Construction Office and also implemented a series of measures to facilitate the evacuation process, including guidelines for the accommodation of people displaced as a result of building removal. Nagasaki City also established its own consultation center.
On April 7, 1945, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued a notice ordering the second stage of building removals. This round of demolitions greatly exceeded the scope of the first stage. To provide support to displaced families, the municipal government established an evacuation consultation office in the auditorium at Shinkozen Elementary School, where employees of both the municipal and prefectural governments were available for consultation. Crowds of people seeking advice filed in day after day, creating constant congestion in the office.
Almost all wooden buildings in the vicinity of the Prefectural Office, Courthouse, City Hall, post offices, military headquarters, schools, railroad stations and other important facilities were demolished, leaving only a few whitewashed storehouses standing in the sprawling patches of vacant land.
The time allowed for evacuation was so short that the recipients of evacuation orders had little choice but to engage in a frantic search for alternative accommodations. Most could do nothing more than gather up their daily essentials and move in with relatives or acquaintances willing to take them in.
Moving large pieces of luggage over great distances was impossible at this time, due to inadequate transportation facilities and to the frequent air-raid alerts disrupting daily life. This made the districts in the northern part of the city, such as Urakami and Shiroyama, attractive sites for relocation. In fact, as many as 70% of evacuees moved to these neighborhoods, never knowing that they were destined to suffer the brunt of atomic bomb damage.
In this way, the building removal measures greatly altered the cityscape of Nagasaki. Half of the buildings in Tsuki-machi and Edo-machi, for example, were lost, and the neighborhoods of Uchinaka-machi and Yachiyo-machi all but vanished. The list of neighborhoods where more than 3,000 tsubo (approximately 100 hectares) of land underwent the removal of buildings was headed by Inasa-machi 3-chome at 7,544 tsubo and followed by (in descending order) Takenokubo-machi, Kouya-machi, Iwakawa-machi, Edo-machi, Tsuki-machi, Shimonishiyama-machi, Inasa-machi 2-chome, Oura-machi, Ebisu-machi and Mezame-machi.
The impact of this upheaval was still reverberating in Nagasaki when the city experienced its second air raid on April 26, causing further fear and tension among citizens.
The transformation of the city continued. Following the third stage of building removal, which took place from June to July, empty plots of land intended as firebreaks appeared across the city. The materials from the demolished houses however were piled up on the land and would remain there until the atomic bombing. Approximately 60% of the demolitions scheduled for July 1945 had been completed by the time of the atomic bomb attack. Furthermore, plans for a fourth building removal targeting the central area east of Nakashima River were already being implemented. (Some documents call the June demolitions the third stage of building removal and those of July the fourth, but in general they are both considered to make up the third building removal.)

b) Evacuation of Residents

People other than those displaced as a result of building demolitions were generally urged, not forced, to leave the city as a way to avoid the risk of air raids. This had been going on since before the implementation of the building removal policy, but with the initiation of the second stage of building removal the calls for evacuation became much louder than before. Like the people who lost their homes, those who heeded the calls to move to the countryside received evacuation certificates from the mayor as well train passes and various other benefits to ease the upheaval of moving. The evacuations to the countryside conducted in April and May 1945 are referred to as the first stage, and those that occurred after June as the second stage of evacuation.
As a result of the three stages of building removals and the first and second evacuation of residents, a total of 51,761 persons from 14,468 households were relocated (see the following table). Of these, 27,005 moved to locations outside Nagasaki City while 24,756 stayed within the city limits.
Meanwhile, from July 29 to August 1, the city of Nagasaki experienced three successive air raids by American forces, which caused many casualties and wreaked massive damage in a number of areas. These attacks convinced an ever-greater number of families to leave the city voluntarily and to seek shelter with friends and relatives in the countryside. The trend continued right up to the day of the Nagasaki atomic bombing.
Table Number of People Relocated Due to Building Removal Number of People Relocated Due to Evacuations


Relocated Inside Nagasaki City

Relocated Inside Nagasaki Prefecture

Relocated Outside Nagasaki Prefecture



Relocated Outside Nagasaki Prefecture

Relocated Inside Nagasaki Prefecture


First Stage

4,190 persons

499 persons

217 persons

4,906 persons

First Stage

8,288 persons

5,910 persons

14,198 persons

Second Stage

17,316 persons

6,608 persons

2,570 persons

26,494 persons

Second Stage

1,509 persons

1,006 persons

2,515 persons

Third Stage

3,250 persons

302 persons

96 persons

3,648 persons






24,756 persons

7,409 persons

2,883 persons

35,048 persons


9,797 persons

6,916 persons

16,713 persons

Number of households





Number of households




The following chart on the monthly population of Nagasaki reveals the demographic changes that occurred in the city from January 1944 to June 1945, roughly the period during which most of the evacuations took place. Although the decreases in population do not necessarily reflect the number of evacuees, the table indicates that a substantial level of voluntary relocation did in fact take place and sheds light on an aspect of life in Nagasaki during the final stages of the war when air-raid alerts were being sounded day and night.
Monthly Population Change – From January 1944 to June 1945

Month and Year










(2) Dispersion of Important Facilities and Supplies
Along with the removal of buildings and the evacuation of residents, the authorities implemented a policy of dispersing important facilities and stockpiles of supplies to minimize losses in the event of air raids. Some of the more prominent cases are outlined below.

a) Factories
Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard
In June 1944, the construction of suicide attack boats, known as “No.4 boats” or Shinyo (“Seaquake”) was commenced and approximately 200 were completed. The shipyard was also ordered to construct 55 kōryū (“brave dragon”) five-man submarines in March 1945, but only five of these were completed before the end of the war.
This information clearly indicates the dire state of the Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard in 1945, when Nagasaki was trembling under the constant threat of air raids. The drop in production affected not only suicide attack boats or tokushū heiki [“special weapons”] but also battleships and machinery. To varying degrees, the Mitsubishi Electric Works, Mitsubishi Nagasaki Steelworks, and Mitsubishi Arms Factory were similarly affected.
With the exception of the Mitsubishi Arms Factory located in the Sumiyoshi Tunnel, the scattering of production units related to the above factories began in 1945, and operations continued at the new locations right up until the morning of the atomic bombing. In April and May 1945, various documents, parts and tools were moved from the workshops of the Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard to other areas in order to prevent air-raid damage.
The major relocations of Nagasaki Mitsubishi Shipyard facilities were as follows:

Code name (denoted by the first syllable of the new location name)



Number of machines

The “To” Factory (To-machi Tunnel)

Machinery factory



The “Ha” Factory (Hamaguchi-machi Mitsubishi Technical School for Youth)

Machinery factory



The “Mo” Factory (at Mouagakko School for the Deaf and Blind)

Machine factory



The “Na” Factory, (at Nagasaki Junior High School)

Equipment and canning factory



The “I” Factory, (at Ichiritsu Women’s High School)

Machine factory



The “Fu” Factory, (at Fuchi Elementary School)

Machinery factory



The “A” Factory (at Akunoura Elementary School)

Equipment factory



The “Ko” Factory (at Kozone-machi Warehouse)

Welding rod factory







Moreover, part of the ship design division and aircraft-related divisions were relocated to Yagami-mura and Seimei Dormitory in Shiroyama-machi. Divisions related to suicide-attack boats were relocated to Takinokannon in Koga-mura. From the latter half of 1944, the code name “National Patriotic Factory Naga 3081” was used to refer to the shipyard in order to maintain secrecy, and the various workshops were named accordingly. The facilities relocated to other areas meanwhile used the code name starting with the first syllable of the neighborhood or school in which each was housed.

Mitsubishi Nagasaki Electric Works

With regard to the Mitsubishi Electric Works, production continued at the main factory (Hiradogoya-machi), the foundry (Iwakawa-machi) and sheet-metal plant (Inasa-machi), but machinery and business operations were relocated as follows:


Factories and functions


Number of persons

Underground Factory (main factory)

Military electric machinery



Nagasaki Prefectural Women’s High School

Machine factory, General Affairs Section and Labor Section


400 (of that figure, 350 were students on labor service)

Chinzei Junior High School

Aircraft parts



Fuchi Elementary School

Wood Insulation and small electrical products


320 (of that figure, 300 were students on labor service)

Nagasaki School of Economics

Testing Section, Design Division, Accounting Section and Cost Control Section



Part of Tenryudo in Matsuyama-machi

Blueprint factory


approx. 10.

In addition to the above, the Mitsubishi Nagasaki Electric Co. also relocated some of its factories to the town of Mogi on the other side of Nagasaki Peninsula. Just before the atomic bombing, the company had announced plans to build an underground factory and electrical accessories assembly plant in Kashima, Saga Prefecture. The company also designated five emergency evacuation sites for dormitory residents (i.e. recruited laborers, mobilized students and women’s volunteer unit members), including Myogyoji Temple (Aioi-machi), Denjoji Temple (Mogi-machi, Nishisonogi-gun), and the village of Yagami-mura. These sites were expected to accommodate 1,600 persons.

Mitsubishi Nagasaki Steelworks

The relocation of the factories and business operations of Mitsubishi Nagasaki Steelworks took place in June 1945. Yasunaga Masakichi, head of the engineering department at the time, remembered the period as follows:

On June 1, I was visited by Artillery Supervisor Yorita Hoseki and Captain Takagi of the Ministry of War Munitions. I asked them about the situation regarding enemy air raids in the Tokyo-Yokohama area. They answered that production facilities were the primary target of air raids, that many factories had been reduced to ashes, and that urgent efforts were being made to relocate remaining factories. They continued that, since the Nagoya-Kobe region was subject to similar attacks, the enemy forces were probably moving southwest and would eventually begin attacks on the Chugoku and Kyushu districts. They emphasized the urgent need to relocate important machinery and to solidly reinforce defense facilities.

Yasunaga also reported that “On June 5, the company’s relocation plans will be fully implemented and defense efforts come to full fruition.”
The main facilities subject to relocation are listed below.

Site of relocation

Divisions and machines moved


Number of Persons transferred 

Chinzei Junior High School

One section of the Engineering Division, Small Machine Tool Design Section’s drawing boards, and others


50 males and 80 females

Chinzei Junior High School

Research Section, Testing Section, Microscope Facility Section and others


50 males and 80 females

Nagasaki Prefectural Keiho Junior High School

Labor Section, Payroll work


25 males and 50 females

Kaminagasaki Elementary School

Accounting Section, Personnel Section, Administrative Section


20 males and 25 females

Zenza Elementary School

Part of the Research Section’s machinery, such as the X-ray apparatus



Mitsubishi Nagasaki Arms Factory
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki Arms Factory was quick to initiate relocation efforts, moving some of its machine factories to Tunnel No. 1 (the first Sumiyoshi Tunnel to reach completion) as early as December 1944.
The Sumiyoshi tunnels were located approximately one kilometer north of the Mitsubishi Nagasaki Arms Factory Ohashi Plant. Dug from the hillside of Akasako and facing the national road to Togitsu, the cluster consisted of six tunnels positioned at intervals of approximately ten meters, each four meters high, 4.5-meters wide and 300 meters long and capable of housing fully equipped underground factories. Machine tools were transported here in conjunction with the completion of Tunnel Nos. 2 and 3. By the beginning of August 1945, the need to relocate equipment had become so urgent that parts of the factory were even set up in the final tunnel, which at that point was still undergoing construction.
Other factory functions were moved to the Nagasaki Commercial School in Aburagi-machi and Himi Tunnel (on the national road to Aba) around May 1945.
The following table presents details on the relocation of Mitsubishi Nagasaki Arms Factory operations.

Site of relocation

Factories and functions moved


Number of machines

Sumiyoshi Tunnel Factory

The Ohashi machine factory

Tohokugo (Sumiyoshi-machi)


Nagasaki Commercial School Factory

The Ohashi precision instruments factory



Nagasaki Commercial School Factory

The Mori-machi machine factory



Himi Tunnel Factory

The Mori-machi machine factory

Kawachina, Himi-mura


Motohara District Semi-underground Factory

The Ohashi machine factory


2 (large type)

Shiroyama Elementary School

The Material Department and a portion of the Payroll Department


(102 persons)

Yamazato Elementary School

A portion of the Accounting Department



However, like the Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard, Mitsubishi Nagasaki Electric Works and Mitsubishi Nagasaki Steelworks, only necessary tools were moved away from the Mitsubishi Nagasaki Arms Factory; machinery essential for the production of aerial and ship torpedoes remained at the Ohashi Plant and Mori-machi Plant, respectively. With regard to the particularly large-scale Ohashi Plant, the Imperial Japanese Navy had already issued orders for the relocation of operations to neighboring mountains, the so-called tanima sokai (“valley relocation”).
The Mitsubishi Nagasaki Arms Factory History includes the following related passage:

The four tunnels being dug by the Navy, which were similar in size and structure to the Sumiyoshi tunnels immediately to the north) were to be placed under control of the Arms Factory. The main operations of the machine factory at the Mori-machi Plant were to be relocated here, and efforts were underway to find a suitable site for the valley relocation of the Ohashi Plant, but the war ended before either of these plans could be realized.

b) Public Offices

The dispersion of functions at Nagasaki City Hall began in early 1945, when the Family Registration Department was relocated to the Product Exhibition Hall (site of the present-day Bank of Japan Nagasaki Branch) in Rokasu-machi. Registry books were stored in a tunnel shelter dug from the cliff behind the building. Shortly afterward, a division of the Nagasaki Military Police (Kempeitai) also moved here from Nishizaka-machi.
Around April 15, when Nagasaki City carried out the second stage of house demolitions, authorities decided to relocate the Wartime Life Division (rationing and production sections), the Department of Development and Promotion, the Sanitation Department and the Military Welfare Department. The Wartime Life Division and Development and Promotion Department were relocated to the Nagasaki Municipal Auditorium in Fukuro-machi (part of present-day Sakae-machi), while the Sanitation Department was moved to Nagasaki Municipal Kindergarten in the same neighborhood. The Waterworks Division was also relocated to Fukuro-machi, occupying premises vacated by Toho Electric Co., but this move had taken place in March 1941. The Military Welfare Department meanwhile was moved to Shinkozen Elementary School.
Nagasaki City later tore down the wooden building beside City Hall that had housed the Military Personal Affairs Division and dug underground shelters beneath the main building of City Hall. This, along with the piling up of sandbags around the windows on the second floor, was done to improve the building’s resilience to air raids and fires.
Measures taken by Nagasaki Prefectural Office included the relocation of the Police Division to Katsuyama Elementary School, thus bringing it closer to the Nagasaki Prefectural Air-defense Headquarters in Tateyama-machi. Up until this relocation, which took place in July, the Police Guard Unit had to rush over to the headquarters every time an air-raid alert was issued. The air-raid shelter at the headquarters included rooms for the use of the governor, staff officer and other officials, and it was from here that orders for security and relief efforts were issued when air raids actually occurred.
Nagafuchi Denshiro, chief of the guard unit at the time, described the situation as follows: “The area around the telephone and telegram office is now relatively flat, but it used to be like a small valley. The moment an alert was issued I would rush off to the headquarters, one hand holding down the sword I wore at my waist. I had to go down a long slope and then back up the hill that led to City Hall. The heat was such that I had to stop and take a breath along the way.”
Following the fifth air raid on Nagasaki on August 4, the prefecture government relocated the Economic Affairs Division First Section (agriculture, livestock, fisheries and food supply) and Second Section (munitions, forestry, civil engineering and industry and commerce) to the annex of Nagasaki Prefectural Women’s High School in Nishiyama-machi. As a result, only the Prefecture Administrative Division remained in the Prefecture Office.
Other prominent facilities relocated in order to avoid air raids included the offices of the Nagasaki Telegraph Bureau and the Moji Railroad Nagasaki Administrative Office. The Nagasaki Telegraph Bureau the reception and delivery departments in the Umegasaki-machi head office but moved its service division to the Education Hall in Sakurababa-machi and its communication division to the neighborhood of Hotarujaya.
After suffering a fire in April, the Moji Railroad Nagasaki Administrative Office moved to Nagasaki Station. However, due to intensifying air raids, the office soon moved again, this time to Nagayo-mura outside Nagasaki. It was because of this second relocation that the office was able to play a major role in operating relief trains on the day of the atomic bombing.

c) Dispersion and Stockpiling of Supplies

Food staples were of course the most important supply item. Yamazaki Kanji, the Nagasaki Prefecture Food Supply Section chief at the time, attended a round-table discussion marking the 30th anniversary of the atomic bombing and spoke as follows about the efforts to gather food staples and stockpile rice (in summary):

Not enough rice was produced in Nagasaki Prefecture to meet the four gō (about 600 g) allotted daily to each person, and shortages were supplemented with supplies procured from other prefectures. Since it was feared that insufficient food supplies would affect law and order, the national and prefectural governments created a careful plan to stockpile food, focusing on the cities of Nagasaki and Sasebo. Later, the prefecture was ordered to keep three months worth of food supplies stockpiled as emergency provisions. The Food Authority cooperated in the procurement of food supplies, but suitable storage facilities had to be found. In Nagasaki, because the Urakami area was believed to be relatively safe, authorities began to stockpile rice at Urakami Cathedral as well as schools, buildings near the reservoir, and other locations in the district.
The following is a list of sites where emergency food supplies were stockpiled.

Nagasaki Commercial School
Rice – 819 hyō (1 hyō = 60 kg)
Hand-rolled Somen noodles – 892 boxes
Miso – 500 tubs (1 tub = 60 kg)
Soy sauce – 500 tubs
Condensed milk – 500 boxes (each box containing 50 large cans)
Dried sardines – 1,000 packages
Salt – 300 hyō

Urakami Cathedral
Rice – 3,000 hyō
Condensed milk – 500 boxes
Dried sardines – 1,000 packages

College of Theology
Rice – 3,000 hyō

First Urakami Hospital
Rice – 670 hyō

Mitsubishi Arms Ohashi Factory
Rice – 60 hyō

Yamazato Elementary School
Rice – 950 hyō

Shiroyama Elementary School
Rice – 1,500 hyō

Fuchi Elementary School
Rice – 430 hyō

Chinzei Middle School
Rice – 50 hyō

Nagasaki Prefectural Technical School
Rice – 250 hyō

Urakami Dam Tunnel
Rice – 15,000 hyō

Nishiurakami Elementary School
Salt – large quantities

Zenza Elementary School
Corn – large quantities

(All the above facilities were located in the Urakami district.)

Nagasaki Prefectural Women’s High School
Hardtack – large quantities

Shinkozen Elementary School
Corn – large quantities

Togiya Elementary School
Soybeans – large quantities

Total – Rice: 25,729 hyō (more than 1.5 tons), somen: 892 boxes, miso: 500 tubs, soy sauce: 500 tubs, condensed milk: 1,000 boxes, dried sardines: 2,000 packages and salt: 300 hyō

Little information is available regarding stockpiles of first-aid and sanitary items in 1945, but sources reveal the situation at the following seven elementary schools on April 5, 1943:



Number of items (internal medicines and dressings for wounds)

Kitaoura Elementary School

9,930 g


Zenza Elementary School

9,455 g


Inasa Elementary School

14,980 g


Fuchi Elementary School

10,455 g


Katsuyama Elementary School

10,980 g


Shinkozen Elementary School

10,480 g


Togiya Elementary School

10,455 g



76,735 g


Among the stockpiled supplies were Dermatol, mercury chloride, formalin, glycerin, boric acid, bicarbonate of soda, barbital, magnesia, lead acetate, acrinol, iodine tincture, mercurochrome, alcohol, peroxide solution, saponated cresol, boric ointment, sesame-seed oil, salt, bleaching powder, carbolic acid for epidemic prevention, tannic acid, pangital (for injections), Vitacampher (for injections), benzoic acid soda caffeine, procaine hydrochloride (for injections), morphine hydrochloride (for injections), narcopon, adrenaline chloride, Ringer’s solution, Lodinon, calcium chloride (for injections), sanitary cotton and gauze pads. Moreover, Nagasaki City established a storage facility in the outlying neighborhood of Kogakura where people could keep up to 10 kanme (approx. 37.5 kg) of medicines for personal use (as of June 30, 1951).
For emergency use, Nagasaki City also stockpiled such daily necessities as geta sandals, tobacco, mosquito nets, clothing, pans, pots, blankets and candles in two warehouses at the upper Hongochi Dam. Furthermore, in March of 1945, authorities established a warehouse for the protection of valuable clothing in a mountain tunnel near the Kano River in the suburb of Doinokubi (where a distribution reservoir was to be constructed). This warehouse served as a receptacle for about 300 boxes of clothing deposited by Nagasaki citizens.