Close up of Akita Kawagoe's watch
A patient's skin is burned in a
pattern corresponding to the dark
portions of a kimono worn at  the
time of the explosion.
Aerial views of the city of Hiroshima before and after the
atomic bomb was dropped.
Quiz #482 Results
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Answers to Quiz #482- July 5, 2015
1.  Why did this watch stop at 8:15?
2. Who did it belong to?
3.  Where is it on display?
TinEye Alert
You can find this photo on,
but the quiz will be a lot more fun if you solve the puzzle on your own.
1.  Dropping the bomb on Hiroshima
2. Akito Kawagoe
3.  Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

How Carol Gene Solved the Puzzle
It was the writing on the card that was the clue.  My thought was
that something really bad happened in an Asian country.  With my
limited knowledge of Asian history, only two things came to mind,
the bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.  This watch
belonged to Akita Kawagoe and it is on exhibit at the Hiroshima Peace
Memorial Museum.  The time shown on the watch is when the Enola
Gay dropped the bomb, Little Boy, on Hiroshima.  Mr.Kawagoe was
a soldier.  He was about 1.1 miles away from the blast and he
survived it.

Carol Gene Farrant
Comments from Our Readers
I do not have any independent knowledge on the timing of the drop, but the
collection of available evidence seems to lean heavily toward the 8:10 - 8:20 time
frame. I would tend to think the 9:15 time is in error. If the flight records of the
Enola Gay are extant, they would very likely help greatly in pinning down the time
the bomb was released.

An interesting puzzle.........
Bill Utterback
Interesting [about the time discrepancy].  I don't think the time is really too
important.  I thought it was the trick part of your question.  He didn't have his
watch synced with the atomic time clock or a GPS system that is for sure.  
Judy Pfaff
Here is a link that identifies the watch's owner as Sadako Sasaki... It appears to be
the owner/admin of a photo facebook page called "Photos with Horrifying
Backstories".  I should have checked for a second source.   - Steve Hall
Stephen P. Hall
A grim subject but one we should not be allowed to forget. Actually this is not the
only stopped watch that is/has been displayed at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial
Museum.  So that was a potential trap for the unwary.  I'll put the detail in a further
Megan Neilsen
About Mr. Kawagoe - I heard that still the next morning he took the train to work
so he wouldn't be late.  He worked in Nagasacki....- Q. Gen.

Yes, I saw that when I was researching “the watch”.

Isn’t it amazing how times have changed.  Today and electrical storm will keep
people from going to work.  Then, the atomic bomb didn’t deter him.  Of course,
he probably would not have known what had hit. It is surprising that the trains
were running!

Cheers for now,
Winnifred Evans
Thank you for that Colleen but I thought Akito Kawagoe was a soldier billeted 1.1
miles away but there was a mention of a Tsutomu Yamaguchi with a similar story.  
Whatever the details it was the most horrific thing that happened...
Maggie Gould

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Mr. Kawagoe was a soldier billeted in
the Futaba-No-Sato army barracks,
1.1 miles (1.8 Km) from the Hiroshima
blast's hypocenter. His watch broke
when debris fell on him.
Mr. Kawagoe's Watch
Was the Atomic Bomb Really Dropped at 8:15 am?
Drop Time
Explosion Time
"Was the Atomic Bomb Really Dropped at
8:15?" by Kazuo Chujo
Report concerning the bombing of
Hiroshima by Kure Naval Base
approximately 8:10
(revised to 8:16 )
Material concerning the bombing of
Hiroshima by the Military Training Division
approximately 8:15
Exhibit in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial
"Ruin from the Air" by Gordon Thomas
Exactly 8:16
"The Making of the Atomic Bomb" by
Richard Rhodes
43 seconds before
the explosion
The former Hiroshima Meteorological
Observatory (record of atmospheric
(the blast)
"Now It Can Be Told: The Story of the
Manhattan Project" by Leslie R. Groves
and Richard H. Groves
(1 hour time
50 seconds
after the drop
The former Hiroshima Meteorological
Observatory (daily log)
approximately 8:30
irevised to 8:15
Radio broadcast on August 6th ("30 Years
after the Atomic Bomb: the Post-War
History of Hiroshima")
Opinion paper regarding the new type of
bomb by the Commander of the
Experimental Weapons Department, Kure
about 8:20
At the Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima, "8:15am"
is stated for both the time the bomb was dropped above
the city of Hiroshima and the time the bomb exploded.

The museum's famous pocket watch stopped at 8:15 and
40 seconds. The man who owned the watch was about
1.6 kilometers from the hypocenter. However, a total of
83 watches have been donated to the museum and they
display differing times.

Of course, it's hard to trust the accuracy of watches in
those days. And we can't really know whether or not the
watches stopped immediately after the bomb exploded.
We need some type of more dependable evidence.
Perhaps the meteorological records of that time will be

The local meteorological observatory in Hiroshima has a
record of the change in air pressure noted at that time.
This observation was made at the observatory's former
site, about 3.7 kilometers from the hypocenter. The
handwriting on the graph indicates "blast 8h 18m
6"-apparently, 8:18 and 6 seconds.
The Everlasting Shadows of Hiroshima
This impressive photo series shows the everlasting shadows of Hiroshima which were
caused by the nuclear bomb. The shadows are caused by the atomic blast. When the
heat of the bomb hit a person that was standing close to a wall, the person's body
'protected' the wall. So what you see in the series is an opposite of a burned in image.
The enormous heat of the bomb made it to the wall, the curb, building etc. and changed
the color of it. The body stopped some of the heat and it created what appears to be a
shadow. The person died, horribly of course, but his or her image was left behind to
remind us of how terrible the explosion was.
In the daily log of the
former Hiroshima
Observatory, the time of
8:30 was changed to 8:15.
There is also a daily log with the note "B29 attacked Hiroshima around 8:15," but it
looks like this note was revised and that, originally, a time of "8:30" was recorded. This
makes the mystery even more difficult to resolve.

Next I looked into references made in Japan right after the atomic bomb was dropped.
At 6:00pm on August 6th, the main radio station in Osaka stated that the bomb was
dropped at 8:20. The next day, on August 7th, the Kure Arsenal also reported a time of
8:20. However, the Kure Naval Base first announced a time of 8:10, then later revised
this time to 8:16.


How about in the United States? According to a book written by the director of the
Manhattan Project, Leslie R. Groves, the atomic bomb was dropped at 8:15 and 30
seconds; 50 seconds later, it exploded. A book by an American journalist who
interviewed the crew of the Enola Gay indicates a drop-time of 8:15 and 17 seconds,
with the bomb exploding exactly at 8:16. Compared to the original flight plan made on
the island of Tinian, the difference is less than one minute from this recorded time.

But a former journalist, Kazuo Chujo, 80, doubts that the plane was able to arrive at its
destination at the scheduled time. Even today, airplanes have difficulty arriving at their
destinations on time. Mr. Chujo grew up in Hiroshima and experienced the atomic bomb
when he was 19 years old. He wrote a book in 2001 entitled "Was the Atomic Bomb
Really Dropped at 8:15?"

So my research reveals that there are differences in regard to the time the atomic bomb
was dropped. Still, it's true that the time of "8:15" has become an accepted fact for the
people of Hiroshima. The director of the International Peace Promotion Department at
Hiroshima City Hall remarked, "Unless we uncover new evidence, we would never
change the time of the silent prayer at the Peace Memorial Ceremony."

- Kyoko Morioka
Stopped Watches
by Megan Neilsen
As I noted previously, the stopped watch depicted
in the puzzle is not the only one that was donated
to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

The one that gets most exposure on the web is a
the silver pocket watch of Kengo Nikawa  

His story is at where we are told:
Kengo Nikawa, 59, was on a bridge 1,640 meters
from the hypocenter. The blast blew him into the
water. He was badly burned on his shoulder, back
and head. Nevertheless, he managed to flee to a
relative's house in the suburbs. His family gave him
the best care they could, but he died on August 22.
This pocket watch was a gift from his eldest son
Kazuo, and Kengo kept it with him at all times. The
glass cover is missing. It was probably broken by the blast as he was blown into the

Similar information is given in several other places; e.g.,  But I also
found reference to this same watch as having belonged to Kengo Futagawa, e.g., Since the museum's own version is presumably the correct one, I've
decided that the latter is incorrect and possibly began at a site that is now only found on
the Wayback Machine: and

Another stopped pocket watch was given to the museum but is there no longer.
This burned watch belonged to Fukuichi Mikamo
and its story is beautifully told at
There we learn of Fukuichi's son Shinji and his
granddaughter Akiko.  Shinji and his father were
both in the blast.  Shinji survived but his father
didn't.  Shinji returned to the site that was once
their home and there he found the watch. We are

"The watch remained Shinji's only family
heirloom. He felt it contained a part of his father's
soul. And yet, in 1949, when Hiroshima was
officially designated an International Peace
Memorial City, he decided to donate it to the
Peace Memorial Museum.
I wanted the watch and my father's name to be widely seen and known as a reminder
of both the destruction and the heroism that were displayed that fateful August day"
He felt Fukuichi would have approved.

Akiko saw the pocket watch only once, on a school trip to the museum at the age of
seven - she remembers feeling much closer then to the grandfather she had heard about
in her father's tales. Then, in 1985, the watch was sent to New York to be part of a
permanent commemorative exhibit in the United Nations headquarters.

For years, it gave Shinji great pleasure and pride to think of the watch telling its story
about Hiroshima to museum visitors in New York.

In 1989, when Akiko travelled to the US to study psychology, the first thing she
wanted to do was to see her grandfather's watch. A tour guide took her to the case
containing the precious pocket watch – and it turned out to be empty. There was
nothing there but the label. Confused, the guide went to find out what had happened,
only to come back with the terrible news that it was missing - presumed stolen.
Nobody had informed the museum in Hiroshima, or her father."

At tiny.
cc/xta8zx there is a picture of another scorched watch, but no account of who
owned it.  And at there's a picture of another stopped wrist watch, again
no story.  There must have been many more ...

So, what about Akiko Kawagoe who owned the watch in the puzzle?  I found his name
on the image at which gives an account of a visit to the Peace Museum.  
As for who he was, googling <akiko kawagoe watch> gets me to where
it says "Mr. Kawagoe was a soldier billeted in the Futaba-No-Sato army barracks, 1.1
miles (1.8 Km) from the Hiroshima blast's hypocenter. His watch broke when debris
fell on him. Akito Kawagoe survived."  Google gives lots of other sites but, as far as I
looked, I didn't find further information about him.  Maybe you have?

So I've ended up with more info about who wasn't the owner of the puzzle watch, than
who was.  So it goes.  Anyway, this stopping of time has served as a nice counterpoint
to the earlier puzzle of the constant flowing of time, don't you think?

Happy fifth July!

Megan Neilsen