Paper City: Surviving the world’s deadliest air raid

Survivors of the 1945 firebombing of Tokyo campaign for official recognition of this forgotten tragedy.

Just after midnight on March 10, 1945, the United States launched a massive air raid on Tokyo, unleashing a firestorm on a densely populated area of wooden and paper houses.

By sunrise, more than 100,000 people were dead, and a quarter of the Japanese city was destroyed – making it the most destructive air raid in history.

Unlike their loved ones, survivors Hiroshi Hoshino, Michiko Kiyooka and Minoru Tsukiyama emerged alive. Yet the Japanese government has refused to formally acknowledge their appeals for recognition and compensation, and after seven decades, they find themselves cast aside – while former soldiers have been treated generously by the state.

Paper City is a film by Adrian Francis.