Many Japanese people remember Aug. 15 as the day World War II ended. Sixty-nine years ago today, in a speech broadcast on the radio, Emperor Hirohito announced that Japan had notified the Allied powers of its acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration.

But the war did not quite end on that day for some Japanese, and the way they listened to the surrender speech impacted their lives after the war.

Novelist Kazutoshi Hando, 84, recalls that he tore a page out of his dictionary and rolled it to make a cigarette after listening to the Emperor, known posthumously as Showa, announce Japan's surrender.