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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Takenori Mori (male)
'Chokubaku'  2 km from the hypocenter / 15 years old at the time / current resident of Kumamoto
1126

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. There are so many scenes and images that I will never forget. This is one of those memories. On the day of the bombing, those who perished after taking refuge in the Hiroshima Army Clothing Depot were transferred to the mortuary in warehouse No.1. There were so many bodies piled on top of one another. When I visited there at night to say the last words to my lost friends and relatives, I saw the wide-open vacant eyes of the dead. I stood transfixed by those looks, so that I couldn't run away from the place.

A month after the bombing, those who had been away from Hiroshima on the day of the bombing and later returned began dying of radiation sickness. Since nobody knew about the effects of radiation, everyone who saw my burned body said that I would die soon, and so I thought I would die before the New Year. Every morning, I waved my hand in front of my eyes to check whether I was alive or dead. The motion of my own hand made me realize that I was still alive. When I happened to meet one of my acquaintances, I was so pleased to find him alive and said, "Oh, are you still alive?" But my own words instantly struck me as wrong, because they might suggest to him that he would die before long. I made up my mind never to say these words again in vain. I felt regret and uneasiness whenever I accidentally blurted out those words.

It has always been my regret that I could not gather the ashes of my father and 5-year-old cousin who had presumably died on the day of or the day following the bombing.

One of my close friends said, "I will go and help you, when you go to avenge your father's death. I will take with me my katana (a Japanese samurai sword)." But the American army has never been stationed in Hiroshima since the war.

Now there are none who object to the idea that the atomic bombing was a crime against humanity. So, my question is, "Why do nations still possess or try to obtain nuclear weapons?"

There are so many unforgettable scenes and images from the past and things to pass on to others that I can hardly describe.
(2005)