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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Goro Osada (male)
'Chokubaku'  1.6 km from the hypocenter / 18 years old at the time / current resident of Tokyo

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. The night of August 5, 1945, I had been awake until about two o'clock in the morning because of air raid warnings. That is why when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima at 8.15 a.m. on August 6, I was still in bed, fast asleep under the mosquito net. The horrendous sounds of an explosion and the house collapsing jolted me awake. Immediately I thought a time bomb had been dropped and jumped into the Kyobashi River (a tributary of the Ota River) that was flowing right next to our yard.

For a while I looked around, but since there wasn't any sign of further explosions, I returned to the yard and walked toward the collapsed house, where I saw my father, Arata Osada, lying under the rubble, covered with blood. Even so, with a strong voice, he shouted to me, "I'm not going to die!" Fifty-eight years old at that time, he was a professor of education at the Hiroshima University of Science and Literature. He had been badly cut by pieces of glass all over his body and was bleeding profusely. I was sure that he was dying. I immediately took him to the clinic, which we heard had just opened in the Hiroshima Army Clothing Depot, where an army surgeon treated him for his critical injuries.

In those days I was a student, in my second year of the preparatory course of the Tokyo University of Commerce (presently Hitotsubashi University). By chance I had returned home to Hiroshima on August 3. If I hadn't been there, my father would have been burned to death in the great fire that broke out after the A-bomb blast. Because American reconnaissance planes had flown over Hiroshima and the air raid warnings had been issued on the night of August 5, my father had stayed at the university on night duty and had returned home on the morning of August 6. After taking a bath, he was still bare to the waist and drinking tea on the porch facing the yard when the atomic bomb was dropped. He had at least 50 wounds all over his body from shattered pieces of glass. He was near death due to a massive loss of blood.

I was eighteen years old at the time of the A-bomb blast. We lived in Hirano-cho, about 1.6 km [1 mile] from the hypocenter. Looking back, I feel that as a son I was fortunate to be there to be able to save my father's life. After that, he was on the verge of death for more than four months, but miraculously survived.

NOTE:Arata Osada (1887-1961): a professor of education, authored and edited Genbaku-no-Ko, published in 1951 by Iwanami Bunko Publishers, and translated into English as Children of the Atomic Bomb.