JAPANESE

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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Hiroko Okui (female)
'Chokubaku'  1.5 km from the hypocenter / 20 years old at the time / current resident of Tokyo
3160

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. On August 6, 1945, at eight fifteen in the morning, soon after arriving at work, my younger sister and I were caught in the atomic bomb blast.

My little sister was burned over her entire body. She died on August 8.

I lost consciousness, and when I awoke early that evening, I found myself in a bed at Futaba Mountain, without knowing how I'd gotten there. Like me, so many people were gasping and shouting, "Water, water, please give me some water!" Our faces were so disfigured that we looked like creatures from hell.

My clothes were tattered and bloody. My body was stiff. I couldn't even move my arms. Together, my friend and I kept calling weakly for help. I was gravely injured. I was laid on the back of the rescue truck, and taken to a safer place. Fires were everywhere.

When the atomic bomb exploded, I was attacked by a blinding light. Soon I began to throw up violently. I still remember the yellow vomit.

After that I began to suffer from one illness after another.

The explosion sent my little sister fliying. Her skin peeled off starting at her shoulders, dangling down to the ground. Still, from where she landed she shouted loudly, "Somebody, please help my sister!" That's what I heard later.

Afterwards, she died at the refugee shelter at the National School in Hesaka, on August 8, with people watching over her. I was speechless when I heard about it, and utterly shocked.

Many of the injured were repeating deliriously, "Please help me, please give me some water," as they died.

If people are going to be killed like this again by nuclear weapons, it would surely be the end of the world. I ask you, the next generation, to make my wish come true, to abolish all nuclear weapons in the world and keep world peace.
I am sick and can do nothing. I have suffered from one illness after another. I have been living with so much pain. I want you, the following generation, to keep world peace and move forward. I entreat you to heed the words of an atomic bomb victim whose hard life is nearing an end, not to let the world end and to treasure life.

Even though I feel too frightened to write, I have managed to write this much from my wheelchair. May you be well. May the souls of the victims rest in peace.
(2005)