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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Keiko Ohashi (female)
'Chokubaku'  1.7 km from the hypocenter / current resident of Osaka

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. At 8:15 a.m. August 6, 1945, the A-bomb exploded. I was on the way to the Senda Elementary School with a boy in the first grade, and lost consciousness. When I came to, all I saw was a sea of fire. I just followed the way others were fleeing, avoiding collapsing buildings and schools. I saw a lot of people fall down and die on the way. I was taken to Ninoshima Island from the Ujina Port by boat. I narrowly escaped death.

There were lots of victims. Children and adults with scars and burns. Lots of people dying, wanting for water. People burned in tremendous heat, more than 3,000 degrees Celsius, jumped into rivers. The floating bodies looked like human rafts. Time has never withered those sights away from my eyes. A-bombs are completely different from other bombs. No more Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the world.

Emotional wounds, especially of children, will never be healed. Everyone should visit both the Peace Museums in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. All elementary schools, junior and senior high schools, and colleges should spare some time to teach young people the atrocities caused by war and A-bombs. Politicians are now from younger generations that have never experienced war. Of course, they have general knowledge, but it seems that many of them just think of their constituencies and themselves. I want them to look around the world. I wish politicians would pass the Atomic-bomb Survivors' Support Law.

Hiroshima used to be called a little Kyoto. Seven rivers ran through the city beautifully, and we could pick clams in the rivers. I was on the way to school, 1.7 km from the hypocenter, when I was blown more than ten meters away by the tremendous blast and lost consciousness. People died minute by minute, day by day. How cruel was the A-bombing!! The scene is imprinted deep in my mind. My heart gets heavy and feels as if it might burst when I see TV programs broadcast in around July and August every year. I want all the people to know tragedy caused by war. Conflicts never end in the world. Women and children who have lost their husbands and fathers, now live in poverty.

Why do nations attack other nations, saying, "Let's make peace!"? Be awakened to human love! Visit the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Peace Museums, although what is displayed there is a fraction, far from the realities!

In Osaka, the photograph exhibition and hibakusha story program are held by Japan Confederation of A- and H-bomb Sufferers Organizations every year. Survivors are getting old. Let us have more opportunities to tell our experiences in peace education classes at elementary and junior high schools. I could tell my story to students on their school excursions in Peace Park in Hiroshima, but there are fewer and fewer occasions outside Hiroshima.

I'm now working on passing our organization to younger generations. I wish politicians would build a peaceful world, using their power with mercy. I'll try my best.