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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Kiyoji Terui (male)
'Chokubaku'  2 km from the hypocenter / 18 years old at the time / current resident of Akita

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. 1. Atomic-bomb is truly a horrible weapon
Around 1946 (Showa 21) when I took the blood test in a general hospital, I was told that my red blood cells and white blood cells were in very bad state. I visited the hospital on and off receiving treatments, and it was not until 20 years later in 1968 (Showa 43) that my blood cells returned to normal condition. However, even now, I still feel dizzy at times.

2. What I want to appeal to the next generation
In Northeast Asia, and especially in North Korea, people have been producing nuclear weapons. Japan faces the most danger, as it is protected by the nuclear umbrella of the U.S. and relies on its nuclear deterrent capability. I want the young people to actively participate in the movements for the abolishment of nuclear weapons to achieve peace and a world without nuclear weapons. As an A- bomb survivor, I have been participating in the movements since 1962 (Showa 37). I am very worried about the future, because the present young generation is ignorant of the war and the dangers of nuclear weapons.

People who longed to drink water and died of thirst I joined forces on April 1, 1945 (Showa 20) as a warship correspondent and was assigned to the 16710th Akatsuki Corps in Minami-machi, Hiroshima. That same year on Aug 6 approached the time 8:15 a.m. I was more than half asleep then, because the Kure-naval port was bombarded by a warship on the previous night, and the carrier-based aircrafts came flying for an air raid on Hiroshima, which kept us awake all night. Therefore, our commander ordered us to sleep right after the breakfast. When the loud explosion woke me up, the barracks were filled with a dust cloud. Then a rafter fell and hit the neck of a senior soldier from Chiba who was sleeping beside me. My blanket was stained with his blood. I do not remember how I ran away out from there, but out side, I saw that soldiers were suffering all around. Some were struggling, some had fallen down, and many were running haphazardly looking for an escape.

We recruits were ordered by our commander to take the wounded and burned people to the nearby Mt. Hiji for shelter. We, four to five unhurt soldiers left the air-raid shelter in the mountain and tried to go to the central part of the city. Just then someone said, "Look at the sky." When I looked up. I saw a mushroom shaped snow-white cloud. Everyone wondered what that cloud was. In the evening, it got dark and started to rain. However, the rain-water was unusual and black in color, and was called the "black rain."

In the evening of that day, people escaped from Hiroshima and took shelter in Mt. Hiji where I stayed. One mother, who was herself burned, came with small children and cried for water. So we went to the river and got a bucket of water and gave it to them. They said nothing about their pain but kept drinking the water like crazy. They were all severely burned and injured.

Although we soldiers joined the forces and were prepared to die, the civilians were also sacrificed in the war. It was the first time in human history that A-bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and several hundred thousands of people were exposed to the A-bomb radiation. To win the war, the U.S. made use of a weapon that cannot be permitted on humanitarian grounds. War will truly erase the human race from this world. We must therefore consider the importance of eliminating war from this world, and must oppose it together.

War is so miserable, and we should hope to build a peaceful nation. I was 19 years old when I was exposed to the A-bomb radiation in Hiroshima, and suffered from terrible diarrhea for about a week. It must have been then that radioactive substances entered my body. It took more than thirty years for my red and white blood cells to recover to levels considered normal in healthy people.

We all have to unite and think of how nuclear weapons can be eliminated from this world. These arms will destroy mankind. We should ensure that we do not produce, possess, or use these weapons.