JAPANESE

The text area starts here.

  • Before reading this site

Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Yoshihide Yamakawa (male)
'Chokubaku'  1.5 km from the hypocenter / 4 years old at the time / current resident of Osaka
12800

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. I don't remember the experience of the A-bombing so well because I was only four and a half years old at that time. After being burned out of our home in an air raid on Osaka, my family including my mother, sister and I were evacuated to Tenno-cho, Aki District, which was my father's family home. When the A-bomb was dropped, I was with my mother, who worked as a volunteer laborer in Hiroshima City.

My father was drafted into the military and my two brothers were evacuated to Ishikawa Prefecture. On the day of the A-bomb, I fainted while watching an airplane flying over. As my mother was dragging me along, she thought, "My kid's is dead." But I regained consciousness and we were able to escape. (This is what my mother had told me.)
I can still recall the scene where I was led by the hand and running away through destroyed buildings and heaps of rubble. I also remember that the streetcars were nothing but frames. Although I can't remember how long we ran, a rescue truck came and gave us a ride toward Iwakuni. However, the direction wasn't the way we were supposed to go so we caught another truck in Hiroshima and went home to Tenno-cho. (This is also what my mother had told me.)

I remember very well that some food, including a rice ball, was provided and we ate it. Since my mother was reluctant to talk about the experience of the A-bombing, this is all I can tell. (After the bombing, my mother who was badly burned stayed in a kind of clinic near a river in Tenno-cho for a half month. She died in 1999.)

Who will take responsibility for dropping a bomb that brought death to tens of thousands of innocent people? Someone might say,"it can't be helped because it was war." But that should not be a reason since in our society even traffic accidents, suicides, robberies and murders are all seriously considered. War is an enormous crime, and that is why we should not engage in warfare. However, the abolition of war has not been questioned enough. I can't forgive countries, including the U.S., that still use such destructive weapons.

Despite the fact that Japan reached a pacifist decision through a war-renouncing constitution (Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution), it is idiotic that the American government and Japanese politicians are trying to change the constitution for the worse under the name of "international contribution." In the days after the Second World War, many Japanese people, including my family, had to go through poverty, just as people in other Asian countries needed to work hard during those turbulent days. During those tough days, we gradually constructed a better life and overcame the past difficulties and confusion. While thinking of the suffering of the people who lost family members in the A-bombing and war, I am obliged to affirm disarmament and swear against waging war again. Hibakusha will disappear after a while.

We cannot accept that nuclear weapons will remain. Nuclear weapons are inhumane and have to be abolished until we, hibakusha die out. Although some people might think that we can't avoid war, this attitude should not be accepted. As much as possible, I want to tell people about my A-bomb experience, the war and Article 9 of the Constitution. I want many people to learn about them.
(2005)