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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Anonymous (female)
'Chokubaku'  1 km from the hypocenter / 21 years old at the time / current resident of Kagoshima

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. The day that the A-bomb was dropped, August 6th, was a clear sunny morning, noisy with the chirp of cicadas. In the same moment I became aware I was surrounded by a flash of light, I couldn't move because I was crushed under the house. I shouted for help but no one responded.

After a while, the man who lived next door came shouting his wife's name. "Takako, Takako". I asked him desperately, "Please, help me," but when he realized I wasn't his wife, he left without helping me. At that moment, I thought "I'm going to die." I can't forget that feeling. However, the man returned and helped me. It is thanks to him that I am still alive today, at the age of eighty. The boy who lived next door had gone out to catch cicadas; he couldn't be saved.

I ran barefoot to the Shukukei garden, which was five hundred meters to the north. I slept outside for three days. I can't forget that each day, come morning, many of the people lying close by me had died. The dead bodies of soldiers floated in lines down the river. We must never forget how cruel war is.

I yearn to share my experiences also with those people who know nothing of war.

(1) I can't forget that no one responded to the voices that were begging to be saved, even though the person who was crushed under the house could hear footsteps of someone running away outside.

(2) People who were more brilliant than those like me died, and their families had so much unhappiness. For example, when a member of the family died, sometimes the father became a heavy drinker, and neglected his family, causing them to have a great deal of trouble.

(3) We must not forget how much misery and unhappiness war causes. I once watched a girl on TV ― a middle school student ― who said that she didn't know that Japan had ever been at war with the U.S. The next words she spoke shocked me: "Then, what happened next ? Of course, Japan won, right?" I want them to teach at least a little more about the war in school.