The text area starts here.

  • Before reading this site

Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Mitsuko Masuno (female)
'Chokubaku'  1.5 km from the hypocenter / 7 years old at the time / current resident of Hiroshima

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. I was in the playground of Hakushima Elementary School on August 6 when the atomic bomb was dropped. At that time, soldiers as well as first and second graders were attending the school. On that day, I was playing with a friend of mine, Miss Nishimura, in the sand under a tree in the playground. As I was about to grab some sand with my hands, everything in front of me went dark, and then I saw something like a big red sun coming at an extremely high speed from the right side. That's all I could remember. Then I fainted.

When I came to my senses, I saw that the school building had been flattened. I heard a soldier shouting, "Hang in there!", and injured people groaning under the debris of the broken school building. It truly was like hell.

Miss Nishimura saw my face and said, "What's wrong? You look like a ghost." All of my skin was hanging off loosely because of severe burns on my face, arms and legs. It hurt terribly. I was barefoot. The violent wind must have blown off my shoes. Miss Nishimura was not injured on her legs, so she left first. As the injured came out from under the debris, I joined the flow of people and walked with them, crying. We finally arrived at Chojuen, a famous park in Hiroshima. The black rain hit me there. I was soaked to the skin. I walked and walked in this hell, crying "Father! Mother!" When I was about to give up, I came across my father. He didn't recognize me. He finally recognized me when he saw the name plate on my chest. It was barely attached to my dress, which was in rags like a spider's web. As soon as he recognized me, I became unable to stand. I was so scared. Afterwards, I heard that my friend Miss Nishimura was missing. I was at a loss for words when I saw her crying mother.

A tragedy like this should never be repeated. After my experience, I wish with all my heart for a world without wars.

I am now over 70 years old and long for the happiness of my children and my grandchildren. I am totally against atomic bombs. I had a hard time in my childhood, because I was bullied about my keloid scars.