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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Masaaki Taguchi (male)
'Chokubaku'  1.5 km from the hypocenter / 21 years old at the time / current resident of Fukuoka

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. When the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, I was at the Army Ordinance Supply Depot at Hijiyama Hill in the hilly area in the eastern part of Hiroshima, where I was a medical officer. I wrote the following account several decades ago for my school's alumni bulletin. From the time we started emergency medical care immediately after the bombing until the end of that day, we gathered and treated more than two thousand people who were exposed to the radiation from the the bomb. The medical staff, including nurses, numbered only about sixteen.

Three days later, the patients were all transferred to a relief station on Ninoshima Island. I remember that about sixty patients died during that three-day period.

Re-reading my account, I can recall vividly the situation I experienced then. I found it among my old papers in the hopes that it will be of use to someone. I am now 81 years old. There must be no more wars.

Sorrow and Anger Masaaki Taguchi

This year's anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6 came again with sweltering heat. Since I have already reached my sixtieth birthday and am recently becoming forgetful, I must write my experiences now or else I may forget them forever.

It has been almost 40 years since the bombing. Unknown and forlorn flowers must be blooming under the A-bomb Dome. After nearly half a century, my memories of the scenes of the devastation are fading away. Even though I don't often write articles, I want to appeal to you about the feelings of dissatisfaction about the contemporary world and the resentment coming to a head inside me toward its leaders who cannot think of anything but what doesn't really matter.

I arrived in Hiroshima in 1944, a year before the A-bomb was dropped. In Hiroshima, American B-29 bombers were dropping leaflets. I was filled with disappointment that my fervent desire to serve on the southern front had not been recognized and I had been assigned to the much less exciting section that handled weapons supply. For that reason alone, I was frustrated by everything about the place called Hiroshima, which for me was a meaningless alternate world. Everything about its citizens, including their clothing and behavior, irritated me. In other words, my mood in Hiroshima was relaxed, which felt otherworldly for not yet having been swept up in the currents of the war.

In a place like this, people were even less able to withstand something so horrible that came with a flash of light and a crack of thunder. Since the outlines of Hiroshima's exposure to the A-bomb on August 6, 1945, as well as what happened in Nagasaki a few days later, has already been made available to the public in numerous collections of people's experiences and so on, so there' s no need for me to introduce them here.

That day I was two kilometers [about 1.2 miles] from the hypocenter, at Hijiyama Hill, on the southeastern side of the hilly area a little to the east of downtown, where Hiroshima University and the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (successor to the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission) are located.