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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Seiji Nakashima (male)
'Chokubaku'  2 km from the hypocenter / 14 years old at the time / current resident of Hiroshima
5717

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. I was exposed to radiation in the barrel factory of Kirihara Container Factory (it made barrels for pine oil) in Funairi Kawaguchi-cho in Hiroshima. I was my second year of Middle School and a mobilized student. All the workers were doing our jobs when the bomb was dropped, but someone instructed us to evacuate to the basement where we would be safe. The factory was destroyed, and when we crawled out from underneath those broken pillars and tiles, we found that Hiroshima had been destroyed by the fire. In the city, many people with burns on their faces and bodies were wandering around trying to find a hospital. It was then that we realized a huge bomb had been dropped.

On my way back to Kaita-cho I walked with some people going same direction as me. We had to go across a bridge, which I think is now called the Kogo Bridge, to escape the flames. Back then, the bridge hadn't been completed, so there was just a frame made of logs, and the planks had not been placed yet. Even worse, some parts of the logs were on fire. People crossing the bridge sometimes had to wait for someone coming the other way, putting their arms out for balance so they could cross the bridge like it was a balance beam. If we had fallen from the bridge, we would have fallen into the river. Then while I was eating my lunch in a bamboo grove, suddenly, a person who had been in the explosion came up with no clothes on. This person was naked and had blisters from burns all over their body, and their skin hung down in strips, so I didn't even think it was human. I thought was meeting Enma, the King of the Buddhist Hades while I was still in the living world. I was shocked to hear this person say, "Please, let me have some food, too."
On my way back, the "Black Rain" full of ash and radiation fell on me at Yokogawa. And I helped carry injured people on stretchers. I walked about twenty kilometers [12.4 miles] to get home to Kaita from Funairi: From Funairi to Yokogawa to Oshiba to Hesaka to Funakoshi Pass. This is what I will always remember about the atomic bomb.
(2010)