JAPANESE

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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Toshio Takashiba (male)
'Chokubaku'  0.7 km from the hypocenter / 20 years old at the time / current resident of Wakayama
6595

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. I was once asked to write about my experience as an A-bomb survivor by a local newspaper in Wakayama Prefecture, which prompted me to express my feelings in the form of poems, as well. The following is part of what I composed. My wish is that they convey in some way the reality of the bombing.

Came a flash of light
Out of the blue sky
When I was looking up
To admire Hiroshima Castle

A flash of light
Piercing my earlobes
I tumbled down into darkness
Deep and bottomless

Darkness around me
"Stand up. Get away from there."
That's my mother
Arousing me from the heavens

A flash of light
Peeled skin off my friend's arms
A watch on his wrist
Showed 8:15

A young mother
With a vacant look
Tears on her cheeks
With her dying baby in her arms

"Water, please."
A child cupping her hands
Dying in agony,
I still hear her voice

A crouching old man
With his back
Burned and exposed
Skin drooping and quivering

A downpour of black rain
Pounding on the stricken
Biting hard at their wounds
Not letting up

A man was dead
His mouth close to the faucet
In the posture of drinking
Oh, Buddha, console his soul

I have turned seventy
Flames of hell
Have not been quenched
In my heart

I survived
To live a long life
It's my duty
To speak out

They are all gone
With the flash of light
"But let's chant together, my friends,
'No more Hiroshima'"

We will seek peace together, everyone
With a mighty voice
That would echo
Throughout the world
(2005)