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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Susumu Kamurogi (male)
'Chokubaku'  0.8 km from the hypocenter / 11 years old at the time / current resident of Osaka

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. Out of my family of eight people, only I―a fifth grader at the time―survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Even now, every month, on the date of each family member's death, I remember and pray for their happiness in the next world. Using the atomic bomb was an inhumane act carried out by the United States that I will never be able to forget as long as I live. If not for the war and the dropping of the atomic bomb, I believe my life would have turned out completely different. The war took my father, and the atomic bomb took six members of my family; our property, our land, our family members...everything was taken from me. I alone survived and suffer with limited mobility due to the disabilities I was left with.

My grandmother, mother, younger sisters and younger brother died when the A-bomb was dropped. I will tell you the story of what happened at that time. The oldest of my younger sisters was probably playing outdoors at the private temple pre-school that she was attending while still too young for school. It seems she was killed instantly by the A-bomb (by the actual explosion) possibly by having her intestines crushed out of her body. Her remains were never found. The next oldest of my younger sisters was playing in the house next door, and I believe she died instantly when the house collapsed on her. The third of my younger sisters was also playing in a neighboring house and was crushed under that collapsed house in the same way. She was heard crying, "Help me grandma! I'll be a good girl and behave myself. So please help me!"I was told later that the flames were spreading so quickly that the neighbors had no choice but to run, leaving behind their parents, their own children and my younger sister. All of those left behind burned to death.

My younger brother was killed instantly when our house collapsed.
Because my mother was born and grew up in a Buddhist temple, after the air-raid warning was lifted [an air-raid warning had sounded at the approach of an enemy reconnaissance plane that preceded the Enola Gay], she visited one of the supporting members of her temple and was chanting a sutra at the time the atomic bomb went off. She was pulled out from under the collapsed house and managed to escape to her parents' home, but because of the radiation, she began to vomit blood, lose her hair and finally died in agony on August 14.
My grandmother also made it back to the family house, but she had suffered serious injuries to her head and her hip. Although she fought desperately to survive, all her efforts were in vain. She developed red spots all over her body from being exposed to the radiation. She suffered greatly and finally died on August 24. I myself suffered serious injuries to my head and hip. My hair had fallen out and I suffered with a high fever and bloody vomit, but miraculously I managed to survive.

I convey my experiences to future generations, in the hopes that such things shall never happen again. Lastly, I pray for peace.

Address: 3 Teramachi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima On December 17, 2009, it was officially recognized by the Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Nagatsuma that my skin cancer was caused by the atomic bomb.

Wondering when my cancer will recur is a daily, ongoing source of anxiety. In addition, I suffer from reduced mobility. Both the disability and the epithelial cancer are attributable to the A-bomb of 65 years ago.
The atomic bomb is truly a dreadful weapon. Such weapons should be unconditionally banned from use.