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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Masamichi Shibuya (male)
'Chokubaku'  1.8 km from the hypocenter / 14 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 had many unforgettable experiences on that day. I'd like to write just a summary of them. When the atomic bomb was dropped, I was walking on the east end of the platform No.1 at the Hiroshima Station. Atthat very moment I saw a beautiful flash. Immediately I covered my face with my hands to protect myself from the sticky heat and dropped to the ground. When I felt something falling from above and raised my head, I found myself lying by the wall of the guard box. It was more than ten meters away from the place where I had been walking before the bomb. This ten meter distance was a mystery for long time, but later when I learned how powerful the bomb blast had been, the sensation of floating above the platform was restored to my memory.
When I came to under all of the debris, the air was full of black smoke and dust, and I couldn't see further than one meter. In the dim light I managed to walk along the ditch and reached the Drill Ground behind the station. There I joined a group of people who were fleeing toward the mountain on the opposite side of the station. Finally in the mountain I could lie down on the ground in the shade. On my way to the mountain, someone told me that I had severe burns on my face, but all that I could see was that the back of my hands and the top of my feet were swollen like a baseball.

After taking a short rest, I went to the upper part of the mountain from where I could see almost the entire city. The entire place was filled with fire and black smoke. Red flames spouted crazily - from every window of the nearby buildings with atremendous roar. What I found strange wasthat thehouses at the foot of the mountain also started to burst out in flames one after another, even though theses houses were separated by the large Drill Ground from the burning city center.

The night fell and we made our way - down to the Drill Ground in groups of twos and threes, where - there were many people lying or writhing in the grass field. Among them I saw a man of my age. He had serious burns and his white clothing was in tatters. He seemed to be unable to move at all. I was helpless and all that I could do was to ask someone else to come to his aid. I left the injured man in the hands of rescue workers. Unable to stop my unusual shivering, I went into an air-raid shelter where many victims' bodies were laid, and spent the night in the shelter.