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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Akiyoshi Shimizu (male)
'Chokubaku'  3 km from the hypocenter / 4 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. The Unforgettable A-Bomb Day At the time when the atomic bomb was dropped, I lived in Minami-Kaniya-machi. I was four years old.

As far as I remember, the Ujina Train line was running near our house. I recall there was a river close by, and we often went there to play. Sometimes a boat arrived, loaded with mandarin oranges, and they gave us some mandarins. I remember that very well.

On August 6, 1945, according to my mother, my father had left home with my younger brother to go to the city hall after that morning' s breakfast. After saying goodbye to them at the door, my mother was cleaning our house. Then something flashed and we heard a tremendous noise. At that moment, our house fell down, completely obliterated. Mother and I were crushed under the house. "Help, Mommy! HELP!" I screamed many times. Finally she came to help me. She also seemed to have been pressed under the ruined house. I remember we both crawled out through some narrow space of the crushed house. Later on we had a meal. I found some pieces of soil in the cooked rice and it was crunchy when I chewed it.

I do not remember very well what happened to us after that. Later on, my mother told me that I had been in our neighbor's house for a while. I was waiting for my father to return alive. Then my father' s friend kindly took me from Hiroshima back to Shobara in Toyohira-cho on his bicycle. My mother stayed in Hiroshima to look for my father and my brother. While she eventually was reunited with my brother, she only later learned that my father died 4 or 5 days after the bombing. Then she came back to Shobara with my brother. Probably due to accumulated exhaustion, she passed away one and a half years later.

After my mother death, I was taken care of by my uncle and aunt. My brother and I were separated and went through our various hardships in our lives. But eventually I did reunite with my brother, I am really grateful that we both have managed to survive through those hard times.
I hope there will be no more atomic bombs in the future, and that people will make a peaceful world.