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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Sachie Murakami (female)
'Chokubaku'  2.5 km from the hypocenter / 12 years old at the time / current resident of Tokyo

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. When I was a sixth grader in elementary school, I was evacuated from Tokyo to Hiroshima because the Tokyo Air Raids had burned out our home. My sister, who was a second grader, was also evacuated. It was the first summer vacation for me as a student of Hiroshima Jogakuin-- my dream school; however, no students were allowed any holidays during this time. Under emergency rule, the government had declared students to work at offices and factories. Luckily, only our class was given a day off. I was at home on August 6 with my mother, who had moved to Hiroshima a month earlier. I was writing a letter to my father when suddenly something huge flashed outside. In the same moment, my mother and I were blown away along with the tatami floor mats.

We were soaked with blood from broken roof tiles and shattered glass. We didn't understand what had happened at all. We looked for my sister, who was attending school, and found her. On the way to the mountain behind our house, many naked students, soldiers, and others from the city were drinking water with their hands from the stream in front of my house. They had suffered severe burns from head to toe. We rushed back home to take oil to them, treating their burns, forgetting our own injuries. I still remember the scene vividly; people dying, gasping, "Mom, Mom." I can't describe the living hell without tears. Military personnel carried the dead to the elementary school's playground and burned them there. At night, the three of us slept out in the bamboo bush.

Without knowing it was the end of the War, my father, brother and sister came from Tokyo to Hiroshima. Every day, my father picked Dokudami (Japanese herb) and brewed it for us to drink. We were all so happy to be together again, since our family had been separated.

My parents passed away from cancer. Although my brother, my sisters and I are now over seventy, all of us are fine and get along well. We get together at my brother's home once a year.

I never tolerate war. Every day, I pray to Shinto deities and Buddhas for world peace and our good health. I thank God for giving me a caring son and four dear grandchildren. But I would rather not accept any interviews. I can no longer face the painful memories of the War.