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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Harumi Sakatoku (female)
'Chokubaku'  2.2 km from the hypocenter / 23 years old at the time / current resident of Mie

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. My father died when I was quite small. The three of us left behind, my mother, my sister and I, lived a frugal life, determined to stand up to whatever the war might force on us. However, we could never imagine that just one bomb could change the city of Hiroshima into a hell on earth. On the day after the bombing, I went to the place where my house should have been, but what I saw there was just a sight where everything was swept by flames. I was really shocked by the power of the atomic bomb, though actually at the time I had no idea about the atomic bomb.
The feeling I had when my sister and I cremated the remains of my mother will remain in my memory for life. It is still with me now, even after so many years.

My heart aches at the thought of the many people who, through indescribable agonies of the war, died in an instant and of those who, though having survived the bombing, later died of radiation sickness. I even feel a sense of guilt for my being alive now, though I myself could still meet the same fate.

We who experienced the atomic bombing are reaching old age, but until my last day of life, I strongly feel that I have to tell of the terror of nuclear weapons. I want all of you to know the danger of radioactivity and radioactive contamination.

My mother seemed to survive the atomic bombing. She looked uninjured right after the bombing on August 6, but soon she had her hair falling out, purple spots appearing all over the body, and severe diarrhea. The doctors had no medicines and were at a loss what to do. She died on September 2.

Again, I want all of you to know that radiation is more terrible and fearful than anyone can imagine. The total abolition of nuclear weapons is a humanitarian concern. My only wish is never to have atomic bomb victims again.