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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Kenichi Matsuzawa (male)
'Chokubaku'  2.1 km from the hypocenter / 19 years old at the time / current resident of Ehime

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. (1) An A-bomb experience that even now I cannot forget.

I can never forget the shock that I had, when I met a swarm of people who were evacuating the city immediately after the A-bomb went off.
I was within two kilometers (2km) distance from the hypocenter when I was exposed to the A-bomb. Crawling out from the debris of my barracks, it was as if hell on earth appeared in front of me, as I looked upon the tragic forms of the blood-soaked victims.
Those were the people who had barely escaped death, crawling out from the rubble of the buildings which were blasted by intense heat rays over four thousand degrees Celsius (4000 C), and through the so called radioactive fall out.
Their hair stood on end, and all the faces were coal-black with glaring eyes and white teeth, which stood out eerily. Their clothes, burnt and torn into pieces were barely hanging on their bare skin, (1) which was all dried out and had little cracks all over it, like dried mud. White and pink flesh showed beneath their peeling skin.

Few people were able to move their hands and feet, and most of them were in critical condition. There were people leaning on sticks limping, crawling on their hands and knees, or crying in pain. There were also those dying, calling out to whomever went by, groaning in agony, and reaching out their hands to the sound of footsteps, saying, "Water, water, please give me water…."

One single blast of the A-bomb instantly turned Hiroshima into ruins. It took the lives of more than a hundred thousand people. People who barely survived suffered serious after-effects, endured terrible hardships, and died one after another.

When I looked at the direction of the city right after the bomb, I saw a black mushroom cloud like a thunderhead growing out from the ground swelling up into the sky.

The people who took care of the seriously injured A-bomb victims or disposed of bodies had witnessed a living hell on earth.

Countless bodies were scattered in the burned down ruins, and scores of decomposed corpses were floating in the river.

Bodies which couldn't be left in a half-collapsed school were just left lying directly on the ground. There was no place to stand.
Under the blazing sun, there was no escaping the stench of the rotting corpses of people and animals.

I want to show this dreadful scene to those who speak lightly of nuclear arms.