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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Anonymous (male)
'Chokubaku'  5.5 km from the hypocenter / 10 years old at the time

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. ◎My Memory of August 6 (when I was a ten-year old boy).
That day, the sky was perfectly clear blue. An air raid warning siren rang out. I rushed out into the garden and looked up into the sky. I saw silver, glittering airplane flying away into the distance. Editor's note: evidently, this was one of the advance recon. Weather planes. After a while, I heard an 'all clear' signal given. When I was trying to read a book on the veranda, a strong flash, and a tremendous sound that shook my house occurred, and dust pervaded all around and it went dark. Then a shower of black rain continued for a spell. I frantically scurried into the space under the floor with my sister.

Hearing the voice of my mother who had gotten wet with rain, I crawled out into the garden.
She was holding my brother who was born in February. The pillars of fire, mixed with pure white or deep red flames, were rising violently and mountainously
in the direction of northwest right before my eyes. I felt as though I would be swallowed up in the blazing fire and gazed at the terribly beautiful and eerie scene for a moment.

Around noon, I saw a person whose body was half-burned. The person's ears hung down to his/her shoulders, and his/her fingers were drooping about several centimeters or inches below. Just like a ghost, the wounded person passed by. My father told us that he was exposed to the A-bomb when he was walking on the Ozu Bridge reading a newspaper, and the paper burned. (It is estimated that the area was at a distance of about four kilometers [2.5 miles] from the hypocenter.)

◎The Death of My Brother
Fortunately, two years passed peacefully for my family after the war. Before long, my brother, who loved me and often played with me babbling "Ni-chan, Ni-chan (big brother, big brother)," grew increasingly weak and bothered me with his frequent crying. Then he died. The cause is unknown. Is it that day's black rain which finally took his life? We do not have any pictures of him.

This witness who wishes to remain anonymous provides a particularly vivid description of the tornadoes of fire that sprang up in Hiroshima within minutes of the detonation, and notes that the flash was strong enough to set a newspaper aflame in her father's hands, 2.5 miles from the hypocenter.