JAPANESE

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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Fusae Nishitomi (female)
'Chokubaku'  2.8 km from the hypocenter / 20 years old at the time / current resident of Kanagawa
124

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. 60 years ago, on Monday, August 6 at 8:15, I looked out the window and saw what for a moment I took to be the sun crashing down to the ground.

More crimson, beautiful and gargantuan than the evening sun as it slips below the horizon, it was the very first atomic explosion in the world. However, I felt something terrifying lurking in its radiance, and I turned from the window to evacuate to the bomb shelter when I felt on my back the most searing heat I had ever experienced in my entire life. I was immediately convinced that I had burnt my back. The next day, I left the Akatsuki Unit No.2940 where I worked, with the women who were with me in the room, and we set out to find our homes. The city we had grown so used to was now a fire-ravaged field. It is said that 60 to 70 percent of a human body consists of water. That water had been subjected to immense heat and had expanded, causing the faces of corpses to swell up abnormally. There were some bodies that had been burnt and charred as well, and my heart reached out to the dead when I thought about how excruciating my own burn had been, and how much more painful it must have been for them. My father had been close to the bomb when it exploded and was about to step onto a crowded train when he saw the conductor collapse. My father suffered no injuries except for a minor burn on the back of his right ear, but his entire body had been exposed to radiation and intense heat, and he passed away at seven in the morning on the day the war was lost, amid great pain and unable to eat or drink.

However, despite his tragic death, I do believe that my father, who frantically walked for seven hours to get to our home and died in his daughters' loving care, was a lucky man and that his story is an event both rare and worth writing down.
(2005)