JAPANESE

The text area starts here.

  • Before reading this site

Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Masako Hiromoto (female)
'Chokubaku'  3 km from the hypocenter / 20 years old at the time / current resident of Yamanashi
2166

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. I'd like to write about my painful memory of the death of my younger sister, who was exposed to radiation from the atom bombing of Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945.

At that time my younger sister was seventeen years old, and she worked at a recruitment agency. On August 6th, 1945, she left home early in the morning to help clean up buildings that were being demolished in order to create firebreaks, and she was caught out when the atom bomb was dropped. My older sister and I waited for her that evening, but she didn't come home. For two or three days after the bombing, we didn't get any word from her, and we grew so worried that we decided to go out and look for her. Of course there was no transportation, so we we just walked along the streetcar tracks, where we saw a large number of charred corpses lying on the recently burned fields. We checked the dead bodies one by one but were not able to find her there, and so we made our way to Ujina. At a temple there, we were informed that our younger sister had gone to Kanawajima Island. We headed out to Kanawajima Island from Ujina Port right away, and there we finally found our little sister. We can never know how anxious and forlorn she must have been during those three or four days.

The three of us embraced tightly, and cried and cried.
Since my sister had terrible burns along the back of her neck, her arm and her back, she had been placed on a straw bed called a Mushiro where she was resting. When she told us that she felt a prickle on her neck, we had a look and found over ten maggots there, one of which was about one centimeter long. We removed them from her neck, but I couldn't believe that a living human could have maggots on her body. 

My sister passed away on August 25 without receiving medicine or treatment of any sort. She only said, "Thank you, sisters," before she died. Although it's been sixty years since then, the memories of that horror are still branded in my mind. I will never forget that tragedy as long as I live.

Those tragedies must not happen again.
In Kanawajima Island, many people who had been exposed radiation from the atom bomb died while begging for water.
I strongly think we, all people together, should take a strong stand for the worldwide abolition of nuclear weapons and realization of world peace.
(2005)