JAPANESE

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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Tadashi Ishihara (male)
'Chokubaku'  2.6 km from the hypocenter / 6 years old at the time / current resident of Kanagawa
6131

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. The longest day of my life: August 6, 1945

It was hot from early in the morning on that day and there was not a cloud in the sky. I had to go to school that day and so I woke up early and set out for a nearby ditch to catch sludge worms with a net to feed my goldfish. When I came back, my mother, my elder sister, and my girl cousins had already left the house to comply with the mandatory evacuation procedures because our house was located near the Kabe rail line in the forced evacuation area. My elder sister had just come home from the countryside where she had been evacuated for the summer holidays. I hurried to the Mitaki Youth Center with the new notebooks and pencils I had set out the previous day. While we waiting for the teacher to arrive at the youth hall, I was looking out the window when I saw the flash "Pika!" reflected in the train tracks of the Kabe Line and then heard the tremendous sound "Don!" In an instant the building collapsed and I was buried under rubble and lost consciousness. Some time later, I heard someone shouting, "Look! Somebody is here" and I was helped out of the rubble. It was still blazing hot at the time.

I tried to go back to my house but saw it was on fire. I was told to go to the mountain and I was given a rice ball and a piece of yellow pickled radish. On my way to the Mitaki River on foot, it suddenly got dark and the "black rain" started falling. It made my wounds sting. As I stared absentmindedly at the surface of the river, I saw oil rising to the surface and dead fish beginning to float on the waterways of the rice fields. As I was walking along, drenched and in pain and wondering where to go, I heard somebody call out to me from a bamboo grove on the bank of the Mitaki River. "I know where your mother is." I went along with the person and met an acquaintance of my mother's who told me, "Your mother was in my house. As soon as the air raid all-clear siren was sounded, she rushed out of my house saying she was busy today."