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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Naka Yoshimura (female)
'Chokubaku'  2.5 km from the hypocenter / 18 years old at the time / current resident of Hiroshima
10365

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. I saw hell on earth. I was eighteen years old when I was exposed to the atomic bomb.
On the morning of August 6, 1945, all of the students of the National Railway Training Institute Dormitory No. 18 went for an early morning run to the air raid shelter in the mountains behind the Institute and returned to have breakfast.
Just as we had finished and were returning to our rooms there was a terrible roaring sound that felt like it would tear my body apart, and the building collapsed violently. I ran for my life while the walls came down around me.
This happened at eight-fifteen in the morning on August 6.
Fujie Oda of Mitsugi-cho and I desperately helped each other to escape. When I realized what had happened I found myself lying with my head in the roots of a clump of Japanese pampas grass.

Looking up to the sky I saw black clouds getting bigger and bigger as they rose directly upward.
I stayed by the riverbank till dawn without sleeping.
Then I heard someone saying "Water, water".
His body was covered with burns but our instructor told me that to give him water would kill him.
I felt sorry that I couldn't even give him water.
The next morning we began to recover the bodies from under the broken buildings and together with the National Railways rescue team we laid them in the ground.
Those who were alive were carried to the Mukainada Temple.
We traveled along a road that was no longer really a road. People with terrible burns were stretched out all along it.
None of them were wearing their usual clothes.
Some of them wore clothes soaked in blood with burnt hair and skin. Some had scars with skin hanging from their bodies. All of them were wandering aimlessly.

I couldn't believe such a thing was possible.
It was truly a living hell. One man was lying dead under a tap after trying to get water. His body, which was as black as charcoal, was doubled over to form the shape of the Chinese character (hito, meaning man).
The sound of people moaning could be heard everywhere.
One woman was holding her baby lovingly, though she herself was severely burned.
The next person's head was smashed so that you could not tell if it was male or female.
In this field of the dead, moaning sounds escaped from the mouths of the burned bodies while the hot midsummer's sun beat down and a rotten smell filled this city of hell
For the sake of those whose precious lives were lost in this living hell we should never make war again.
I finish my story by praying with all my heart for eternal peace.
(2005)