JAPANESE

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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Tadao Yamato (male)
'Chokubaku'  3.5 km from the hypocenter / 5 years old at the time / current resident of Shizuoka
827

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. At the time, I was just a five-year-old child, but I still remember the events vividly. Suddenly our new house rocked as if in an earthquake and the glass shattered. I had no idea what had happened. I wasn't hurt because my grandmother covered me from my head on down with a futon that had not been put away yet. In my house, which was in the suburbs, there were about five people who had escaped the city. We applied oil to their burns because we had been told that it eases the pain. Two of them went elsewhere after a while, and the other three died. Their names and residences remained unknown when they were cremated and buried in a park nearby. The scene then was like a scene from a hell picture scroll. For that reason, there are a lot of memorials for the dead in parks in Hiroshima.

My grandfather was A-bombed near Koi while going to his old house (about 300 meters from the hypocenter) to pick up his belongings. It was summer, and the part of his arms that weren't covered by a short-sleeved shirt got keloids, and finally he died of organ failure. My junior high school homeroom teacher was athletically built and he did judo. We were told that he was to be hospitalized for two or three months, but he died. I was shocked when we later heard that his illness was caused by the bomb. And we lived in the same neighborhood, too. Whenever I take friends and visitors to the Peace Park, the memorial museum, and the archives, I recall the scene at the time and feel pained.
(2005)