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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Anonymous (female)
'Chokubaku'  4.1 km from the hypocenter / 8 years old at the time / current resident of Tokyo
5771

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. We went home from school in a group, I together with my sister. I saw with my own eyes and heard with my own ears many kinds of dreadful and unimaginable scenes. Being young (eight years old; it was the summer of my second grade) and impressionable, this extraordinary situation (not that I remember every detail of my conduct) scarred my mind.

I was told that was the mushroom cloud. Luckily, no one died or was injured badly in the household that took care of us during our evacuation. But their home was totally destroyed and there was no place to settle down. However, I did accompany my mother as we visited victims whom we knew quite intimately. My mother was young then; she must have been afraid to go by herself. I went along because I was too young to know any better. What I witnessed was nothing but scenes of unbearable cruelty.

One woman's entire body was covered with glass shards. She was in agony as she removed each one. Another woman was in critical condition with her head split open like a pomegranate. With no hospital to take them in, they both died soon afterwards.

I became mute and autistic. (Even the adults must have had their hands full. Not even my schoolteachers paid me any mind, and simply dismissed me as an oddity.) This continued for about two years and shaped my life greatly. As I trace my memory like this, my heart aches.

War must not be allowed to happen again.

No more Hiroshima. Now, more than ever, I want to shout this to the world.
(2005)

Now, as I read back on my own words, my eyes get teary and my chest aches. This here is the honest emotional truth of a witness.
(2010)