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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Anonymous (male)
'Chokubaku'  4.1 km from the hypocenter / 14 years old at the time / current resident of Nagano

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. 1. At the time of the bombing I was in my third year of junior high school and had been mobilized for heavy industry work at the Mitsubishi Kannon factory. I witnessed the following tragic scene in a vacant lot by the northern bank of the Kitanokawa river in Yokokawa 1chome, at the Yamanote Yasugei Girls' School, which had become an evacuation area.

My mother ―who was barely conscious because of blood loss― was carrying my brother, who was unconscious for the same reason. My younger sister had also been seriously injured; she lay there with her thigh-bone exposed. Nearby, there were two sisters, presumably in their junior high school years, who suffered burns over their entire body. The elder one lay on her sister's lap, breathing only very faintly.

I heard that 7,300 of the 8,200 local first- and second-year junior high school students who had been mobilized for construction labor near the site of the bombing had lost their lives. The two sisters must have strongly supported each other to escape that 1km road of hell. Though the younger one would sometimes speak to her sister, she could only answer with a nod. When I covered the siblings with a yam vine because it started to rain, the younger one thanked me in a barely audible voice.

There was nothing else I could do. They were extraordinary children, not once asking for water or help. They both passed away that night. The two were bound by the beautiful love of sisters. Remembering them still brings me to tears. I pray that they rest in peace.

2. On August 7th, I went to search for my father, my grandmother and my uncle's family. My grandmother had died at the shelter inside my aunt's house. All that remained of my uncle's family was the lower half of my aunt's body, which had escaped being consumed by the flames, and the bones of their 3-year old daughter.

On that day, I couldn't find my uncle though he was supposed to be at the factory office. I found his five-year-old son just inside the entrance of a house nearby. I could see four suspender buttons from a pair of trousers, and in between them what appeared to be a mass of crumbled human bone. I felt pity for him that he had died all alone- probably burning to death while standing between those pillars. Every member of my uncle's family had been killed.

3. Though wars and conflicts will persist, we must avoid the use of nuclear weapons. The death of hundreds of thousands to millions of people in a split second will lead to the extinction of mankind.