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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Motohiko Hatano (male)
'Chokubaku'  8 km from the hypocenter / 19 years old at the time / current resident of Gifu

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. In 1941 I entered the Mitsubishi Electric Co. in Nagoya as a trainee. Due to airstrikes in 1945 I moved to the factory in Hiroshima with many of my colleagues in May of that year. At 8.15 am on the morning of August 6 it was very clear. Just after we started working, the whole factory was filled with a great light and a reverberating sound. The roof and the glass panes flew off and without having any idea of what was going on, I crouched down under a machine. When I was in Nagoya I had experienced several airstrikes, but I had never seen anything like this.

Thinking that the several thousand voltage circuit (possibly tens of thousands of voltage circuit)used by the factory had short-circuited, I went outside to have a look. But looking up, I saw a strange column of cloud had formed in the sky. I was totally astonished. Then at the same time great hailstones fell from the sky and in all directions fire broke out and everywhere was a sea of fire. As far as I can recall, the hailstones lasted for about two hours but the fires continued, and the fires in the mountains continued for ten days.

The victims close to the explosion died as they were. The skin of those who were a small distance away was completely burned and melted off their bodies. Among the others there were those whose hair fell out, those who vomited bowlfuls of blood, those whose body temperature rose to over 40 degrees, those who suddenly became very thin, and people with all kinds of illnesses, all of whom died. Then for the next fifteen days we rescued some people, took care of the victims, and carried the dead on stretchers to where they might be cremated. It was just a place in the field where we covered the bodies in kerosene and set them alight. It was like a scene from Hell, and I witnessed this tragedy for fifteen days. Then risking my life, I set off frantically from Yokogawa Station for my home in Gifu. After returning home, for how many years did I pull my hair? How many times did I dream, "My hair has also come out, maybe I have only a week to live!"? Thinking about it now makes my hair stand on end.

Exposed to radiation while working as a mechanic in a huge factory. Hiro Plant Number 3250, Shimokitayasu, Gion-cho, Asa-gun, Hiroshima atomic bomb area.