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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Kazutoshi Hino (male)
'Nyushi hibaku'  / 17 years old at the time / current resident of Yamanashi

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. After the war, the campaign for nuclear disarmament was initiated across the nation because of the tragedy of the ship named "Lucky Dragon No. 5" in 1954, in which Mr. Kuboyama was killed due to the United States' hydrogen bomb test on Bikini Atoll. I took part in the second World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs in Nagasaki, which brought back memories of the fact that I was exposed to the atomic bomb on August 6, 1945. Since then, I have continued to fight for the abolition of nuclear weapons and the enactment of the Atomic Bomb Survivors Relief Law. I would like to keep striving to obtain the goal of everlasting world peace and a world without nuclear weapons and wars.

The record of my experience is recorded in the last edition of Tomonokai.

I had an operation on my right lung to remove some cancer. I was exposed to the atomic bomb at Mukainada-machi, about five kilometers [3.1 miles] away from the hypocenter. I tried to write a detailed account of what happened on August 6 and 7 as a record of my experience. Since the designation standard of atomic bomb diseases was changed two years ago, I am applying for a new designation to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, while being treated for lung cancer.

Sixty-five years have already passed, and I am eighty-two years old now. I can't be as active in the campaign as I used to, but I am trying my best to realize the abolition of nuclear weapons with my remaining energy in my community.

Experience of Silence No. 2 -- the Truth of the Exposure to the Atomic Bomb --

(from the Yamaguchi Prefecture Toyoura-gun Tomonokai of Atomic Bomb Survivors, issued in July 2003)

The memory of being exposed to the atomic bomb 57 years ago at school and going to many places for rescues.

It was a hot, hot Monday. I was on the last train to Hiroshima which left Shimonoseki at 11:25 on the previous night, after spending Sunday at my home in Toyotanaka (present day Toyota-cho), carrying a backpack full of food, such as hattaiko (rice powder) and rice balls with shiso (perilla), which my mother had given me, worrying about my health in the days of food shortage.

On the way, an air raid warning and an air raid alert were issued within a short time of each other, and the train arrived at Hiroshima Station a little after seven, about two hours behind schedule.

I was employed in the Shimonoseki Department of Japanese National Railways in April 1943, and I had been trained to be an engineer at the Engineer Division of Hiroshima Training School of Japanese National Railways, in Aosaki, Mukainada-machi, Hiroshima for a month five kilometers [3.1 miles] from the hypocenter.

When I lived in Shimonoseki, I saw the southern part of the city being turned into a burned-out field of ruins by the attacks of incendiary bombs, and ships being exploded and sunk by mines thrown in the Kanmon Straits almost every day. A month had passed since I had come to Hiroshima, and I thought Hiroshima was a peaceful city and a good place to live, even though Kure had considerable damage by the attacks of Grumman fighters almost every day.

After I arrived at Hiroshima Station, I transferred to the Kure Line and reached my school dormitory at about seven-thirty in the morning. Feeling tired, I took my clothes off and waited for my turn to eat breakfast (There were about a thousand trainees in the dormitory at the time, so we took turns to eat. The meal was a so-called "wartime meal" which consisted of seventy percent soybeans and thirty percent rice).

Then the fatal moment of eight fifteen came. First, I saw a flash. It was a sunny day, so I wondered what had flashed. I looked up at the sky from a window, and I saw something like a white wave streaming and three B-29 bombers flying in the direction of Miyajima. At that moment I heard a blast. All of a sudden, the walls of my room collapsed and it became completely dark. I stuck my head under my desk. I was thrown into confusion. I immediately went into the air raid shelter. At about nine, we were all ordered to assemble in the grounds by the call of a bugle. We were told to go to Hiroshima to rescue any survivors because Hiroshima Station was on fire. So we left with some emergency provisions two handfuls of roasted soybeans.

We went westward along Old Route 2, crossed the Ohzu Bridge, and reached a place where we could get a full view of Hiroshima. What I saw were many fires here and there in the city.

Old Route 2 was a straight road among rice fields. I saw a black party approaching. When I looked them in the face, I thought they were human beings, but they didn' t seem so. Their lower halves were naked and their faces were burned. Some were raising their arms, and others were carrying dead babies on their backs. Some were carrying dead children in their arms while others were dragging their legs. Some cried, "Help me, please!" and others cried, "Give me water!" Some died right then and there, one after another. There was a vineyard on the left. It was in the shade and soon became piled up with dead bodies. It is impossible to describe that sight with words.