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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Akira Ota (male)
'Nyushi hibaku'  / 15 years old at the time / current resident of Niigata

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. I Get Exposed by Entering the City

We entered Hiroshima on the afternoon of August 6th. At that time we didn' t know about the atom bomb, but we were told that some kind of 'unique' or 'terrible' bomb had been dropped and had devastated the whole city. We entered the city coming from the direction of Okayama and saw the disastrous state of affairs at the hypocenter around the dome and at the Aioi Bridge. We marched through the city to the station on the opposite side, giving aid to victims where we could as we passed through.

We entered Hiroshima on the evening of August 6th and arrived at the station on the opposite side of the city the next day, August 7th, around noon. We were obliged to join the special attack unit at Karatsu Bay, Kyushu by a fixed date, so our unit seemed to be in a big hurry.

My Personal Experience of Being Exposed to Radiation by Entering the City

The Train Journey back to the Special Attack Base

It was a hot day. On August 6 at around noon, our train left Osaka going west. We were on our way back to the fort the base for the special attack force at Matsuura Beach, Northern Kyushu. We were able to ride in a civilian car for the first time since we entered the service. Everyone on the train was dressed frugally and wearing an air raid hood. A young mother and her child were sitting on the seats opposite us, and we chatted with them a while. I look back at those moments as a relaxed time.

Suddenly the train stopped!
I wonder what time it was... The train stopped all of sudden, just before entering Hiroshima. An uproar filled the train car. We found out that it was impossible for the train to proceed any farther, because Hiroshima had been devastated by a powerful bomb.

Ahead, Hiroshima was in Flames and Wreathed in Smoke
Our group of seven soldiers got out of the train and saw that ahead the sky and the ground were ablaze and covered in smoke. Burned ruins dotted with collapsed buildings stretched before us as far as the eye could see. Cruel air raids had created a disaster.

Into the Flaming City of Hiroshima
Commander Tamura said, "No matter what has happened, we must reach our base by the appointed time. It may be a little dangerous to proceed into the blazing city, but we will get through it on foot. Stay in formation and keep order. " With these words, he instantly aroused our military spirit. No sooner had we equipped ourselves, and we were stepping forward into the burning quarter.