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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Anonymous (female)
'Nyushi hibaku'  / 2 years old at the time

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. At that time my father was working for Hiroshima Electric Railways. I was two years old. On the day of the bombing, my father, luckily, had the day off, while my mother and I were in Chiyoda for food rations. For this fact, I have been able to live this long. After being exposed to radiation from the atomic bomb, my parents needed to go to the hospital (the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Survivors Hospital) often because of the illnesses they developed. It was difficult for me to not blame them when I was growing up. My father passed away 13 years ago at the age of 86 and my mother two years ago when she was 82.

Following the bombing, my father no longer had a job and we had to move to the country. I can still clearly recall the sight of my father doing field work and making charcoal (charcoal was used to heat school buildings at that time), torturing his damaged body with physical labor. We were also at a disadvantage compared to our new neighbors. I still have bitter memories of my mother having to constantly ask them for assistance.

Today my four children, three sons and one daughter, have grown up: they are (as of 2005): 32, 29, 25, and 30 years old, respectively. Every year on the 6th of August, I tell them what my parents passed down to me, along with my own memories. Once, my eldest son told me that when he visits the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum when he's having a difficult time, "For some reason, I feel calmer after spending time there." Even now I have mixed feelings about what he said. I want to take this opportunity to make it absolutely clear to people of the world of the horrors of nuclear weapons and the preciousness of human life. My children ask me, "We will have health problems?" They ask, "Do we need to get health checks?" I can only tell them, "You're fine."

I can't emphasize enough the horrors of war, the horrors of nuclear weapons, especially with people's awareness of changes in our environment, rampant youth, and the need for conscious reform of society today. I have begun to see how important it is that I participate in the antinuclear movement after I recently underwent a procedure for my illness.

In 2009, October 28, I had an operation for pancreatic cancer, and due to the anticancer drugs I am taking both my hands and legs tremble and I can' t move them as I would like. Although I have more to say, I can' t write my experiences as I remember them. I would be glad if this humble text can be of some help in any way. Whenever I am depressed, I remember my parents' lives and take encouragement from their examples. My husband's parents grew up on Okinawa, mine were of Hiroshima, and the 6th of August is a day we cannot forget. The experience of the horrors of war has to be passed down from those who are no longer with us.