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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Taketoshi Kishimoto (male)
'Nyushi hibaku'  / 23 years old at the time / current resident of Tokyo

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. I passed by a procession of people who walked in silence with their arms in front of them and their tattered skin hanging down from Kaita Station to Hiroshima Station which was a few kilometers away. When I asked, people said that they'd gotten a direct hit by the A-bomb.

When I took a long way around Hijiyama Hill I found that the river on the way to the ship headquarters was also full of the same sort of dead bodies. They were lying face down and floating with their hands hanging down toward the bottom of the river. I felt very sorry because I was the only person wearing a military uniform. At Uji, I received the people afflicted by the A-bomb. When I grabbed and tried to carry the people whose skin barely remained on their backs, then even the remaining skin on their backs peeled right off. The soldiers hesitated and couldn't start work, but the war-time mobilized women worked very hard and received the victims. However all those victims couldn't be accommodated in one room, so the work was to only arrange them on a pier in Ujina Harbor as if they were tuna. Some were carried to Ninoshima by ship, but it seems that all of them who were carried there died.

After a few days soldiers removed and disposed of the bodies in the city.

The work was to only cover with gasoline the dead bodies that were in two pairs of parallel lines and cremate them. But they smelled awful, and flies were already flying around them. Though there was a rumor that in Hiroshima no grasses or trees would grow for a few decades, actually that summer an extraordinary amount of weeds grew. In addition, almost all the people who dug to take out the remains or anything left behind also died. It was much later that I knew why those people had died. It was due to residual radiation. A sister of my friend wasn't injured because she was in Chugoku Electric Power Co. But when she went home to Furue a few months later her hair suddenly fell out. She took off her jacket, shouting that she was hot and then she died.

The girl who escaped to Ujina and had mild burns insisted on me giving her water. Somehow I said, "I don' t think you should drink any water" "Then, I'll be patient" she answered. I can't forget her eyes. Even now, I sometimes suffer from a feeling of regret that I didn't give her any water since she would die anyway.

We can't compare the damage of the A-bomb with that of urban terror. Hiroshima left a lesson that the A-bomb should never be allowed for any reason. I wonder if human beings will exterminate themselves if we forget this lesson.