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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Koji Mutsuoka (male)
'Nyushi hibaku'  / 16 years old at the time / current resident of Kanagawa

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. My memories of the atomic bomb
August 6,around noon. A crowd of people who were trudging in front of the Asahi Arms Factory in Jigozen were so severely burned that one could not tell which was their clothes and which was their skin. As they walked, they held their arms in out in front of them with their burned skin hanging down. Among them was what I assumed to be a young mother who had a three or four-year-old child, who was also burned, holding on tightly to something hanging from the bottom corner of the mother's body. They were fleeing from the bomb.

August 7. In Koi, more than 2km [1.2 miles] away from the hypocenter, I crossed the train tracks where I saw a railway carriage that was completely burned: only the metal frame remained. Within it was a mass of black material that must have been someone who was killed instantly while sitting in their seat.

August 14. I was walking to Hiroshima Daiichi Middle School, 0.8km [0.5 mile] from the hypocenter, to deliver a message when I saw a body floating in the Tenma River in front of Tenma National Elementary School. I could not see its arms and legs, nor could I tell what sex it was. All that I could see was the stomach bloated out like a balloon with the sharp purple veins. Near my father's workplace next to the Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall (now the Atomic Bomb Dome), I saw a dead horse with a hollow inside its ribs. A B4-sized proclamation poster issued by the Second General Army Headquarters was stuck with rice starch to the side of a burned-out railway carriage. The partial message read "Cruel ….. put on white clothes….. bathe in seawater ….." I took it home and kept it inside a copy of the Asahi Graph Magazine that featured the atomic bomb. Unfortunately, I lost it while moving from place to place.

My message to younger generations
If the atomic bomb were to be used again, all life on earth would be destroyed. Article 9 of the new Japanese Constitution written after the war, the "Peace Constitution,"was the first in the world to ban war and the use of atomic weapons.

I sincerely hope that you have a thorough understanding of Article 9, and the circumstances that gave rise to it. You will then realize that our country has continued to fail to obey its constitution, while many countries that have gained their independence are following a path of peace.

I think that the Civil Protection Law, insofar that it relates to the atomic bomb, is no more useful than the proclamation issued by the Second General Army Headquarters. The criteria for defining the Hibakusha is another example of the way in which our government has sought to minimize the effects of the atomic bomb in a way that I find intolerable. Our government is servile to the Americans, and our "independent country" is in practice the 51st state of the U.S.

My memories of the Bomb
In the August 1945, I was in the fourth year of Hiroshima Daiichi Middle School. I was working as a lathe operator in the Asahi Arms Factory in Jigozen making the ammunition for 13mm machine-guns for the navy. When the bomb detonated, I was on my way to the factory on a train just outside Hatsukaichi Station, 10km [6.2 miles] from the hypocenter. All the windows facing Hiroshima were suddenly shattered. We students were told not to enter the city center. The following morning, I went there on foot because all the trains were stopped due to a power failure.

My younger brother, who was in the first year at the same school, was working in Koami-cho about 0.7km [0.4 mile] from the hypocenter, when the bomb exploded. He managed to get home, 1.8km [1.1 miles] from the hypocenter, but he died the following morning. I still clearly remember his face, which was like a round charcoal briquette, too burned to tell which were his eyes, mouth, nose or ears.