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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Toyoichi Shiratori (male)
'Nyushi hibaku'  / 17 years old at the time / current resident of Aomori
11742

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. I was exposed to the A-bomb while offshore of Etajima Island, about thirteen kilometers away from the hypocenter, and was immediately mobilized for the rescue operation. We were recovering and disposing of bodies and aiding hibakusha late into the night on Ninoshima Island.

I think it was in an article last year that stated that a school girl's name tag was found a full 59 years after the bodies had been disposed on Ninoshima Island. At last, her relatives had confirmation that she had died from exposure to the A-bomb.
Back then I was eighteen years old, a young soldier with no choice but to recover and dispose of the bodies just as someone were throwing away trash. Now, when I think of how those relatives must have felt, I am filled with regret and want to whole heartedly apologize to them for what I did.
(2005)

New message

Back then I was training as a member of a military special forces unit at Kounoura on Etajima Island. At the time of the atomic blast, I was on board a ship about thirteen kilometers away from Kounoura. Luckily I suffered no injuries, since we were a considerable distance from the hypocenter. We were immediately mobilized to Hiroshima by order of the army. I came across the scene of the tragedy -- it was like hell before my very eyes. We recovered many of the dead bodies floating in the river.

After that, we moved to Ninoshima Island and helped survivors who had been carried from Hiroshima. We took them to stables or other designated quarantine stations. Their whole bodies were burned. We couldn't even touch them because it would cause such excruciating pain. We tried to feed them rice porridge, but they couldn't even open their mouths.
After three or four days they had maggot infestations under the skin.
"Please help me!" they cried, but we could do nothing except wait and hope for a quick end to their agony.
Thousands of the dead were brought by ship every day. We buried them in a bomb shelter in the school yard. Although it has been 64 years, I remember it all so vividly and can never forget it. Even today, a lot of hibakusha are suffering from the A-bomb disease. The A-bomb is an evil weapon.

Japan is the only country in the world to suffer an A-bomb attack. Therefore, we should demand "No more Hiroshima, No more Nagasaki" and take the leading role for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
(2010)