The text area starts here.

  • Before reading this site

Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Chizue Kaneko (female)
'Nyushi hibaku'  / 28 years old at the time / current resident of Hiroshima

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. On a scorching hot summer day, I walked and walked all the way through burned ruins in search of my family members without knowing the direction in which I was moving. As I did so, I glanced inattentively at the dead and injured lying here and there. I remember with deep regret a scene in which I ignored people desperately reaching out for water on the steps of a river bank quay, passing them by without paying any attention to them, immersed only in my own affairs. I fear that they might have slipped down to the river and drowned, attempting to drink dirty water. I was carrying home the ashes of my sister, whose body had been cremated on the school grounds.

One positive memory I have is that I escorted back home a youth who was a Higher Normal School student. He was injured, but still able to walk. I am happy to have heard from him recently that he remembers and profoundly thanks me for what I did for him, even after the passage of so many years, during which he has become very old.

Nuclear wars should never be repeated, and I want to do all I can to hand down to future generations my sad stories of some of the more personal results of the 1945 nuclear bombing. It is my sincere hope that people in our generation will use various opportunities to talk about nuclear problems to younger generations and to discuss them in peace education classes in primary, junior high and senior high schools in order to hand them down to future generations. Nuclear bombs should never be used again.

It seems that Japan, being protected under the nuclear umbrella of the U.S., cannot but keep silent. Prime Minister Koizumi advocates political reform; however, he should be aware that Japan faces lots of serious domestic problems that remain unsolved. I hope that the prime minister will have a closer look at them, and take them under serious consideration. On my part, I have been an executive of the Association of A-Bomb Survivors for years.

Even today, more than 60 years after the end of World War II, nuclear problems are yet to be solved. I would like to call into a question the purposes of consideration at Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NTP) Review Conferences convened every five years. Hibakusha , A-bomb survivors like us do not have many more years to live. Because of my advanced age, I am too weak to attend an NPT conference. Still, my firm belief is that such terrible and horrible atomic bombs should never be used again, and that the stockpiling and continued production of nuclear bombs should be terminated at the earliest possible time. Instead of me attending the NPT Review Conference to be held in New York this coming May, I have asked second generation A-bomb survivors to attend it in my place. I am looking forward to learning the results of the conference.