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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Hiroyuki Hiramatsu (male)
'Nyushi hibaku'  / 19 years old at the time / current resident of Nara

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. On August 7 the trains weren't running, so I wandered on foot in the city of Hiroshima for 7 to 8 hours, from Mukainada Station to Koi Station present-day Nishi-Hiroshima.

I was on my way from the reserve officers' cadet school in Toyohashi to the reserve officers' cadet school in Kurume. There was still white smoke all over the city. I walked past wounded people covered in blood, who had lost their clothes and were barefoot. Dead bodies were lying on both sides of the road like strings of beads.

Horses and cattle that substituted for trucks were dead with their guts hanging out. I saw a dead person sitting in a scorched streetcar. I saw a dead man with his head in a water tank used for fighting fires. Wounded people had been rounded up and were waiting for evacuation trucks. Children were crying out in pain and grown-ups were moaning. It was an inferno of people crying in agony. The smell of burning buildings under the blazing sun, the stench of death, and the offensive smell of puss mixed with blood filled my lungs, causing me to feel an unquenchable thirst. Whenever I found busted water pipes I drank down gulps of water.

When I finally managed to reach Koi Station I got on a train going west. The train was full of stretchers carrying severely wounded people and other injured victims. Late that night the train stopped moving at Tokuyama Station. I lay on my back on the asphalt in front of the station surrounded by burnt fields. It dawned on me then that I had not eaten anything since the afternoon of the 6th when I left Toyohashi, and all of a sudden I felt hungry. When I finally arrived at the school in Kurume on the evening of the 8th, I was staggering like a sleepwalker. During the two days that it took for me to get from Toyohashi to Kurume I had no opportunity to eat.

The United States claims that the A-bombs saved Japanese lives, but even without the use of the A-bombs Japan had already lost its ability to fight. I have also heard that the United States wanted to use the A-bomb before the Soviet Union joined the war, but I believe the US's aim in using the bomb was to conduct human experiments. I believe the truth is that the United States dropped the uranium bomb on Hiroshima and the plutonium bomb on Nagasaki because it wanted to test their effects on human beings. After the war the United States set up the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC) in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but its purpose was not to treat [A-bomb victims] but to collect information. It did not make its findings public. As a result, more people fell victim to nuclear tests. It is none other than the United States that not only uses depleted uranium munitions, but also possesses and has used weapons of mass destruction. I believe the way for Japan to atone for the victims of A-bombs is by strictly maintaining its three non-nuclear principles and spreading the principle of Article 9 of its constitution to the world.