JAPANESE

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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Yoshihiko Kawano (male)
'Nyushi hibaku'  / 14 years old at the time / current resident of Tokyo
79

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. Since my curfew time was approaching, I had to force myself to pass through Hiroshima on the day after the atomic bombing.

The sunshine was extremely strong on that day of summer, and sufferers who couldn't evacuate far from the city flocked under bridges and under the shade of scarce remains of collapsed buildings. I didn't have time to look back at them, I hurried forward.

Getting the information at Hiroshima station that a Geibi Line train was going to leave from the next station, I walked along the rail road and got on the crowded train through a window. The aisles and seats of the train were full of the sufferers with burned skin, so I couldn't move from the seat backs to the isle. I decided instead to cling to a baggage rack because I had no other choice.

When the train reached the next station, many people were watching for it because their relatives hadn't come home from work in Hiroshima.
Mothers looked through every window while shouting the names of their children. But there was no answer and the train left in vain.
The same scene was repeated at the next station and the next station, over and over. Grievous voices of mothers stuck in my head and it followed me wherever I went.

I only thought about being on time for my curfew because of the severe regulations of the military, and I didn't concern myself with the horribly visible dead bodies when I sat down next to them. But those mothers' voices dragged me back to the reality and I felt human again.
Tears began to well up in my eyes.
(2005)