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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Akiko Sakamaki (female)
'Nyushi hibaku'  / 15 years old at the time / current resident of Tokyo
3372

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. On the third day after the atomic bombing, as one of the members of the relief party of Hiroshima Disabled Veterans Medical Treatment Centre (now East Hiroshima Medical Centre), I went into Hiroshima. Sixty-four years have passed already, but I still have nostalgic feelings toward Hiroshima. No houses, no towns, no Hiroshima, absolutely nothing… Amongst the debris lay a black lump left on the concrete -- impossible to reckon if it was a he or a she, a child or an adult-- I saw the chest move. This will never leave my mind for my lifetime. A long time later, someone told me that it might have been a postmortem change, but there was nothing that could be done at the time.
The shards of glass stuck in the jaw of a 10-year-old girl were thick, so many and so deep that it was impossible to remove them. The burn casualties' wounds were pulpy and festering, but all I could do was apply mercurochrome and zinc oxide oil over them. There were lots of patients like that, and I tried as hard and as much as I could to help them.

In Hiroshima, I had a very kind uncle and aunt. They lived in the 14th lot of Kami Nagarekawa-cho. In the raging fire, my uncle was caught between the beams and was unable to move. My aunt, saying that she couldn't flee alone, jumped into the fire and died with him. Also my little cousins became victims.
This is what I heard a long time afterwards from my grandmother, who barely managed to flee.

It was already the third day; unable to search in the city destroyed by fire, all I could do was look in a daze at Hiroshima without anything left.
There is no weapon as dreadful as the atomic bomb. Even now, after 60 years have passed since that day, it continues to threaten our lives. However much I may detest it, it is still not enough.

May the world be at peace. May the Earth be rid of war. I pray from the bottom of my heart.
(2010)