JAPANESE

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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Seiichi Sakamura (male)
'Nyushi hibaku'  / 11 years old at the time / current resident of Tokyo
5593

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. I was in school, a sixth grader, when the atom bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945. Falling timbers and broken glass rained on me and I momentarily lost consciousness. Later I looked out to see a huge mushroom cloud over the city of Hiroshima. Lightning flashed and the next thing I knew great big drops of black rain began to fall.
Burned people were walking towards us from the city. Many collapsed. Their burns were awful and you could not tell if the fragments flapping from their bodies were pieces of torn clothing or burned skin. Their faces were lifeless and swollen from the burns.
On August 7, I was asked by my father to go and check the burned houses of the bomb victims who had sought shelter in our home. Along the way I saw many dead bodies floating in the river. A horse cart had turned over and the horse was screaming. The leather reins had dug deep into the horse's body and I could see bone.

The atom bomb killed everything: grownups, children, animals.
My home had five rooms. We also had three storerooms and above them a spacious attic. Every room was full of people from the city.
When the bandages were removed from the burn victims, maggots wiggled out of the wounds. We plucked them off with chopsticks and put them in a jar to be burned later. Flies laid their eggs in living human flesh and then we poked chopsticks into that flesh to remove the maggots. We desperately wanted to nurse these people to health. I will never forget it.
The dropping of the atom bomb was a crime of indiscriminate murder. It will surely bring about the end of the world. I believe all countries should abandon nuclear weapons.
How can a person defend himself against an atom bomb?
(2005)

Postscript:
There is so much more that could be written of the pain and the misery. It would take 100 pages at least. I kept my story short, however, assuming that others would also be telling their stories. I wish now that I could rewrite it all.
(2010)