JAPANESE

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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Tsune Nakagawa (female)
'Nyushi hibaku'  / 16 years old at the time / current resident of Tokyo
6559

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. I was in the fourth year at a girl's school (a tenth grader, age sixteen, in present day) when I was exposed to the A-bomb. During August 9 until the end of the war, August 15, I stayed in the burnt-out ruins of a roofless schoolhouse. There, I nursed people suffering from severe burns and we all slept crowded together. There were only one or two doctors for the many A-bomb victims, and I was following the doctors instructions in caring for them. Since medicine was unavailable, all I could do was apply sesame oil on the victims' burns with a calligraphy-brush.

Despite the dire state we were in, when I asked an army soldier for gauze and bandages, he refused to share their supplies with us because 'they belonged to the army.' Everyone was suffering from severe burns from the A-bomb, soldiers and civilians alike; yet, the army was distinguishing "army things" from "civilian things." I felt resentful for how they could act that way at a time like this.

No one knew how the A-bomb would affect us thereafter, since we were the first people in the world to experience it. After I had returned from the relief operations, in September, a classmate who was only fifteen or sixteen at that time came down with severe diarrhea. I do not know how long after, but she died. When I remember her and how she died in a war for which she did not have any individual responsibility, I strongly feel that war should never be forgiven. Both the Japanese and the people of the opposing country personally do not have any personal grudges or feelings of hatred toward each other. Even so, we have killed each other; this is why war is foolish, and why it is a great sin.

I feel very thankful that, 60 years after the war, times have passed by peacefully. I am full of the prayer that this peace will be everlasting.
(2005)