JAPANESE

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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Tsuyohiko Ito (male)
'Kyugo hibaku'  / 18 years old at the time / current resident of Hokkaido
5745

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. 1 - I entered Hiroshima on August 6, Showa 20 (1945.) When I took a short break from my work that night, I found that there were about eighty people who had burns all over their bodies, had broken their arms or legs, or were bleeding profusely because of the many fragments of glass that were stuck in their faces. The one lying closest to me was a girl, about ten years old. Both her eyes were oozing white mucus. She could hardly see, but she came crawling with her left hand outstretched toward me and said, "Mr. Soldier, Mr. Soldier. Please give me some water. Water……." She was wearing an air raid hood. She raised her upper body and tilted the water bottle I offered, and drank it, thirstily. "Thank you, Mr. Soldier," she smiled, and her voice became gradually weaker. "Hey, girl!" "Hey, girl!" I said, but the girl did not respond. A human being, who lived until that moment, passed away before my eyes.

I looked at my feet, stunned. There was a long and narrow line on the ground where the girl had crawled. It looked like a slender string. I wondered what it was, and picked it up. It was dirty, about two centimeters thick and it was soft. The top of the dirty string was around the girl's feet. "What?!" I said. Did the huge impact of the A-bomb force her intestine out from her stomach? What had happened to the girl's parents or siblings? This happened not only to her, but to dozens, hundreds of people, all of whom, one after another drew their last breath before our very eyes. We in the rescue parties were given a command: "You must not give water to the wounded."

2 - We were also told to clean up the dead bodies floating in the river. We had to wade into the river and pull the floating bodies toward us, but even pulling one body was almost impossible for two soldiers to manage. We managed to carry drowned bodies to the riverside, and we cremated about two bodies at a time, but the mission didn't move quickly enough. We couldn't cremate the bodies completely, so we had to put them back into the river again.

The survivors now have to carry the A-bomb with them for the rest of their lives. Since that day, since that moment, I can never forget or forgive the fact that the A-bomb caused so much horror and misery.

The survivors also have to carry the radiation of the A-bomb for the rest of their lives. This is the reality of the survivors. The A-bomb will not allow them to die as human beings, or to live like human beings.
(2010)

I was 18 years old when the bomb was dropped.