JAPANESE

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Messages from Hiroshima

Misa Moriya (female)
'Kyugo hibaku'  / 24 years old at the time / current resident of Ibaraki
8552

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. 6. "Another Hiroshima" -- Typhoon Makurazaki (Typhoon Ida, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center's naming)
The branch hospital at Ono Primary School was closed and all the patients were moved to the main hospital on September 17. A little after ten o'clock that night the typhoon, which had landed on Makurazaki in the Kyushu region earlier that day, struck the Chugoku region, and the hospital was destroyed by the mud slide carried down by the Maruishi River, which ran through the center of the hospital grounds.
The number of the dead and missing caused by the typhoon were:
Nationwide 3,756 (It was also called an annihilation typhoon.)
Hiroshima Prefecture 2,012
Ono Army Hospital 156 (including 132 patients, 13 staff, and 11 Kyoto University researchers)

(1) Death of head nurse Ochiai
That day I was originally assigned to night duty, but the head nurse Ochiai from the Nagano group asked me to switch with her, which consequently saved my life.
Mrs. Ochiai received a draft call on August 15, the day war ended, and was dispatched to Ono, leaving her sick husband and two children of fourteen and four at home. The mud slide carried her away that night and her body could not be found.

(2) Damage Caused by Typhoon Makurazaki Was due to War.
The enormous damage inflicted by Typhoon Makurazaki resulted from the following causes:
The mountains were left in vulnerable conditions after pine trees were dug up during the war to extract pine root oil,
No weather forecast was available in the confusion of the atomic bombing and the defeat of war, and
Insufficient rescue activities were undertaken by neighboring people.
Furthermore, the typhoon victims consisted of atomic bomb survivors, soldiers who had caught T.B. in the harsh military life, nurses caring for them, and atomic bomb researchers -- all were war victims at the same time. Thus the disaster caused by the typhoon was called "Another Hiroshima."

(3) Unreported Typhoon Makurazaki
This Typhoon Makurazaki was mostly unknown to the general public. Because the Asahi Shimbun went against GHQ's press code and voiced criticism of the U.S. atomic bombing, the newspaper was punished with suspension of publication on August 19 and 20. The punishment also led to other papers' self regulation, making Hiroshima-related articles smaller. I hadn't known the full extent of the disaster until I read Kuhaku no Tenki-zu (A Blank Weather Chart) by Kunio Yanagida (Shincho Bunko) twenty years later.

7. Conclusion
While collecting materials to write a note for this talk, I realized again that war is always prepared for without the general public and ordinary people, who are in a weak position, are the ones who will be sacrificed.
I'd like to conclude today's talk with the following words: "There is a growing awareness that the responsibility to keep and propagate the accounts by war witnesses as a common property of our society, should be borne not only by the witnesses themselves but also by those who hear the accounts." These words were quoted from Ichi-heishi Tachi no Senso (Common Soldiers' War) published by NHK Shuppan.
(Previously published text received 2010)

P.S.
I live alone now in the central part of a college town where I moved to three years ago. Sometimes I talk as a war witness in this neighborhood. Last month I gave a talk in Kunitachi, the summary of which I included in this letter. War witnesses, who can hand down their experience, are decreasing rapidly because of aging and sickness. I'd been in poor health since last February myself, and could write this letter only today. I'm sorry for responding to your questionnaire so late. Tomorrow (the 31th) two young people are coming from Tokyo to hear my account of the war. So, I think I must muster up my strength.
(2010)