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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Hideto Matsuura (male)
'Tainai hibaku'  / current resident of Ehime

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. I was exposed to radiation while still in the womb, and I grew up hearing about my mother's experiences during the war. Since my college days I have been taking part in activities organized by the antinuclear peace movement. For a long time I had considered myself a second generation survivor of the atomic bombing. In the autumn of my 31st year, however, the director of the Confederation of Atom Bomb Victims' Organizations, the late Ms. Nakako Kubo, recommended that I should apply to receive an Atom Bomb Survivor Health Book. This was when I first began to understand that I was in fact a direct survivor of the bomb.

Even though this would seem to heighten the urgency for me to take an interest in these matters, and it was something I just couldn't get out of my head, at first I was not able to accept Ms Kabo's suggestion. I hesitated to put in the application for the Atom Bomb Survivor Health Book. I couldn't shake off the feeling that to get the Health Book was to invite various health problems and even atom bomb disease itself. Logically I know there is no correlation between health problems and being in possession of an Atom Bomb Survivor Health Book. It was a curious consequence of my own psychology, even though I had always thought of myself as a clear thinker, a reasonable and logical sort, up until that point. (I eventually worked through that stumbling block, and started the application process the following day.)

I had strong emotions concerning my subsequent marriage and at the birth of each child. When we were still dating, I warned my future wife that I was an atomic bomb survivor, so that there was a risk any children we had together could be adversely affected in a worst case scenario, but she married me anyway. When we had our second and third children, there was a little reduction in the tension, but as the birth of our first child approached, I was tormented by ceaseless anxiety. When I heard the voice of the nurse saying, "It's a healthy baby girl!" there is no describing the sense of relief that I felt. It had seemed that such anxiety had been unbearable.

Nowadays I am honored to be taking part in the activities of our local atom bomb survivor group, as one of the youngest survivors.