JAPANESE

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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Akira Takaira (male)
'Chokubaku'  1.5 km from the hypocenter / 12 years old at the time / current resident of Nagasaki
1071

Photographer: Eiichi Matsumoto.
The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages.
Date: August 9, 1945,
Weather: Fine.
My memory of the day is ever fresh and clear. Oleander flowers were in full bloom. At that time, I was in my first year at Nagasaki-prefectural Keiho Middle School, located 800 meters to the southwest of the hypocenter. On the day of the atomic bomb explosion, I had just finished my end of term examination, which had been postponed time after time due to continuous air raids.
I was on my way home from school and was walking about 500 meters from the school building. At 10:30 a.m., there was a sudden warning of an enemy air attack. After the attack, I completely lost consciousness and recovered to find myself in total darkness. Thinking that perhaps I passed on to the other world, I again fainted away. I don't know how long I was unconscious. Then, someone called me and held me in his arms. The next moment, I heard the noise of wind roaring through the rubble.

The upper halves of human bodies were seen hanging from tram windows. I was surrounded by countless bodies of dead horses as well as dead men and women. Indeed, I was in a blazing inferno. Fleeing toward a hill, I came across a pond. All around the edge of the pond, there were dead bodies packed together, their heads lowered into the water. I frantically ran away from the site. I don't know what route I took. in order to get home. By evening, I somehow reached my home running through a number of hills. I noticed my body had been burnt on the left side and some splinters were stuck in my calves. Today, I wonder how I could have survived such an atrocity.
It has been sixty five years since that day when three hundred and eighty seven of my classmates lost their lives and became victims of the atomic bomb. This year, we are remembering that day of atrocity for the sixty fifth time.
Fortunately, I have survived to this day. I hope I can live my remaining years, to the best of my ability, for the service of other people and the world.
(2010)