JAPANESE

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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Raisetsu Tobinaga (male)
'Chokubaku'  1 km from the hypocenter / 18 years old at the time / current resident of Tokyo
9943

Photographer: Eiichi Matsumoto.
The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages.
Feeling that the World Was Ending

At the time, I was eighteen and was a mobilized student; I was one kilometer from the hypocenter.
The flash and blast were simultaneous. My face was burned black. A naked woman with burnt clothes ran past right in front of me screaming, "Gee!" A farmer suffocated when his head was stuck in a paddy field. And there was a woman rolling over a grassy bank screaming something.
I staggered around as I saw people who were asking for water or who were dying. I couldn't comprehend what had taken place. I had a feeling that the world was ending. At the hospital where I was cared for, A-bomb victims died one after another for several days. The blood in my urine dyed the white toilet bowl red. "I am the next one." I stared at the blood with despair.

From Scientific Technology to Art

The A-bomb made me realize a simple truth: "Advances in scientific technology do not necessarily make people happy." This idea made me decide to become a painter instead of an engineer, a dream I had had. Right after I was exposed to the A-bomb, everything for me was destroyed in an instant as far as my eyes could see, and an eerie silence followed. I feared that this must be the end of the world. This was clearly engraved on my teenage mind. What I saw at that moment was a starting point for my paintings. I continue to pray to give consolation to the souls of A-bomb victims. I still continue to draw pictures and exhibit them in galleries.

The A-Bomb Anniversary Should Be A National Holiday

Nuclear weapons should be abolished immediately. I want the A-bomb anniversary to be a national holiday so that this experience will never be forgotten and will remain in people's memories forever.

I wish works of art to be exhibited in large places such as museums where many sizeable works can be seen by many people.
(2010)