JAPANESE

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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Masakatsu Obata (male)
'Chokubaku'  1.5 km from the hypocenter / 27 years old at the time / current resident of Nagasaki
9159

Photographer: Eiichi Matsumoto.
The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages.
I will always remember two of my co-workers, near to my age, working at the Saiwai-machi Factory of the Mitsubishi Shipyard, who were killed by the thermal radiation.
(2005)

In October of the eighteenth year of the Showa period 1943, I was transferred from Akunoura Machinery Factory of Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard to the machinery and finishing shop in Saiwai-machi. As the machine tools were not installed, the actual operations didn't start until sometime in the middle of December. In spring of the nineteenth year 1944, middle school students, female students and unmarried women were mobilized to the factory. In that year there were also many Koreans, who were brought in and forced to work. At that same factory, I was working with Eguchi, who was my age and Nakayama, who was one year older.

By the way, since it was the first time for the mobilized middle school students, female students, unmarried girls and the Koreans who came in the twentieth year 1945 to work in a factory, the work did not progress quickly.

On the morning of August 9 in the twentieth year of the Showa period 1945, I was talking with Eguchi about whether the air raid siren would ring that day too Suddenly the siren sounded the alert. Eguchi and Nakayama evacuated the mobilized students and the unmarried women to the top of a small hill outside the factory near where Shotoku Temple rested on a small cliff about twelve or thirteen meters [about forty feet] high, where there was also the air raid shelter. It was only we, the employees who were left at the factory. As the air raid siren changed its warning from high alert to the all clear, most of the people exited the shelter. I was at work inside the factory. It was about eleven o'clock and I was looking forward to lunch at twelve o'clock.

The moment I saw an extreme pale blue light beam, it struck me that something terrible was happening. As soon as I lay on my belly, along with the loud noise, the slate roof tiles of the factory came falling with a great cracking sound. I thought I would die there, but after a while, inside the factory, it became quiet.
(2010)