JAPANESE

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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Shizuko Miura (female)
'Chokubaku'  1.5 km from the hypocenter / 14 years old at the time / current resident of Oita
9739

Photographer: Eiichi Matsumoto.
The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages.
Though I was only fourteen years old, I still remember it vividly:
At that time, I was a student at the girls' school near the hypocenter, where I had served for a Patriotic Volunteer Corps. We worked at an arms manufacturing factory in Ohashi; making a custom style of funnels which were used as tools to make torpedoes from melted iron.

At the moment of the bombing, there was a flash of light. The flash went through the roof between the cracked slate tiles and reached me. Crouching down, I tried to dodge the debris, but the ubiquitous pieces of roof tiles cascaded painfully down on my neck and back. Since I was dressed lightly for the summertime, the explosion of roof tiles had injured me severely.

After the dropping of the A-bomb, a false rumor circulated that soon there would be another A- bomb. Therefore I escaped with four or five people to the other end of the street; opposite direction from my house. We spent the night in a vacant house. All of the glass windows were smashed into pieces by the blast of the bomb.

On my way home in the next morning, I saw some charred corpses lying out on the street near Shiroyama Elementary School. One of the dead bodies was so badly burned; it's back scooped out so deeply, I could even see its spine. In those days, we used to carry our baggage with horse-drawn carriages. I also had seen countless charred horse carcasses - which were burned by the intense heat ray of the A-bomb; they littered the streets. The memory of that dead body and its spine is still stuck in my mind. I still wonder how it got scooped out in such a way.

I was so lucky to survive for these decades I have after the A-bomb. However, for those people who died in the intense heat rays or inhaling gas, or who were crushed under those falling buildings, I have had such profound regret.

Many war movies are shown on TV nowadays, and I consummately despise the oft-contained bombing scenes: dropping bombs, A-bombs, H-bombs, missiles of North Korea, the Iraq war, the ensuing retaliation, etc...

My parents' house was a large temple with thirteen buildings. Once upon a time, this temple was even designated as a national treasure. I remember that many visitors were there; even during the war. As I was a child, I used to help the tourists to collect the stamps. Tragically, all of the buildings were burned down by the air raid. In today's peaceful time, when I see other old temples, crowded with tourists, I am sad in deep remembrance of our once-venerated temple.

All the wars should be stopped.
Both Japanese as well as the American governments should make reparations to A-bomb victims.
(2010)