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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Yasunobu Uchida (male)
'Chokubaku'  1.4 km from the hypocenter / 16 years old at the time / current resident of Nagasaki

Photographer: Eiichi Matsumoto.
The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages.
1. What are the most unforgettable of your experiences?
We were middle school students, but we were not in school as we were mobilized to work at the Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard. On August 9, 1945, however, my schoolmate Taro-kensuke Nakamura and I happened to have a day off, so we did not have to go to the factory, which was built inside the tunnel of Tomachi. Since there was a shortage of leather and canvas shoes, Nakamura and I had agreed the previous day, "Tomorrow we will make new geta (wooden clogs) on our own", as the ledges of the "geta" we wore to go to work were wearing down. So I went to Nakamura's house to make our geta that day.

On the way, an air raid warning sounded and the tram car I was riding stopped at the Matsuyama stop. I jumped off the car and ran all the way down to his house in Ieno-machi. As the air raid warning was then lifted, I jumped out of the air raid shelter at once and we began to make geta in front of his house, exposing us to the A-bomb. Nakamura got badly burnt and died at midnight on the 9th. I remember as if it were yesterday that he died crying "Ma! Ma!."

2. How do you feel about the victims who died of A-bombing?
I was taken to Isahaya by train and was put in an elementary school building at first and then in the Isahaya Navy Hospital. I was surrounded by A-bomb victims dying one by one and I can never forget that I felt myself coming closer to death every day. There were around fifty patients in the room I was in, but the U.S. Forces came and told us, "We are using this hospital, so you Japanese have to get out." Therefore we were forced to leave the hospital. There were only seven survivors out of those fifty victims.

3. What do you want to convey to the next generation?
Nuclear arms are weapons of devils. We need to promote our movement against atomic and hydrogen bombs and for the total abolition of nuclear arms in order to protect our beautiful blue earth from destruction by nuclear arms. I am determined to dedicate all my life to the abolition of nuclear arms.

U.S. President Barack Obama recently referred to the abolition of nuclear arms. We must not forget that his statement was influenced by the fact that hundreds of millions of people in the world, including Japanese A-bomb survivors, have signed statements calling for the abolition of nuclear arms, and that world conferences for such abolition and for global peace have been held every year. We believe this movement for peace and against nuclear arms, centered on A-bomb survivors, is the means to assure the preservation of our beautiful blue earth.