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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Anonymous (male)
'Chokubaku'  1 km from the hypocenter / 16 years old at the time / current resident of Tokyo

Photographer: Eiichi Matsumoto.
The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages.
Although none of my acquaintances were killed by the A-bomb, I still cannot understand why numerous innocent people had to die such a painful, cruel death. Furthermore, I fail to understand how the Americans could consider dropping the atomic bomb acceptable and how it could save lives of many young Americans.

I can never forget the young boy who was instantly killed by a falling brick revealing the inside of his brain, the patient who was blown away along with his bedding, and the innumerable corpses being burned on massive firewood in the open field. They must have truly regretted their fate.

War is something that should be prevented at all cost. Even though it was drafted by the Americans, our present constitution - which renounces war - is something to be proud of. But a few politicians now claim that the Japanese Constitution should be drafted by the Japanese. It would be truly disgusting if they further attempt to legalize Japan possessing an army for self-defense. Politicians use people like pawns and don't feel any pain at all. This is really absurd. I would like the next generation to be informed and made aware of this situation.

Terrorism is on the rise in Afghanistan and Iraq. Terrorist organizations which kill people mercilessly upon acquiring the weapons are to be held responsible. In Japan, even though the Self-Defense Forces own weapons, they are basically not allowed to use weapons. Should the world not be made aware of this virtue, the uniqueness of our peaceful constitution? As fellow human beings, we have to seriously realize the grief felt by the bereaved families of those who are even now being killed by terrorists. In times of war, massive amounts of nuclear weapons may eventually be used, thus spreading a brutal hell in this world. The very thought itself is terrifying.

What happened at "Pikadon" - the moment of explosion?

Even if I try to, I can never ever forget the ghastly incident which occurred on August 9, 1945. We did not see the mushroom cloud as such, because we were below it. We refer to the moment of explosion as "Pikadon" because of the tremendous flash and loud sound associated with it, which has left a deep impression on our minds. It felt as though thousands of bombs exploded all at once. A newspaper reported that someone thought "the sun had exploded." The bottom of the mushroom cloud was as dark as the thick cloud. According to the Imperial Headquarter's announcement on the next day, "the enemy seemed to have used a high-performance bomb."

Accurate information was revealed in the newspaper mainly after the U.S. Army landed in Japan. Two B-29s left Tinian at about 5 am. One of them was a bomber and the other one was the observer, which guided or directed the bomber, and took photographs for keeping records of the A-bomb being dropped on the city and its effects. The actual target was Kokura. But the thick clouds over the city made the visibility poor, and they changed their target to the fine-weather Nagasaki. The two fighters seemed to have communicated with each other and executed the plan. The Americans and British still use the yard-pound system instead of the metric system. The A-bomb, nicknamed "Fat Man" was dropped from a height of 31,500 feet or 9,600 meters. Because of its heavy weight of 4.5 tons, it swiftly dropped down to 9,000 meters [5.6 miles] . The parachute attached to it opened and the bomb was blown northwards by the wind, thus missing the original target of Nagasaki Station. Instead, it exploded in the sky over Urakami at 11:02 a.m. Therewas a detention house for the prisoners-of-war in that area. According to the newspaper report, the U.S. Army did not hesitate to drop the A-bomb on that place because they had received information that the prisoners would be out to work in the suburbs. In Hiroshima, the "Little Boy" weighing 4 tons exploded at a height of 600 meters [0.37 mile] and the whole town was destroyed. On the other hand, in Nagasaki, the "Fat Man" of 4.5 tons exploded at a height of 500 meters [0.31 mile] . Although it was almost two times more powerful than the "Little Boy", most of the southern half of the city was safe, while the northern half was totally destroyed.