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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Kunio Hamada (male)
'Chokubaku'  2 km from the hypocenter / 9 years old at the time / current resident of Yamanashi

Photographer: Eiichi Matsumoto.
The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages.
To be honest, I have neither the words nor the skill to adequately convey how wretched that hellish scene was.
A baby who had died from severe burns was being carried on the back of its mother, who was herself wandering about severely burnt. Likewise I remember how my grandmother was crushed under a destroyed house. Nobody could rescue her, and she burned alive in that hellfire. The next day all the family members were in tears as we gathered her bones; the scene remains etched on my mind to this day. I would be lying if I said I did not curse the A-bomb that took tens of thousands of precious lives in a single instant.

The scene moments after the atomic blast -- of the summer sky burnt dark, crimson flames, and black smoke swirling like dragons in a wild dance -- made me think it was the end of the world. Some people died in an instant, not knowing what had happened, some people met their end moaning and sobbing after thrashing about like green caterpillars roasted in a flame. Some people survived, but had to battle illness the rest of their lives, dealing with the pain of living every day in uncertainty. Never to repeat the past is the only way to repay the deceased and the only requiem for them.

I know I must maintain my vigilance against nuclear weapons and against war in general as a way to recompense my family and relatives, acquaintances, friends, and classmates who were victims of the bomb, but these days I am afraid that I am powerless and helpless.

There is much talk today about constitutional revision, but I don't want Article 9 to be revised. This article has proven its validity and it is known around the world. To change Article 9 at the very time when we must demonstrate its importance to the world would be to go backward in our thinking.

The world is becoming smaller, and the destruction of nature along with increasing greenhouse gases are threatening to bring about the demise of humankind. We have gone far beyond the carrying capacity of the global environment and cannot afford any more war, the greatest source of environmental destruction.

It is foolish for the world to spend 100 trillion yen a year on the military. We should take steps to build peace, not resort to war, but the fact is, world leaders lack this perspective. A-bomb survivors pray for total nuclear disarmament, and a world without war, and this is the spirit behind the slogan "No more Hiroshimas. No more Nagasakis."