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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Shigeho Tada (male)
'Chokubaku'  1.3 km from the hypocenter / 17 years old at the time / current resident of Chiba

Photographer: Eiichi Matsumoto.
The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages.
Under the school student mobilization order, I had been mobilized to Mitsubishi Arms Factory Mori-machi Plant in Nagasaki. I was seventeen years old. Around 11 a.m. on August 9, an intense thermal flash ran through the factory. At the same time, everything rumbled down from the ceiling, covering the entire floor. The building was collapsing. For a moment, I thought our factory had been directly hit.

It grew pitch dark. Through the dark, indescribable groans and screeches, sounds hardly like human voices, resounded. They suggested howls of wild beasts. When I could see things around me after awhile, the ceiling had fallen and exposed twisted steel frames. I managed to get out of the factory through the debris. All the buildings of the factory had collapsed into piles of rubble as far as I could see.

It was not until then that I realized I was injured. Blood was spouting from a 5 centimeter [2 inch] long slit at the base of my right ear. Further, I had several lacerations on my shoulder, arms and back. My white shirt was dyed red.

However, I was not the only one who was blood-smeared. A man with blood gushing from his badly cracked head, a woman with dishevelled hair and a bloody face, girl students whose black hair had turned gray from the ashes making them look like the ghost of Oiwa on the kabuki stage, a man with half his face burned -- all were bloody. Tens of such people started running desperately through the debris all together to escape from the spot. This was indeed no different from scenes in old picture scrolls depicting hell.