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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Shoji Miyake (male)
'Chokubaku'  2 km from the hypocenter / 12 years old at the time / current resident of Ibaraki

Photographer: Eiichi Matsumoto.
The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages.
I suddenly heard an airplane at a lower altitude and quickly went outside and ran toward a shelter. While I was running, I heard the airplane's roar become so loud that I closed my eyes, covered my ears and squatted down. In a split second a horrendous sound came, and I thought a large number of bombs had been dropped all over. After a while, I opened my eyes and found that all the houses in the neighborhood, as well as my own house, were damaged and leaning. There were no boards on the roof and not a single roof tile was left. I just saw blue sky.

I was wearing a short sleeve shirt and a hat. The flash hit me from behind and burned the back of my ears, neck, and the arms up to my elbows. My right elbow has a keloid scar even today. My elder sister was in the kitchen at the time of bombing and pieces of broken glasses got stuck to her face. We went into the shelter then and stayed there: after a while someone shouted that we had to leave the shelter immediately. I went out to find a sea of fire everywhere, and we understood what the person who had warned us meant when he said that we would have been steamed to death in the shelter.

I walked between the fires and found another shelter about 200 meters away. They said that this shelter was also in danger of being surrounded by fire. So I climbed a steep hill, walked through wrecked houses, and finally arrived at a shelter near the Inasa Elementary School. There I saw many people. Some were burned over their entire bodies and were asking desperately for water. Those badly burned people seemed unlikely to survive, and we were told to give them any water, even from a rainwater cistern for fire prevention. They were drinking the water as if it was very tasty.

When I went back home, my house and everything around it had been completely burned down. I wanted to go to the bathroom and found a ditch nearby which was as deep as my height: I noticed someone squatting at its bottom. He or she looked dead.

According to those who were walking around searching for missing people, numerous people had fallen injured or dead.

As I look back now, it was literally a living hell experience. This is my first time to write about the A-Bomb experience and my hands are shaking even now remembering the experience.

Bombed at Inasa 3-chome 136 (old address) (2K), Nagasaki City. A first year student of Fuchi Middle School.