JAPANESE

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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Kanji Fukahori (male)
'Chokubaku'  1.7 km from the hypocenter / 12 years old at the time / current resident of Tokyo
7641

Photographer: Eiichi Matsumoto.
The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages.
While I was sitting under the window, I heard the noise of an engine and to my left saw a silver wing in the skies. I thought that it was a friendly aircraft. Suddenly the noise of the engine became louder and in the next moment, there was a whip-like flash.
My house was blown away by the force of explosion and I ended up under it. I desperately removed the tiles on my head and walked about 20 meters.
Then, in a ditch to the left, somebody called my name, so I turned toward the voice. It was somebody whose ears, nose and head had melted. They were just a red round body with eyes, crying for water.
I couldn't tell who that person was. As I stood there, the person fell down. It seemed that they had broken their neck.
To this day, I still do not know who that person was. This is something that I can never forget.
(2005)

I was exposed to radiation from the A-bomb when I was a 6th year student in primary school. I was wounded on my face, hands and feet. Sixty-five years have passed, but I still have deep keloid scars.
In fact, my house was about 400m from the hypocenter. If I had been home, my flesh and bones would have been destroyed.
At the beginning of July, a month before the explosion, I had evacuated to my mother's parents' home so I narrowly escaped death.
It was a hot sunny day. We heard the yellow alert, and soon it became the red alert at around 10:30 a.m, so everybody went into the air-raid shelter and a few minutes before 11 a.m, the alert was lifted and all of us willingly left the shelter.
I sat down under the window with my Grandpa and Grandma. This was when it happened.

I don't understand why they lifted the alert when the B-29 was coming toward us. If we had been in the shelter, we might not have been injured so badly that we couldn't distinguish each other's faces.
My Grandpa and Grandma, who sat down there with me, passed away. Grandpa died five hours later, then the next day, Grandma was gone.
Six years ago, I was in hospital for six months because of colon cancer. I have deep gratitude that I narrowly escaped death again. I somehow live on.
Now, I strongly hope for the abolition of nuclear weapons all over the world to protect all children in the world from such horrible and sad events.
(2010)