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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Masahiro Tagawa (male)
'Chokubaku'  2.6 km from the hypocenter / 6 years old at the time / current resident of Kanagawa

Photographer: Eiichi Matsumoto.
The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages.
I was in Higashi Uwa-machi in Nagasaki (about 2.6 km [1.6 miles] from the hypocenter), when the atomic bomb exploded. Although our house had not been hit by a direct blast or heat rays, because it was located at the foot of the mountain, all the window panes on the veranda were blown out by the blast. Right at that moment, I was in a small bathroom supported by four pillars. Pale yellow light flashed across in front of my eyes. I rushed out of the bathroom as shattered glass fell on me from a high window. Three of us including my mother went to Tateyama air raid shelter where our father worked as a policeman. Following my father's instructions, we evacuated to a friend's house in Amiba. I remember seeing several soldiers from the garrison at Mt. Kompira sitting down on the side of the road, unable to move. Their faces were burned black by the heat rays. "Water, water please...," they called. I remember they were desperately asking for help even from children like us.

On the hillside of Tateyama, I was scared to see that the Nagasaki prefectural office was burning with bright flames. Although it wasn't night, it quickly became unusually dark and, as a child, I was very fearful that something terrible had happened.

Because of my resolve not to let the atomic bomb incident fade away, I have been reciting the lyrics of "Don't Cry Nagasaki" (by Fujio Takanami) for more than 40 years.