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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Mikie Ushida (female)
'Chokubaku'  3.4 km from the hypocenter / 16 years old at the time / current resident of Nagasaki

Photographer: Eiichi Matsumoto.
The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages.
In my neighborhood, seven people were killed within a radius of ten meters [about 33 feet, or 11 yard]. I saw one of them, a badly burned man, walking painfully back home from the direction of Urakami. It took him eight hours to return home. The man, newly married, had recently had his first child and had a strong desire to see the child, despite his injuries.

His whole body was swollen, with some parts dark red and soaked with blood. I could not believe the way he looked; it was unimaginable. He died that night calling his baby's name. We all wept, joining our hands in prayer. I will never forget the events of that night.

His wife and baby had gone back to the parents' home on Goto Island in Nagasaki Prefecture. The child, who never saw his father's face, will be sixty years old this year. I have my own son and two grandchildren. When I think of the despair of the people who were separated from their families, I am absolutely against our children and grandchildren ever having to go through another war. I think this is the best way to console the souls of the victims.

Whatever conflicts of opinion exist, especially among nations, never should force be used to resolve it. Whoever wins, both winner and loser will have to make sacrifices. The most precious thing in the world is a human life. Wars destroy culture, lives, relationships and livelihoods, as well as everything else. They deny human history. Therefore, I want to appeal for all of us to improve U.S/Japan relations and to build an autonomous, independent and democratic Japan.

The family that had gone back to Goto Island was identified with the help of their neighbor.