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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Etsuko Yamasaki (female)
'Chokubaku'  5 km from the hypocenter / 7 years old at the time / current resident of Fukuoka

Photographer: Eiichi Matsumoto.
The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages.
When the A-bomb was dropped, my father was in the battlefield and my mother was out buying food. My younger brother, younger sister and I were left at home. With the sudden flash, our house was partially destroyed. Holding my sister in my arm and leading my brother by the hand, I escaped into the air-raid shelter, running barefoot over the pieces of broken glass. My mother did not come back even when evening came. The fear and horror that we three little children had to confront on that day were unimaginable. And then my mother finally came home. Her entire body except the part protected by the air-raid hood was terribly burned. My uncle was exposed to the A-bomb explosion near the hypocenter. When he arrived home, his internal organs were eviscerated, protruding from his side, into which rolled newspaper was stuffed. The moment he crossed the threshold of the house, he took his last breath. I remember we made a fire with sticks of wood and cremated his body in the back field.

Even though all these events occurred when I was only seven, they have been engraved in my mind as a vivid memory.