The text area starts here.

  • Before reading this site

Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Ryoichi Tabe (male)
'Chokubaku'  2.5 km from the hypocenter / current resident of Kumamoto

Photographer: Eiichi Matsumoto.
The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages.
On August 10, 1945, my father and I were walking along the Urakami River toward Shiroyama Elementary School in Nagasaki to look for the body of my elder sister.

There were probably more than ten flights of stairs to go down to the bank of the river, one about every 100 meters [109 yards], and I found between 100 and 200 bodies of the dead piled on each flight of stairs.

I was only ten years old at that time and was in the fourth grade of National Elementary School. My name was then Ryoichi Mouri. The number of mountains of bodies seemed more than ten. I thought this must be a hell in the true sense of the term and I was at a loss for words. The scene comes to my mind even now at 70 years of age. If a picture showing the scene still exists, it would be the most powerful evidence of the horrors of the A-bomb blast.

Although people say that the Cold War has ended, it actually has not. We still have deep-rooted possible confrontations caused by ideological differences and conflicts between developed and developing countries. Therefore, it is important for us to realize that we face a nuclear war crisis all the time, and we must maintain our principle that we will never accept nuclear exploitation and, in fact, will oppose it.

Ten or twenty years from now, there will be virtually no one who has had direct experience of being exposed to the A-bomb. So, I eagerly beseech everyone between 40 and 50 years of age who knows about the horrors of the A-bomb: Please talk to your children and grandchildren in the future.

I was exposed to the A-bomb in Hiradogoya-machi, two and a half kilometers[1.6 miles] away from the hypocenter. My elder sister, the late Eiko Mouri, was making parts for submarine torpedoes at the Mitsubishi Arms Factory, which had been moved to Shiroyama Elementary School. My sister died instantly under the fallen ceiling of the second floor. I am 74 years old now.