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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Kuniko Kitagawa (female)
'Chokubaku'  3 km from the hypocenter / 18 years old at the time / current resident of Tokyo

Photographer: Eiichi Matsumoto.
The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages.
I would like to ask the next generation what you know about atomic bombs? Have you ever talked about A-bombs with other people? You see, I suffered direct radiation exposure in Nagasaki.
That day, it was August 9, I did not see the kinokogumo , or mushroom cloud. Although that symbol has become synonymous with the A-bomb, the victims, especially those who were closer to the hypocenter must have died quickly, crushed under their houses or burned in flames without seeing the cloud, without knowing what had happened, what had killed them.

I was told that the main blast occurred only 3 km[1.9 miles] away from the Mitsubishi Electric Factory where I worked. I heard a voice, yelling "Fire!" It was probably the guard's voice. When I looked back toward the city center, I saw a burning fire, hard to define either as flames or light. It came from the sea at high speed accompanied by a thundering sound, as if trying to rush at me. I seemed to remember hearing another voice yell, "Lie down!" just before I fainted. I don't know how long I lay there. When I got to my feet, there was no one around me, and I remember it was dark though I knew it was daytime.

The Toyu Association and Hiroshima-Nagasaki Hibakusha Association were founded in Tokyo, while in Sumida Ward, a local society named Orizuru, or Folded Paper Crane Association, grew from the desire to do something. The chairman and other members are now aged and fewer people attend the meetings each month. The activities of the associations are becoming difficult to maintain. We wonder how to pass down our disastrous memories to the next generation. We discuss it constantly.