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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Anonymous (male)
'Chokubaku'  5 km from the hypocenter / 4 years old at the time

Photographer: Eiichi Matsumoto.
The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages.
I was born on August 2, 1941. It was a little after my fourth birthday that the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. During the 60 years since then, I haven't wanted to recall or talk about my experience of the Nagasaki bombing. However, looking at my innocent grandchildren, who are now four and five years old, I thought that conveying my harsh memory to them would help them realize the importance of peace. This is why I decided to write this essay.

When the bomb hit Nagasaki, I was taking a nap with my brothers. I was woken up by the sound of windows being smashed to find nothing but darkness. I had no idea what had happened, and just followed my brothers to grope my way outdoors. Soon the black rain began falling but I couldn't find any shelter from the rain.

I lived near the Japan National Railways' Nagayo Station at that time.

After several days I saw a lot of people wrapped in bandages and white gauze being carried on freight trains. They were jammed into open-top cars used for loading coal, and in the heat of summer. I heard that the destination was the army hospital in Omura. It was not before long that they began being dropped off on the platform of Nagayo Station. It seemed that the hospital was already full. Victims were carried on one after another and the platform was soon crowded with the injured.

Their skin under the bandages was burned red where maggots moved around. They shouted, "Give me water! Give me water!", so I carried water to some of them. However, they became limp after drinking the water. My mother scolded me saying that we shouldn't give water to the severely burned. I felt sorry for them. Shortly afterwards, railway sleepers removed from rails were piled up in parallel crosses in a small open space in a nearby section of track. Black smoke rose into the sky in a straight line. The bodies were cremated there.

In early summer the next year, watermelons and gourds ripened in our family garden. The watermelons were extremely large. Now I think that it was an effect of the atomic bombing. One day I went to bed looking forward to eating the watermelons the next day. When I went to the garden the next morning, however, I found that the fruits had disappeared during the night.

We should never allow war or the use of nuclear weapons again.