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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Shigemitsu Tanaka (male)
'Chokubaku'  6 km from the hypocenter / 4 years old at the time / current resident of Nagasaki
4

Photographer: Eiichi Matsumoto.
The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages.
I always had been looked after by Mr. Tominaga's daughter. She was exposed to the A-bomb at the Mitsubishi Arms Factory on August 9 while there as a mobilized student. The next day she was carried home on a two-wheel cart. I was very frightened at her change. Her hair was scorched frizzy. Her body had swelled up and most of her skin was burned black. She died on August 12.

Around August 13, my mother went into the city to check on her acquaintance who lived near the hypocenter.

But she came back home tired and said that she had not found anything at all. After that, her health deteriorated, although she had always been proud of her health. She started suffering from diarrhea, rashes all over her body and a weakened liver. She was constantly in and out of the hospital about twenty times for operations such as one on her thyroid gland.

My father, a soldier, had a duty to dispose of corpses and remove the debris as a member of the relief team mainly in and around the hypocenter. He kept saying that he felt so tired.

He was getting impatient with my mother after she began feeling sick so often. The annoyance led him to domestic violence. She ran away from home many times. She said that she wouldn't have had to suffer from illness and violence if she had not been exposed to the A-bomb. She used to shed tears every day.

The A-bomb robbed my family of a happy home and made our home dark and isolated. Father died of liver cancer in 1957, at the age of 53. After his death, we had to struggle with poverty.

A-bombs (nuclear weapons) are tools of the devil. We cannot live with these, the worst weapons of mass destruction. Everyone must appeal for their abolition more strongly and leave the beautiful earth for future generations.

The Japanese government should be in the vanguard of the movement for total abolition of nuclear arms and urge nuclear power states to abolish them. Japan should contribute to world peace with a pacifist constitution that we should be proud of. Japan must not become a country that is able to wage war. And the media should not cave in to any pressures but fight against them with pens of justice. I'm hoping for the continued good role of the media.
(2005)