The text area starts here.

  • Before reading this site

Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Iwao Hirayama (male)
'Chokubaku'  3 km from the hypocenter / 20 years old at the time / current resident of Saga

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 in Nagasaki. I attended the Mitsubishi Nagasaki Young Men's Technical School. On the day when the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, I was working at the Otao Factory, located near Nagasaki Port. This factory was making human torpedoes for use in the war effort. My job was to assemble the electrical switchboard during the construction of the torpedoes. This is what I was doing when the A-bomb struck our city.

After the A-bomb, I felt very anxious about my house and my family. I got out of the factory and went to my home.

I found my house tilting and my family wasn't there. My two younger sisters were in the air-raid shelter and told me that my mother had gone out in the morning to buy some food and had not yet returned. My mother returned home the next morning.

Then, we walked in the sweltering heat to Michinoo train station to try to get a train that would be leaving in the evening. On our way to the station, we passed near Urakami, where I met many A-bomb survivors, lying on the road and pleading for water. I saw a man leaning over the bridge railing and looking up into the sky. His arms were burned off at the elbows. I saw an infant lying face down with something white coming out of his head.

Though I watched all these people suffering, I just continued to run. I was fully occupied with myself and I just wanted to get away, even a step away from that living hell. Even to this day, I still blame myself for running away from these people.

Unlike conventional weapons, I will always carry the effects of the A-bomb radiation inside my body. Even worse, it's likely that the effects of the radiation will remain inside the bodies of my children and grandchildren.

A long time ago, I attended a meeting related to the experiments of the H-bomb testing at Bikini Atoll. I asked the lecturer about my suspicions of radiation. He answered that he wouldn't give his opinion because his answer could lead to discrimination.

As I have explained, the atomic bomb is the devil's weapon. It is absolutely essential that atomic bombs must never be used again.