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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Kenjiro Ichihara (male)
'Chokubaku'  4 km from the hypocenter / 9 years old at the time / current resident of Chiba

Photographer: Eiichi Matsumoto.
The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages.
I can never forget what I saw when we evacuated to an air raid shelter from our half-destroyed house after the A-bomb was dropped. Charred human beings with eyes popped out were dying, groaning in pain. When I held out my hand to help them, I felt the skin peel off their arms.

I, at the age of nine, was stunned at the scene of this hell. The tragedy of the A-bomb still remains in my mind. I want therefore to pass it down to as many people as possible, and help generate public opinion against war and public awareness for human dignity.

It is only after we have made the world peaceful that we can have peace of mind. My mother died young, in her thirties, one and a half years after exposure to the A-bomb. Despite our poverty in the post-war chaos, we had a funeral ceremony and decorated her tomb with flowers. Right after the bombing, however, I saw many human bodies piled up in fields, awaiting cremation, without any mourners or flowers. This sight made me aware of the difference between war and peace for the first time.