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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Fukiko Hirayama (female)
'Chokubaku'  8.1 km from the hypocenter / 21 years old at the time / current resident of Nagasaki

Photographer: Eiichi Matsumoto.
The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages.
When the A-bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, I lived at 405 Kosedo-machi, Nagasaki-City and I was working at Nagasaki City Kamishima National Elementary School. I was 21 years old.

Around that time, the school was closed because of summer vacation, but the teaching staff came to school every day to keep watch over the school and the children of the area. Since I was the youngest one, I was told to cover the area called Donoshita, which was a little distant from the school in Kamishima, and was always on the alert because the children should not be swimming in the sea during an air raid.
When the air-raid siren was sounded on August 9, I ran across the mountain for half an hour and reached the beach of Donoshita. About ten children were swimming in the sea. With a megaphone, I told them to come up to the beach. At that time, the children and I saw an airplane flying from the east toward Nagasaki.
At first I thought it was a Japanese plane, but it dropped something like a parachute. I thought a Japanese pilot was training to parachute, but it turned out to be the atomic bomb.
There was a blinding flash of light and a deafening sound, and I could see nothing―nothing at all around the fishing boats. I almost crawled on the sand and walked up the beach. Some people of that area helped me enter the air-raid shelter.
I spent several hours in the shelter. People said it might have been a "new-type bomb." When I returned to my school, I saw many pieces of broken glass scattered all over the hallway.

My sister's oldest son was attending a lecture at the medical school when the A-bomb was dropped and took shelter in the precincts of Kompira Shrine. Since my sister and her family were living in Shanghai, I brought him to my house and looked after him. Probably he was exposed to the nuclear radiation; there was no obvious injury on his body, but he developed something like chicken pox blisters around his mouth and could hardly eat.
The following day we looked for my older brother. We were happy to find him alive, but after a week, he vomited blood and died.
A Nagasaki Medical School student by the name of Nagao was boarding near our house. My older brother went to look for him and carried him back to our house. Nagao kept telling my father that he wanted to see his mother, but we could do nothing to help him. I am still full of sorrow for him.