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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Katsumi Ida (male)
'Nyushi hibaku'  / 19 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.
In those days, I worked at Nagasaki Agricultural Experiment Station which was located behind Isahaya railway station.

I had planned to go on a business trip to a test rice field in Seihi Yukinoura, which I was in charge of, to do some examinations on August 9, 1945. But on the previous day my senior technologist Mr. Nishimura offered to go instead of me. Therefore, on August 9th, I stayed in Isahaya as usual doing some examinations of paddy rice. Around eleven o'clock an awful light flashed, and then we heard a roar of thunderous heavy sound. I dashed into an air raid shelter instinctively. After a while, I crept out of the shelter. Then I saw a massive thunderhead toward Nagasaki and the sun looked like an egg yolk, which made me very scared.

In the afternoon, around three o'clock, the atomic-bomb victims were carried from Nagasaki to be lodged in the Experiment Station. We waited for Mr. Nishimura desperately, but he did not return. From the evening through the night, we went to every temporary relief camp such as temples, schools and so on, to look for him in vain.

On the next day, the chief of the Station, two co-workers and I went to Nagasaki to search for him because he must have gone there to catch a bus for Seihi Yukinoura. We visited the County Agricultural Association in Seihi first because he was supposed to go to Yukinoura with some Association members. They told us that Mr. Nishimura must have been waiting for a bus bound for Seihi at Ohashi bus stop in the center of Nagasaki at about eleven o'clock. Then we went to the bus stop. There was a river beside Ohashi bus stop, we saw the corpses piled up like driftwood there. We couldn't find him on that day. Although we visited Nagasaki again and again to look for him, we could never find him.

After World War , people said that no grain would grow on the hypo-center and its surroundings for at least 70 years, but I had an experience that counters this opinion. When I visited the manager of the Agricultural Section of the Prefectural Office at his house, he asked me to seed some vegetables in his garden. So I seeded Soba (a type of asparagus). Their sprouts were deformed but grew to be edible, in spite of that opinion. I believe that was the day before the end of the war, August 14, 1945.

Most of the survivors who were staying at the Experiment Station had walked down from Isahaya station by themselves and they seemed only slightly injured at first. But day by day their faces became swollen and they died one after another, shouting and crying, "Give me water!" I heard that many of those who left the Station and returned home, accompanied by their families, also died later on.

After the war ended, we gathered some rice and other seeds from paddies at intervals of 500 meters from the hypo-center in each direction and sent these samples to university laboratories to study the radioactive influences upon crops. Abnormalities of rice and other regenerated plants are still being found even after many generations.