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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Mitsutoshi Yamaguchi (male)
'Nyushi hibaku'  / 15 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.
I still can't forget the day I visited Nagasaki two days after the bombing.

When the Atomic-bomb struck Nagasaki, I was a fifteen-year-old student at an agricultural high school. On August 11, two days after the bombing, we were sent to Nagasaki by our school to perform some tasks related to farming. My classmates and I took the Nagasaki Main Line train. My uncle, a jail keeper, happened to be on the same train. He was heading toward Urakami Prison, which was close to the hypocenter, to do whatever he could do there. As it turned out, everyone at the prison, guards and prisoners alike, was dead. He, too, got off at Michino-o Station and escorted us to Ohashi Intersection. After he left us, I continued walking with my friends. At that point, many terrible things started to come into view.

Horses, still in the posture of pulling carts, were stone dead. From place to place there were small mounds of earth with flowers on top, improvised burial plots. The trees were bare of green leaves. I saw a great number of houses with chimneys bent at impossible angles, and all the windows shattered. Young people today won't believe me, no matter what I tell them about the damage and loss the Atomic bomb caused to Nagasaki.

My uncle had to go into the hospital some years later. Sadly, he died after having struggled with an unknown illness for five or six years. I believe he had contracted A-bomb disease. For many years, I felt uneasy and worried about myself suffering the same fate.

I am given the A-bomb survivor compensation every month. I really appreciate it. Thanks to this service, I can go to the hospital about 20 days a month to have my knees and other ailments treated. I am grateful that I can continue receiving this benefit for the rest of my life.

I still have terrible nightmares of the dreadful sights I saw soon after the bombing.
I pray that nuclear war will never break out anywhere in the world.