JAPANESE

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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Fujio Tanaka (male)
'Nyushi hibaku'  / 20 years old at the time / current resident of Gifu
9918

Photographer: Eiichi Matsumoto.
The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages.
On the early morning of the day when the atomic bomb was dropped, I took the first train for Saga Prefecture at Nagasaki Station on private business, intending to get home in the afternoon. But at Hizen Ryuo Station, I learned that a new type of bomb had been dropped in Nagasaki.

Seeing how things were developing, I returned to Nagasaki in the afternoon of the next day. (At that time, my address was 1 Funadaiku-machi, Nagasaki.) I went to look for my uncle, aunt and cousin who lived near the hypocenter, but I couldn't find them. (Their address was 169 Takenokubo-machi.) Their house was completely destroyed, and no one was around. I had no choice but to go home.

On another day, I went to look for them again and found the dead bodies of my uncle and aunt at last. I immediately reported to the Ibinokuchi Police sub-station attached to the Nagasaki Police Department. Following a policeman's instructions, I put their corpses on a pile of debris including the broken structure of the destroyed house. After stacking bits of trash over their bodies, I burned the whole pile. It took me seven hours to cremate them, and, under the blazing sun, I had a thirsty, sore throat. Even though sixty years have passed since then, I can never forget that hellish suffering.

My cousin went out on business and was exposed to the atomic bomb.? I looked for her, but a few days later, I knew that she already been buried together with other victims at Inasa Elementary School.

She was buried with other deceased in a large pit. I brought home her bones with a name tag on which her name "Sachiko Hirano" was written. As I had nothing to put them in, I found a deep dresser drawer from the destroyed house. I put the bones of the parents and their daughter in the drawer, tore the pieces of sheet in half, and wrapped the drawer with it. I brought it to my aunt who lived at Yoshidasaraya, Ureshino-machi, Fujitsu-gun, Saga Prefecture. She held a funeral for them.

More than anything, I want to insist that politicians today are only pursuing their own self-interests with their desires for fame and fortune. They never know the sufferings of the people. I would like them to know, even in a small way, the distress and pain of more than two hundred thousand atomic bomb survivors. More than anything else, I wish for a world free of war.
(2005)