The text area starts here.

  • Before reading this site

Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Sugie Yahiro (female)
'Nyushi hibaku'  / 22 years old at the time / current resident of Fukuoka

Photographer: Eiichi Matsumoto.
The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages.
Maggots were crawling out of open wounds on those still living. It was an unthinkable phenomenon. There were maggots crawling out of nostrils, ears, and wounds. . . Wounds were dressed by some people removing gauze, other people brushing off maggots (from their nostrils, ears, and wounds). Some removed maggots with tweezers while holding a little pus bowl in their other hand. Every day it was just unimaginable. There was one patient whose back was glittery because it was covered with shards of glass. "Mommy, mommy," a child cried thinly. When I noticed that he had fallen silent, he had already stopped breathing. As soon as I return from carrying out one body, another died. Mountain after mountain after mountain of dead bodies formed from corpses piled on top of each other.

Their bodies hot as if on fire, they sought out water and suffered diarrhea, and as they went back and forth between the toilet and the washbasin, their strength giving out, they collapsed.

"It hurts, mommy. I'm hot, mommy," cried a child. When the child grew quiet, his pulse had stopped. No matter how hard I try, I can't forget those scenes even after all these years. What could it have been, if not a living hell? On that day, I was leading some injured soldiers to Obama beach. As lunchtime approached, I figured we should return to our lodging (an inn that the navy had commandeered?). Just then, we noticed some B-29s in the sky. As we looked up, saying things like "Oh, they're headed to Hachiman!" or "They're turning back to Ohmuta," the B-29 flew over Nagasaki. Then came a tremendous flash and booming sound. How that eerie cloud spread all around right before our eyes that day; how we jumped at that sound, like the earth roaring. We were ordered to go to Isahaya in Nagasaki the next day. . .
I still remember what happened on that day so vividly, even after so many decades. . .
Such a thing should never happen again in any country. Absolutely not.

I'm now on a business trip to a spa in Obama. I am writing from the Sasebo Naval Hospital.