JAPANESE

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From Asahi Shimbun

So tell me about Hiroshima

The column "So tell me . . . about Hiroshima" started with the April 2008 issue of the Hiroshima Edition of The Asahi Shimbun. The reporters followed the lives of the victims and asked them their thoughts. The words of those who have been forced to live as A-bomb survivors ring true to us as we live in the nuclear age. They also approach the thoughts of those who lived through the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Articles appear in the newspaper basically once a week and continue to be posted. In uploading, the ages and titles of the people being interviewed are those from when the article was published.

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    Continuing to Compose Tanka in Memory of her Friends  -Masako Kajiyama (76 years old)

    Reading out the names of my friends killed by the atomic bomb, I see their faces pass before me, one by one.
    Exploding high in the sky over Hiroshima, the atomic bomb claimed the lives of about 220 first-year students of the Hiroshima Prefectural First Higher Girls' School who had assembled to help with the demolition of buildings and houses in order to create firebreaks. Having stayed home that day to rest because the incision from her appendectomy had not healed, Masako Nakamoto Kajiyama was left behind. It was the words of the mother of one of her dear friends that have allowed her to shoulder the burden of being the one who survived all these years. She continues to visit her school's monument to the war dead to pay her respects and to write tanka in order to pass the lost voices of her dead classmates on to future generations. ……

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    Reading Feelings beyond her Words  -Taeko Nakamura (79 years old)

    "My son," began volunteer reader Taeko Nakamura in a low voice, her face contorted with anguish. An expression in marked contrast to the benign one she wore in talking to a series of reporters earlier. The poem she read was that of a mother whose child had been exposed to radiation from the A-bomb. Taeko had also been exposed herself and lost her own cousins. By giving readings of other people's stories, she is conveying feelings that are, for her, beyond words. ……

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    Two Ground Zeroes in Hiroshima and N.Y., Where My Older Brother and Son, Respectively, were Killed  -Tsugio Ito (74 years old)

    Reading out the names of my friends killed by the atomic bomb, I see their faces pass before me, one by one.
    "Whatever the justification, all weapons that kill people should be absolutely eliminated," said Mr. Tsugio Ito (74) on July 13, 2009, in Aki Ward, Hiroshima City at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, as he spoke to a group of ten visiting teachers from New York. He lost his older brother (2 years his senior) soon after the A-bombing in Hiroshima, and then he lost his 35-year-old first son in the 9.11 terrorist attacks in New York City. Both of his family members were wiped out at each of the ground zeroes. Wearing his late son's suit, which did not fit him well, Mr. Ito spoke with a strong voice, "Even so, I believe that hate is not the answer. We should not hate each other." Listening to his words, the teachers held back tears, as my hand, holding the pen, trembled. ……