4 family members’ visions about the atomic bomb

“I heard the story from my grandparents and my parents. At first, my mother is the daughter of my grandparents. They were living in the place of where I am now. My father was living in a village in Otake City, 40 km away from Hiroshima City.


My grandfather, Kinji, was a pottery owner and a volunteer fireman. After the Atomic bomb was dropped, he was asked to go to Hiroshima City to help firemen. He went there and saw devastated city. He came home, but he got ill in bed having a fever of 40 degrees for weeks. People hardly knew the words ‘radioactivity’ or ‘radiation’ then.


As the time passed, survivors were carried to the suburbs. My grandmother went to a town hall, and taking care of them. They suffered burns all over their bodies. Maggots were crawling on their open wounds, and there was not enough medicine then. She took the maggots away from the survivors with chopsticks. They were all waiting for death, but she wanted to do something for them.

MY MOTHER, Michio (11 years old in 1945) was in a primary school yard with her friends. They saw a strong light, and explosion sound shook the air. Soon, she found a strange cloud appeared in the sky. It was like a big mushroom. ‘A strange day’, she thought. When she came home, some windows were broken by strong winds. She knew it was a bomb. A few days later, bodies of victims were carried by the sea, and reached to the sea shore. She saw the bodies almost everyday. They were damaged badly. She felt scared. Bodies were taken away and cremated. The smell of smoke remained deep in her memory for a long time.

MY FATHER, Toshimichi (10 years old in 1945) was living in a village 40 km away from Hiroshima City. He was in a primary school. Soon after the class started, a bright light flashed in the sky. Explosion sound followed next. They thought a village nearby was air raided. They climbed up to the hill, but they couldn’t find any fire or smoke. Hours later, a post man came to the village and told, ‘America dropped a new type bomb on Hiroshima City.’”