Memories of nuclear bomb survivors - Part 1 Chapter 6

Off to Kashima


On the 13th of August, although her leg injury and numerous wounds caused by glass fragments had not healed yet, Chizue was determined to start for Kashima. However, she was still wearing the same clothes in which she had been exposed to atomic radiation. Her blouse was torn into vertical stripes and the right half was scorched. Chizue tried to hold it together with some straw, which she found on the ground and the hospital gave her a pair of straw slippers as shoes. Her head was already partially bald but she no longer cared about her appearance.
At the Isahaya‐station she was allowed to board a train without having a ticket. Her trip to Kashima passed without memory - she just sat numbly on the seat of the train. After travelling for two hours, she arrived at Kashima.

She had only once previously visited this city situated in front of the Ariake Sea so she did not know the exact way to the house where her relatives were living.

Walking uncertainly Chizue noticed at the next street corner that a girl was gazing at her. "That’s my sister!" Chizue thought as she tried to approach her but the girl turned and ran away. Chizue said to herself :“It's no wonder that my sister doesn't recognize me given my present appearance.”

Dragging herself slowly forward, Chizue finally reached the house she had been looking for.
Neither her father nor her mother was at home. Her sister, who had run away at the sight of Chizue, did not come out of her room and claimed she had met a ghost. Finally, however, she plucked up courage and together with her younger brothers, prepared a bed for Chizue. Years later she told Chizue that she had been terribly shocked when she first saw her but later was overwhelmed by a great joy on realizing that she had her elder sister again.
Chizue slept well and long, confident she was now finally in a safe place.