Memories of nuclear bomb survivors - Part 2 Chapter 1

Recorded by Mrs. Kazuko Hasegawa, June 1997


In commemoration of the 52nd anniversary of 9th August, 1945


Once again it will be the anniversary of 9th August soon. Already 52 years have passed since the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. When l close my eyes, however, the fear, suffering and sadness immediately return. I can still visualize the horrific images and my heart is filled with pain and sorrow.
Until today, l had rarely told anyone about my experiences of the atomic bombing. It seems impossible for me to describe this terrible event. Whenever someone began to talk about the atom bomb, l always changed the topic very quickly. This was because l would be very frustrated if my description was misunderstood, despite great effort on my part. It was also very painful for me to recall those terrible scenes. In addition, there was the rumour being circulated at the time that the survivors of atomic bombs were not marriageable. Sometimes l even thought it might be advisable not to apply for an atomic bomb sufferer identification card. My husband, who died several years ago, had experienced the Hiroshima atomic bombing as a student there. He was therefore also a survivor, but we never spoke to each other about our experiences. I think we both avoided the subject intentionally.

When the media started talking about the “second generation of atomic bomb sufferers”, my husband and l tried to hide the newspaper articles or TV reports from the eyes and ears of our children, as far as this was possible, because we were afraid they would become scared. There were also cinema films about the subject and each time l complained that no film could accurately show the true events. However, the older l became, the stronger the idea in my brain grew, that it was my duty to pass on my experiences of the atom bomb to the following generations. It was my contribution to peace in the world.