Then, suddenly the floor fell down with a big sound. Massive A massive cloud of dust rose up. I got frozen at that point. I felt the bomb exploded right in front of me. But no explosion took place. I felt beyond all doubt that the bomb was a blind shell and I crept out slowly. I found the floor fell down by the blast.
My friend shouted "Your right eye is hurt!" I touched my eye only to feel blood clot on my palm. But I didn't feel any pain at all. The blast shattered the window panes to smithereens and scattering pieces must have penetrated my eyelid. Flowing blood got into my eye and I lost eyesight. I leaned against the shoulder of my friend to hurry to the infirmary room of the office in staggering. Surprisingly, two to three hundreds wounded people were already in a queue. Almost all of them had suffered a burn. I later learned that many people in the queue were died. I was still lucky in a misfortune because I was not directly exposed to the flash. All the injuries were on my face. Any attempts to stop bleeding failed. Blood kept flowing. My clothes were stained by the shed blood that might have given an impression that I was seriously injured. I was pulled out to the front of the queue and was put in four stitches only after receiving a simple disinfection. How lucky I was. My eyeballs were fine. When my eyelid was cut, the skin hung down and blood entered my eye causing a temporary blind.
It was said that there was no other way to ease the burn victims only to apply white ointment. I was then put on a wooden board and laid down on the floor of a building that was slanted by the blast wind. On my chest was a paper tag on which my name, birthplace, age and blood type were written. Around me were many burn victims groaning of pain. Skins of the living people were decaying and releasing intolerable odor. People were agonizing and steadily dying under groaning "ouch, ouch, water, water." I was laid down among them. I was not sure what time it was, I saw once a blue cloudless sky covered by a pitch black cloud in the direction of Koi and it looked like a torrential rain. Around 3 p.m., the Enamimaru ferry came to pick us up. I returned to the quarters in Miyajima. On the next morning, the 7th of August, healthy people went to Hiroshima for cleaning the city. But the injured were left to rest in the quarters.
The 8th of August
Today, I went to the shipyard in Eba along with friends of mine. My face was almost completely wrapped by bandage except for my left eye. Then I went to central Hiroshima. As there was no means of transportation, I had to go all the way on foot. I first visited Mr. Matsuoka in the Minami Kan-non district where I had stayed at. Nothing was left behind. Blasted apart in the mid-air, or burnt up, I didn't know. Even a trace was not there. Of course, my belongings such as bed, books, and others did not remain in shape. I didn't know whether my uncle and aunt Matsuoka survived or not. Even today, I don't know their whereabouts. I had no choice except wandering down to the school in Higashisendamachi. As far as the eye could reach, all were completely incinerated down to ashes. Only the destroyed concrete walls dotted the landscape. On the left and right were countless corpses not to be taken away yet. Some people were checking the corpses to seek for their relatives. Others piled up half burnt wood of the houses to cremate the remains. I wandered around the town filled with death smells.
When I came down to a bridge, soldiers of the Akatsuki troops were picking up a tremendous number of corpses out of the river bottom using landing crafts. All corpses were completely naked. Some corpses remained their hands up, others twisted the legs in agony. They were bloated up by water in pale white. The scene was too eerie to recall even today.
Ā@Photo by US Army
Left below: The area of Aioi Bridge and Jizen Temple. A-bomb Dome is seen beyond Motoyasu River. In the devastation some buildings lie scattered. Looking over the ruins of fire in the east from Nakajima-honmachi (the present Peace Memorial Park area). The center of the picture is the hypocenter.
Āóresponse Yoko Ishida 91/08/04 23:07
My dear Mr.Terao,
I am writing this response in a sense of hesitation ,but I have to say thank you.
Children watch the A-bomb movie at school on the Memorial Day. Lower class pupils couldn't even take lunch because of the shock. They always hesitated to go school on that day of the summer holiday. They wanted not to see the terrible movie. But the scene was firmly imprinted in their hearts. The shock was strong enough to make me doubt why I persuade my daughter to watch it. But I believe that the movie should be watched by all.
My home land was incinerated
On the burnt soil that contains our relatives' ashes
White flowers bloom today
Alas, we must not allow A-bomb
Never repeat A-bomb on our town
Āóresponse Mieko Nagano 91/08/05 12:04
My dear Mr.Terao,
I have no word to express my deep appreciation for your courage to publish your experience of the A-bomb survival.
I have immensely read it.
Everybody knows that a war is wrong but it still breaks out.
There is even a so called "war for peace." War brings only tragedy to both sides.
It also brings about environmental destruction in all other countries.
We have learned so much about the foolishness of a war by the Gulf War this time.
War should be eliminated from the earth.