Speach at Changshin College Masan, South Korea

Ryoji Matsumura

18th April,1999

Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you very much for your kindness to provide us of a chance to meet you. I appreciate, in particular, to professor Lee Sunghee and the church minister who arranged this meeting.

I'd like introduce our members: This is Mr. Ken'ichi Nagano who helped me in translating the web site. This is Mrs. Mieko Nagano, his wife, who also supported me by her impressive illustrations on the home page. I am Ryoji Matsumura, the editor of the site.

It is my greatest honor to talk about the author of "A Personal Record of Hiroshima A-bomb Survival."

On June 1996, we lost a friend with whom we became acquainted with through the electronic network. He was passed away by cancer at the age of 70. He was an ex-teacher and my mentor as well. His name was Takeharu Terao.

In 1991 summer,he released a memoir on the net on his young day's experience in Hiroshima, starting as follows:
"I want to erase this unpleasant, disgusting memory from my brain. The 6th August comes again this year as usual. I know this is the last chance for me to record what I have experienced."

It was a flesh and horrible memory that he wanted to erase from his brain. He closed his story as follows:"
No more. I don't want to witness again such a hell on earth. I don't want to even recollect it. This is the limit of what I can post. Let me say the last word: It is now the peaceful world. We live in affluent material and freedom of speech. i often feel strange why I am still alive? I may be probably "made alive." I only have the sense of gratitude, no complaint or dissatisfaction. I always appreciate the society. I wish I can give something back to the society."

For the young generation like me who do not know the war, his vivid voice was a big shock. We first realize the horror of nuclear weapons that caused the hell on earth.People who have actually experienced the war live their lives with deep scars not in physically, but also in their hearts.

Mr. Terao's story made it materialized what we had learned in the history class of the school as just one scene of the past.

Most people who experienced the war don't open their mouths. Mr. Terao, however, challenged to confess with a great courage and love for humanity what he wanted to erase from his memory.

We, his students, published his last wish in the form of a home page on the web. The site touched the heartstrings of so many young people around the world.

This time, thanks to professor Lee, the Terao Memoir is to be read by young students of Korea in the form of an English textbook. I think Mr. Terao will also be satisfied under the ground.

Mr. Terao left two major legacy: One is to hand down the flesh voice of the people so as not to repeat "such a thing", and the other is to realize the importance of exchange with love for humanity beyond the barriers like border, race, and generation.

We greatly appreciate all of you who gave us a chance to visit Masan to meet you today.

Thank you.