Born and bred in Hiroshima
Look back my birthplace Hiroshima from apart
August 4, 1999 by Yuki Furushou, formerly Miyahara
I was born and bred in Hiroshima.
I don't like summer even now.
The sound of syren echoes all over the city, a hush fell over the city in the morning. A special morning air fills the city of Hiroshima in a special day. All TV stations air the ceremony being held in Peace Park, "The August 6th."
As both of my parents had been working, I was always only with my younger sister on August 6, a summer holiday. We were often quarreled each other, except on the day, sitting closer side by side. "Pass over quickly!" crying in our hearts, we stay quietly in a room.
In junior high school, we had to attend the ceremony. For me, A-bomb Day was nothing but a pain. A-bomb Museum is a hell on earth I haven't ever seen. In the Museum lies my starting point of hate against horror. The images of mannequins I saw in my babyhood clearly come up to my memory everytime summer come. Their skins were heavily burned and hang down from the zombie-like bodies.
I have been taught more than enough the horror of a war since my childhood. My parents, relatives, adult neighbors, grandpa, grandma, all told the war or their experience of the exposure to the A-bomb. Every year, when August 6th approaches, war-related special programs are broadcasted from TV stations.
Horrible images on a Peace study class in the gym gave me nothing but the miserable minutes. Actual record movie, real one, is played on a screen. The pile of the half-charred corpses, scattered hands and feet severed from the trunks, still groaning dying people, strange oblects in shape of human are the parts of the image on the screen. Although the movie was in black-and-white, I felt so terrible and hang down my head covering my years with hands.
After I got married and moved to Oita, I was very surprized six years ago by finding a scornful "Wide show" program on a commercial broadcasting, on the very morning of August 6th. Why can they enjoy such a program in this moment? I was astonished at it, but at the same time I felt delighted. There was not a trace of "Hiroshima" or "August 6th" here in Oita.
I had once tried to talk about the memory of the tragedy to my friends; I couldn't get the response or piece of knowledge I had anticipated. I learned that it was a reality in prefectures except Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Since then, I gave up to mention about it in my conversation with friends. I felt relieved to know that I could flee away from that horrible records and images even for a while.
No, I realized anew. The innocent sleeping face of my lovely baby taught me that I shouldn't forget, hadn't to pretend to forget the tragedy. I first understood the real meaning of the Peace Class. I have only been trying to make myself free from my horrible experience.
I will tell my son what happened in Hiroshima more than a half century ago. It is an obligation of me who was born and bred in Hiroshima. It is my duty, as a mother, to educate my son not to take part in or start a war in future. I also hope my son to hand down the memory of war and peace to the next generation.
It is said that here in Oita, the Peace Class is regularly held in schools properly (by measuring by my scale, who was born and bred in Hiroshima.)
Until today, there have been many animation media who handed down the tragedy of Hiroshima. When I was in the low-grade of the elementary school, I saw some of them in a Peace Class. For me, I would say, "I was forced to watch them." Even the animations were terrible enough for me. Recently, two new animation titled "Yocchan and a marble" and "Fly, pegion, the sky of Hiroshima" are said to carefully reduce the number of horrible scenes in order to make them much more familiar with children. I strongly hope the animations will be open to public in libraries or video centers.
The Terao Momoir is not a special experience of a special person. All the people who were in Hiroshima on "that day" have the similar experiences. If a war break up again, we might, no, we would experience the same tragedy without fail. It is said a real hell on earth appeared in Hiroshima on the day. I understand how hard it was for Mr. Terao to tell what he saw.
An old woman, my friend's grandmother, says she will never open her mouth, she will not even recall it. The other day, I have learned that a friend of mine in Oita is a Hibakusha. She taught me quietly after knowing that I was from Hiroshima: "To tell the truth, I am a Hibakusha." "Really?" "I don't want to talk about it. I don't want even to recall it." This is all she said. I didn't ask and say anything more. She looks to have a deep scar in her heart as well.
So many people went mad by the experience of the day. When I first saw actual keloid scars, I lost my words. "Hiroshima" gave deep scars not only physically but also mentally to many survivals. I feel lucky from the bottom of my heart that I didn't "exist" at that moment at that place. I am really happy to be born in a peaceful era. Even though I was born and bred in Hiroshima, "Life and death are opposite sides of the same coin." This is my real feeling toward the tragedy.
War is brutal. Absolutely no war! In Hiroshima city, each house has a white plate on the entrance or on the fence, which reads in black characters: "Peace on humankind." The word is printed deep in my heart, yet I sometimes find myself passing by it without attention. Every year, noisy the chirring of cicadas in chorus make my foot stop to gaze the plate in the harsh glare of the sun.
I have been repeating this every summer. The hard fact tends to be lost in a peaceful time that make people forget the real value of it. "Why war is bad, mamy?" "Because you feel sad if your mam dies, baby." This is the start point of my faith not to make a war. I just want to live my beloved people, not anymore.
Let me repeat: We have to tell our children the importance of peace and the tragedy of a war. This is our special mission who live in a peaceful time.
Summer is a time to think about war and peace; we should think it at least once a year.