My grandfather's experience of A-bomb

by Kanae Ichinose

1st June,1998

A message was sent from Ms.Kanae Ichinose in Saiki city , Oita prefecture through the E-mail. She describes about her grandfather's experience of exposure to the A-bomb.

Here is the story:

Nice to meet you!

My name is Ichinose. I live in Yayoi town in Oita prefecture.
To tell the truth, my grandfather was exposed to A-bomb in Hiroshima. I felt this is not just an affair of other people.This is why I read the Terao Memoir very seriously.
My grandfather then lived in Hiroshima in relation with his business.
As he was so reluctant to recall the experience, I have heard of his experience just once.
Thanks to God, he is still in good health, but the scars left by a scattered glass fragments on his back hasn't erased until today. I can't forget only one time story of his experience.
I firmly made up my mind to hand down the story to the next generation without fail.

Recently, I had the 50th anniversary of my father's elder brother. On the day my grandfather told me "It was a hell on the ground itself." My father had two elder brothers but they both died in their young days, it is not clear if the A-bomb affected their death, though. My father is the first child who could become adult.

My grandfather lived then in a area just behind "A-bomb Dome" so called today. He barely escaped from instant evaporation because he was in office at the moment.
My grandmother also survived because she had visited her mother's home in Tsukumi just two days before the day.
It is said that several days before the day, America scattered handbills from the air that read "America will not bomb on Hiroshima." My grandmother was advised by a neighbor saying "Since America has promised so, Hiroshima is now safe, you have no reason to return your mother's home with the greatest efforts."

My grandfather went to his office on the day.
He was in the second floor standing before a window on his back. He suddenly felt a strong flash of light.
He looked back and saw the building crushing down next by next just like a domino.
Next moment, he found nothing around him in sight.
Luckily, as he was in between the two window frame, he was not rushed by the wall and barely survived. He had his back scared by glass fragments. But he was still lucky. His colleague and a female clerk looked like crushed between the wall, their hair, blood, and flesh were stuck to the wall.
He feared about the rumor that if he stayed in the incinerated city, he would be killed by American army. He took hand of an unfamiliar person nearby and evacuated to a hill side to hide for a week or so. On the way of evacuation, they saw a river dammed up corpse and still squirming in bloodshed for life. It was a hell on earth itself.
After several days he returned home only to find flattened ruins. He looked for something of remnant but found nothing except once called a radio. He picked it up in silence. Then he got on a train and went back to Tsukumi only with the radio.

My grandmother received then time 10 yen as her husband's insurance.
The radio had been used by my father in his boyhood calling it "A-bomb radio."
More than fifty years have passed since the war was over. My grandfather goes to A-bomb center in Beppu city every once a year for medical inspection. My father and uncles also go there every four years for the same purpose.
My grandfather can by no means erase this experience from his memory. We also should not deteriorate the memory forever.

I feel so sad when I watch nuclear-related news of India and Pakistan. Why they quietly produce and test such terrible bombs that kill many people. My father said the bomb didn't only killed so many people but also atomized countless lives of plants, insects, birds, cats, and dogs at that moment.

I hope this site will be read much more people so as not to erase this memory from our memory. My grandfather is now already 84 years old. He sometimes jokes "I am still getting along well because I have a nuclear power plant in my body."

I have told everything I heard from my grandfather. I would be very happy if my small message be read by many people abroad.