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YONEDA Chiyono(YONEDA Chiyono) 
Gender Female  Age at time of bombing 18 
Recorded on 2006.10.9  Age at time of recording 79 
Location at time of bombing Nagasaki(Direct exposure Distance from the bombing hypocenter:1.0km) 
Location when exposed to the bombing Nagasaki City [Current Nagasaki City] 
Status at time of bombing Employed worker 
Occupational status at time of bombing  
Hall site Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims 
Dubbed in English/
With English subtitles
With English subtitles 

Yoneda Chiyono, then, 18 Exposed in Aburagi-machi, 1km from the hypocenter Taking time off from dressmaking, she went to the mountain with her brother and sister to collect pine resin. Before hearing anything, she was lifted and hurled by the blast.  Fireballs poured down making a noise like heavy rain. Her back was burned black. Her right arm was gashed to the bone. When she came down from the mountain, she was stunned to see people whose entire bodies had been skinned.

My friends were working in a weapons factory, but because my uncle was the manager of a Public Employment Security Office. I did not work for the military. I was studying dressmaking in  Shiroyama-machi. However, as the war got worse, we were repairing army uniforms. Every day I was doing nothing with my sewing machine but repairing trousers and gaiters.
That morning, we had a series of air-raid alerts and warnings. At such times, I didn't go  to work. The all-clear sounded, and I was supposed  to go immediately to work, but it was so hot I decided to take a bit more time off and rest. That saved my life. Everyone who went to work died. My younger sister was a first-year student at Nagasaki Junshin Girls' High School My sister said, "As long as you're not going to work, why don't you come to the mountain and help me get pine resin. I have to get it for school." So the three of us, my younger brother, my sister and I went to the mountain. It just happened that, MASUDA Yuki, a classmate from elementary school, was on the mountain weeding a potato garden with her mother.  I hadn't seen her for a while, so the three of us were sitting in a line with our backs to the hypocenter chatting.
When the atomic bomb exploded, I had no idea what could be happening. I lost consciousness for a while. Though the three of us had been sitting in a line, we were all over the place. We had been thrown long distances and were lying  down on the ground. I came to hearing Yuki reciting Namu Ami Dabutsu in a very loud voice. I heard a big sound, "pacheen," like an explosion above my back. I said, "Yuki, don't move. The enemy planes will  attack us." Then, I noticed something like a small ball of fire  burning like incense. With a "sha, sha" sound like a big rain, the fire poured down.
I started worrying about my brother and sister. I jumped up and started running toward the mountain. Soon, my brother and sister came running up sobbing, "Where did that bomb hit?" My sister looked at my right arm and said, "You're bleeding." My arm was broken and white bone was sticking out. I saw it, but it wasn't painful or even itchy. I didn't know what had happened, but I took my brother and sister on toward the mountain. Running after us came Yuki and her mother. Yuki said, "Hey, you have no clothes on your back. It's all burned black." In surprise, I reached back with my hand to touch my back. Blackened skin peeled right off and stuck to my hand. I found it extremely odd, but I couldn't get that black of my hand even by washing.
Parting from Yuki, I took my brother and sister down the mountain. On the mountain behind our house was a large bamboo grove. Coming through there, we were shocked again. Lots of people had fled there from the city. Men and women were just sitting there, nearly naked, faces turned down. Their faces were burned black. Skin hung from their faces down to their knees. It was also hanging from their arms and legs. They just sat there looking down, saying nothing. Saying, "Excuse me. Sorry," we walked down through all those people and made it home in the late afternoon.
Father had an eye disease and had been in the house. He was trapped under debris. He had wrapped himself in rags but was covered in blood from his injuries. My mother had been out weeding the taro, so her face was covered with lots of squash seeds. "The mountain you went to is on fire. We were afraid we had to give up on all three of you!" "We're so glad you're alive!!" Our parents were so happy to see us.
My cousin's father had gone off to be a soldier. His mother was raising three sons and farming by herself. She had been weeding the rice, and the water in the field had boiled.  Her feet and abdomen were burned. Her back was burned by the atomic flash. Her children had been playing all around her; they, too, were burned all over. All night long they were crying, "Mommy, I want some water." Their mother said, "Someone give them water," but my father said, "If you give them water, they'll die." So we didn't give them any. After a while, they stopped saying anything and just died.
The next morning, we tried to take their bodies outside, but they were burned so badly we couldn't grasp them. We wrapped them in rags one by one and laid them in a corner of the yard. We were so surprised by how they looked. They looked like large black plastic bags all swollen up with hands and feet stuck on. We couldn't even see their faces or eyes or noses or mouths. Judging by their heights, we lined the three up knowing that Yoshi was the biggest, then Yasu. Even their fingers were gone. Father put the three children's hands together and got some well water in a deformed washbowl. "I'm sorry. I was trying not to kill you, but you wanted water so badly and I didn't give it to you. Please forgive me." "Here, please drink this water, and all three of you go on together to heaven." As he said this, he put water near where their mouths should have been. He was sobbing loudly. I was 19, and this was the first time I ever saw my father cry. We all took turns giving them water.
After a while, lots of people came walking over the mountain passing in a line in front of our house. They were going to the city to search for their relatives. Then, an enemy plane flew over and straffed them. Right in front of us, five or six people were shot and killed. We had no idea where that enemy had come from, and we were terrified. We left our cousins where they were. We couldn't even bury or burn them. If we burned them, the enemy would see the smoke. We just huddled together silently until evening in a ditch in an air-raid shelter.
【Getting Treatment】
The next day, in addition to my broken arm, my legs and face were grotesquely swollen. My eyes were swollen shut so I couldn't see. On the fourth day, someone told us to go down the mountain because a doctor and some rice balls had arrived. I couldn't walk, so I went down the hill on my cousin's back. The yard in front of our house had become a relief station. I didn't know if they were doctors or not, but three soldiers wearing uniforms were treating people one after the next. When it was my turn, all three of them were touching my arm even though just a tiny touch was enough to make me jump with pain. Finally, one said, "It's too broken. We can't treat it here."
They said they were going to make the burn on my back heal quickly, so they lay me down. One pushed down on my head; one on my legs. They did this because my whole back had become infected and was full of pus. One of them peeled all the infected skin off and painted on some iodine. The peeling was painful enough, but the iodine made me leap right off the bed. Although I had been unable to even walk down the mountain, I ran back up to the air-raid shelter and cried until morning.
On the fifth day, my cousin came back from Saga Prefecture. He said, "Salt water heals burns. Put salt water on her back." Until then, my family had been putting oil or squash seeds on it, but the pus kept coming. After putting salt water on it, the pus stopped and the burn healed. Then, someone said if I didn't get my broken arm treated soon I would die, so my cousin found a cart without wheels and tried to take me to the relief station.  After less than 10 meters on that rough road with no wheels, it was so painful I said, "I don't care if I die. I'm not going."  Two cousins took turns carrying me on their backs. We could not go beyond Hama no Machi, but there we heard they had put a tent up at Nagasaki Medical University  and were seeing people, so my cousins carried me all the way there.
The doctor in charge looked at my hand and said, "We have to amputate from the wrist down or you will die very soon." I didn't know it at the time, but my father, still all covered in blood, had been with us. He pleaded desperately, "Doctor, she's a girl. Leave her some fingers." "If we do it now, we can take just the hand. If things go bad, we might have to take her whole arm from her shoulder. We can't take the chance." I was in pain, so I was thinking I didn't care if it was my hand or my whole arm if I could just get rid of the pain. Then, my father got down on his knees and said again, "She's a girl. Leave her some fingers." As a result, I have this ugly hand, but I do have fingers and can tie strings.  I have this hand because of my father.
They operated on my hand after just giving me a shot so I fainted many times from the pain, and they threw me water. There were no bandages, so my hand was tied to a piece of wood with rags, and I was allowed to sleep one night in the tent. In the tent, maggots infested in my wounds. When the maggots squirmed, I squirmed, too, in agony. All night I was yelling, "Kill me! Get these bugs off me!" It was a terrible night. The next morning, the doctor changed the rags on my arm and disinfected it. Then, my cousin put me on his back and carried me home. My cousin came to my home every morning, changed the cloth and put on disinfectant. He kept this up for two months.
The day after saying, "Ok, it's about time to take the splint off and let it heal," my cousin stopped coming. I said, "He didn't come yesterday and again today." Then, his friend came and told me my cousin had died. That friend said, "I'll take care of you until it heals." My cousin had apparently asked this of his friend. My cousin had been in Saga Prefecture at the time of the bombing, so he hadn't been exposed at all. But he had entered the city right away so he must have been exposed to radiation. And, he had been going around helping people, lots of people, not only relatives. He had hardly slept at all. He died at 22.
It was when I came to Tokyo that I first experienced discrimination against hibakusha.  In late December my husband's mother in Iwakuni sent some lotus root. We had three children, and she assumed we were a burden on our neighborhood, so she sent a lot of it. I had so much I took it around and gave some to about four households. The next day, I found it had all been thrown into the trash. It was still in the bags I had given it in. I wondered what had happened. A little boy in my neighbohood came by to go with my second daughter to kindergarten. As soon as he saw my face, he said, "I couldn’t eat that lotus root you gave us because if I did, I would catch the A-bomb." Then, to my daughter he said, "If you eat that, you'll die, so don't eat it." Until then, I had not even known about discrimination. That was because there were so many hibakusha in Iwakuni. I said, "What? That lotus root came from Yamaguchi Prefecture. It had nothing to do with the A-bomb, so you won't die if you eat it." Saying that much was the best I could do.
【What I want to communicate】
Many young people think peace has nothing to do with them. Some would apparently be happy to go to war. Whenever I hear them saying things like that, I feel terribly frustrated. They just casually say they want to go to war or they want to die. If more young people are really saying such things, this is a serious problem. This attitude is my biggest worry. We must absolutely never, ever go to war. If the government tries to make an atom bomb, I hope everyone will get out into the streets with both hands up to oppose it. Whenever I go to companies and hospitals and make talks, I always make this request.   
Translation: Steve Leeper
Supervision: Miwako Sawada
Coordination: NET-GTAS (Network of Translators for the Globalization of the Testimonies of Atomic Bomb Survivors)

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