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IDANI Shuichi(IDANI Syuichi) 
Gender Male  Age at time of bombing 16 
Recorded on 2009.11.5  Age at time of recording 80 
Location at time of bombing Hiroshima(Direct exposure Distance from the bombing hypocenter:1.0km) 
Location when exposed to the bombing Hiroshima City [Current Naka-ku, Hiroshima City] 
Status at time of bombing High school or university student 
Occupational status at time of bombing Premier Collège de Tottri 
Hall site Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims 
Dubbed in English/
With English subtitles
With English subtitles 

IDANI Shuichi was 16 years old at the time. He was a fourth year student at First Tottori Junior High School. He had gone to Hiroshima to take the entrance examination for the Army Accounting School. He was in an inn in Horikawa-cho, about one kilometer from the hypocenter, when the atomic bomb exploded. While he had no external injuries, he suffered from nausea and diarrhea. Mr. IDANI talks of feeling attacked by guilt from his inability to rescue his friends. Mr. IDANI is currently taking part in activities to spread knowledge on the dangers of radioactivity to local children and people outside of Japan. He says he strongly wishes for a world without nuclear weapons.
【Going to Hiroshima for his entrance examination】
When I entered middle school, they made me class leader because I had a loud voice. At the time, middle schools were run like military organizations, so it was my job to shout orders all day like an army captain. That's how I was indoctrinated and made a prime example of military youth. I dreamed of entering the naval academy but I failed the examination.

I needed to find some other way of serving the Emperor. That's why I decided to take the examination for the Army Accounting School. The date of the examination was August 6, 1945 and the location was Hiroshima. 8 or 9 students of the same age from Tottori Prefecture went by train with an adult in charge to Hiroshima to write an examination. When we arrived on August 5, it was already dark. It was summer so I think it was around 8pm.

【The day of the bombing】
After eating breakfast, the teacher told us it was time to head out. Just as he said this, the air raid siren sounded. I thought I should at least catch a glimpse of the abominable American plane. I put my hand around the pillar in the hallway and looked up at the sky. At that moment, there was a bright flash, and then there was the sound of an explosion. Then, I was blown away by the blast.

These days, the TV often shows manga scenes of characters being blown across the sky. I was blown away like that. As I was being blown away, our inn collapsed and I was trapped underneath. At that point I lost consciousness. I regained consciousness when I heard a voice crying, "Help." It was pitch dark so I couldn't understand what had happened. Having heard the explosion, I thought we must have been bombed. Luckily, one side of the tatami mat under me fell through the collapsed floor. I rolled down the tatami mat and ended up under the floor. That's why I had no external wounds or burns. I thought it was very strange. I found a little entrance hole for dogs and cats. I was able to strip naked and escape through the hole.Then, I pulled out my clothes. If I had been a bit bigger, I think I wouldn't have been able to crawl out that hole. When I went outside, a few of my friends were already there. They were standing on top of the roof tiles and looking around. I think I was slow escaping. The teacher had wrapped a shirt or something around his head so I think he had a head injury. Oddly, the others had no external injuries except for one person. The one who was injured was carried back to Tottori, piggy-back by a classmate. He was alive until last year. The one carrying him died of acute radiation poisoning.

We fled bare foot from the fire. We walked through areas of shattered glass but my feet were not injured. Why was that? We walked through the fire by pouring water on each other from the fire-prevention water tank, but I did not have any burns. Why was that? There are so many things I cannot explain. We met somebody calling for help so I said "Let's go" and I took his hand. The skin on his hand slipped off like a glove. I also remember there was a dazed soldier who simply stood there wearing just a loin cloth. I saw many other things, but most of them I have forgotten. In any case, we fled the fire. I checked the map and I think it was around Tsurumi Bridge that we found an open area with grass. I lay down on my back.
I saw the atomic cloud straight above us. As I was focused on the ground till then, I did not notice the cloud above us. When I laid down on my back, I noticed the cloud for the first time. The cloud was light gray. It glowed in rainbow colors as it expanded upwards. Then, it started to rain. There were no buildings and all the trees had also been burnt so there was no shade to protect us from the sunlight. It was hot and sunny so I thought "blessed rain" and drank the rain water. I was still thirsty so I drank some more from a nearby well. At that point, I started vomiting and getting diarrhea. For some reason, a friend drank the same water as me but did not get nausea or diarrhea. This is another thing I don't understand. He was from the countryside in Tottori. We were discussing what to do. A soldier passed by and heard us speaking in Tottori dialect. The soldier was also from Tottori. We accomanpied him to his house and were able to rest there.

【The situation after the atomic bombing】
There was lots of damage but the houses were still standing so I think we were on the other side of Hijiyama Hill. If the soldier hadn't taken us in, we would have had nothing to eat and no place to sleep. I don't know what would have happened to us. I was sick so I remained in the futon. If I ate I would vomit immediately. I became very weak. At night, there was the smell of burning corpses. I could see the crematory fires all over the place so I thought maybe Hiroshima was completely destroyed.

My friend went into the city to survey the situation and came back with the news.  Hiroshima had been completely destroyed. For some reason my friend was not sick so he was able to go get the bombing certificate from the government office.With the certificate, we were able to board the train and head home on the fourth day.

【Reuniting with his family】
I disembarked from Tottori Station and began to walk home. A relative's house was on the way so I went there first. They were very surprised. They called my house and my big brother came to greet me. However he kept on looking at my feet. He thought maybe I was a ghost. In any case, my brother carried me home. They had lit a candle for me in the Buddhist altar. I was considered dead. I sat straight and declared like a good soldier,  "I have returned. Please accept my apologies for causing you worry." I learned that my big brother and mother had been planning to go to Hiroshima to gather my remains the following morning. So if I had returned a day later, they would have been exposed to the residual radiation. I learned later that such people suffered from cancer or died vomiting blood. My brother and mother escaped such a fate by a very close margin.

【On the medical aftereffects】
After returning to Tottori, I began to suffer from high fevers. It was acute radiation sickness. Then, the war ended. What am I to do, I thought? I held my head in my hands. When I did this, my hair fell out onto my hands. But there were more important things to worry about. I worried constantly about the future of Japan, and what would happen when the American military landed. I thought we would be completely helpless. When I closed my eyes, the horrible scenes I saw while fleeing the atomic blast appeared in my dreams. I began to suffer from insomnia.

Finally they had to carry me on a shutter to the Red Cross Hospital. At the time, all the medical supplies were being channeled to the military so the private hospitals had no medicine at all. The doctor was kind enough to ask my friends to give blood for my blood transfusion. Dozens of my friends came to the Red Cross Hospital to donate blood. My blood type is A. I could receive type A and type O blood. More than ten people, my teacher and my friends, gave blood for me. I cannot help but think that their blood continues to flow in my veins, allowing me to live. Eventually, my fever went away. My friends went by bicycle to the distant port with a bucket to bring me ice that was being used for fish. They also took care of my little sister and brother. This allowed my mother to concentrate on taking care of me. I am so grateful to my friends for helping me like that.

【The dangers of radioactivity and hope for a world without nuclear weapons】
There were many people who were forced to flee leaving behind their parents or brothers and sisters. In my case, they were friends I had just met. Even so, I cannot help but feel guilty for having survived while others did not. People like myself with this strong survivor's guilt became impassioned participants in the movement to abolish nuclear weapons.

I give talks to children in community halls and other places. Children know nothing about the atomic bomb. They know that there was a flash and a blast and maggots on people's bodies. University students also tell me that they have already heard that story. However when I talk about radiation, they begin to listen intently. They say they have not heard that story before. I came to realize that the story of the flash and the blast is not sufficient. I needed to talk in more detail. I always have the students write down their thoughts. Even elementary school students are able to formulate their thinking about opposing war. I am also happy to see that they understand my message that the most dangerous thing about the atomic bomb is the radiation. When I visited the U.S., I realized that information about the dangers of radiation had been hidden there as well. People only thought of the atomic bomb as a powerful conventional bomb. Now, people understand that is not just a powerful conventional bomb but a weapon of radiation. At long last, the world has become aware of the fact that radiation causes genetic damage. 64 years have passed and finally the world has come to understand these facts. I think this is thanks to the World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs. People like myself who have experienced the atomic bombing have been active in speaking in many places. I have also participated in the World Conference about 8 times. The thought that perhaps such activities have changed people's perceptions gives me some consolation. It is my fervent wish that we can abolish nuclear weapons while we are still alive.

Planning: Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims
Production: Hiroshima Asahi Kokokusha
Translation: Students of "Nuclear Issues through the Translation of Hibakusha Accounts" (Fall 2015, Yokohama National University)
Translation Supervision: Kenji Hasegawa, Craig Smith
Translation Coordination: NET-GTAS (Network of Translators for the Globalization of the Testimonies of Atomic Bomb Survivors)

*Many more memoirs can be viewed at both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Peace Memorial Halls.
*These contents are updated periodically.
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