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THURLOW Setsuko(THURLOW Setsuko) 
Gender Female  Age at time of bombing 13 
Recorded on 2014.11.17  Age at time of recording 82 
Location at time of bombing Hiroshima(Direct exposure Distance from the bombing hypocenter:1.8km) 
Location when exposed to the bombing Futabanosato, Hiroshima City 
Status at time of bombing High school or university student 
Occupational status at time of bombing Hiroshima Jogakuin Girls High School 
Hall site Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims 
Dubbed in English/
With English subtitles
With English subtitles 

Ms. THURLOW Setsuko. (82 years old) At the time of exposure to the radiation, she was 13 years old. She was exposed to radiation in Futabanosato, 1.8 km away from the epicenter. When she received a flash like hundreds of thousands of magnesium was burnt, her body floated and she lost her senses. She has been blaming herself who could not shed a tear even if her elder sister and a nephew who died of burn on their whole bodies were treated like insects. In Canada, she is grappling with nuclear issues from the standpoint of education. The time of the elimination of nuclear weapons has come. She talks that she hopes everyone in the world to take actions for that.
【Her life before the exposure to radiation.】
It was a miserable life. Distribution of rice was gradually decreasing and we were mixing rolled barley, kaoliang or various things with our foods; pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and so on. We had just a few grains of rice. I think all our dreams were to eat white rice someday.
The day before the exposure to radiation, on Sunday, my elder sister who fleed to Tsuda-cho, Saeki-gun, for safety came back with her 4-year child. She made my mother's favorite dumplings with distributed sugar which she saved and brought them for us. I remember we were glad and ate them.
Alarms for air raids were often sounded. That's why we were waken up even midnights and could not sleep with nightclothes on. We were in the condition that we had to lay down with ordinary clothes on instead of nightclothes in order to be able to run into air-raid shelters.            
It was pitch-dark in our house and a light was used just in a room. At that time, it is said that Hiroshima was the tenth largest city in Japan. All the big cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Yokohama, were burnt one after another and even smaller cities than Hiroshima were also burnt, we don't know why but there was no air raid in Hiroshima. Various rumors about no air raid were spread. "We feel ominous. Something might happen." The government of the United States might not attack Hiroshima because a lot of people go to America as emigrants and they thank the emigrants efforts. Some people spreaded irresponsible rumors and everyone was in fear and trembling.
【The instant of the exposure to radiation.】
Our group, selected about 30 classmates, learned cryptography work and was in Staff Department. It was a wooden building of the Headquarters of Second Army and we were on the second floor of the building. We gathered at a room and had a morning meeting at 8 am. "You have prepared for this and finally the time has come." "You are required to devote your royalty to the Emperor now." When we were told such things, we saw a bluish white flash in the whole of a window. It was a flash like hundred of thousands of magnesium burnt, I still have the sense that my body floated and drifted in the air at the instant. I think I lost consciousness then. I didn't even feel the blast. I guess everything was destroyed by the blast but I don't have that memory. There seemed to be a thundering noise but only distant people heard it and we, who were in the middle, did hear nothing at all.
When I recovered consciousness, it was pitch-dark and I was in stillness. I tried to move my body but could not. I had a consciousness that I would die yet. However, I wasn't agitated at all then and I didn't have thought at all that I was scary or had to run away. I was in such a state of mind that I would accept my fate calmly.
After a while, I heard a feeble voice of my friend who was near me. I heard her whispering voice of "help me, mother, help me, God," and I thought I wasn't alone. My friend was near me and I heard a person's voice nearby. I have a memory that I was pleased to know the person was close to me.
Suddenly I was shaken by my left shoulder from the back and heard a man's voice saying, "I am helping you now by moving beams, kick and move your body and prepare for runnning away." We were in a army's building, so I think the person might be a soldier or an officer. Something was removed by someone and I could move my body. The person shouted at me, "Light comes in from your left. Creep to that direction and hurry to get out!" and I creeped to get out as I told. I don't remember how long it took. When I got out from the building, it was burning fiercely. I thought my friends were still there but I could not come back into it. Among around 30 classmates, just about 2 persons could evacuate from there as me.
【At Eastern Drill Ground】
I was told by a soldier to escape to the drill ground and I answered "Yes." Surprisingly, it must be still in the morning but it was dark like dusk. I think something like garbage and smoke flied up from the ground with the mushroom cloud then. Somethings were approaching from the center of the city while I was watching for a while. There was no one who could run or walk; they proceeded slowly and slowly. People whose skins were burnt, flesh were hung, and white bones were revealed were approaching to me. There were some people who escaped from the center of the city, fell down on their ways and could no longer stand up again. It was very strange sight because their bodies were hideously burned and their hair was standing on end to the sky. I could no longer distingusih them from men or women. They were in such condition that they lost their hands or feet or were covered with blood or burned black or skins were hung. Many people's eyeballs were revealed and they held them or put them into their palms. Some were lying on the ground and others' stomachs were torn and their intestines came out. I watched my step not to tread on such people and ran away to the Eastern Drill Ground.
The unique memory of that day was tranquility; very calm. Everyone lost their physical and mental strengths to scream for help. They just whispered and delivered their needs and were in such conditions that were beyond understanding. It was really an extreme state.
When I got to the drill ground, the spacious place was full of dead bodies and fatally injured people. I didn't know how many people were lying there. Everyone said "water, water,"but even if we wanted to give them water, there was no bucket or cup. So a few of us went to the place where there was water and first we washed our bodies covered with blood. We did't know whether it was our own blood or some other's. We tore our blouses, soaked them into water, carefully brought them to the mouths of people who asked for them. We couldn't do any other rescue operation. Everyone was sucking the wet clothes saying "thank you." When it became dark, we stopped our work and seeing the city burning sitting on a hill. I lost myself and spent a night in a condition that I could not show a proper emotional reaction.
【The death of my elder sister and nephew.】
I heard that my elder sister was burnt black and searching for oil with young child in our house. My sister might think she could care for her child's burn with oil. She held a bottle of oil and her child who could not walk, she herself suffered a burn seriously and asked for help to heighbors. The neighbors brought her to a hill in the Eastern Drill Ground. My father heard the detail from the person. I got together the next day of the drop of A-bomb and my sister had lived for about 4 days.
The body of my sister was gradually swelling, became black because of the burn, and her skin was bulging like a ball which was two or three times larger than her original size.
My sister and her child asked for water. Especially, my four-year-old nephew was in a pitiful condition pleading for wa-wa (water). Soldiers said "don't give them water,""if you give them water, they will die soon." I have a thought that I should have given them water if I had known that they would die anyway. When I tried to give her water, her face swelled and she could not open her mouth because her jaw did not move. We grabbed and pulled her jaw, opened her mouth a little with great difficulties and poured water there with a spoon.  Such a work was also very hard.
When she died, soldiers dug and threw her body there. They poured gasoline on her body and scratched a match. They said "the abdomen was not burnt yet" or "we have to burn brain" pulling the body with a bamboo rod. Those were words I never want to hear in ordinary situation. A thirteen-year-old child was standing and watching the site vaguely. The memory had distressed a lot. I thought how cold-blooded I was. I could not shed a tear even if my respectful sister was treated like a insect. I blamed myself. There is a person named Lyfton who studied the state of minds of A-bomb victims. He explained our state of mind then using the word psychological palalysis. I thought my own physical wound was healed with the word.
【Makurazaki typhoon】
I think it was in 16th September. I was soaked to my knees on my way home from outside. It rained heavily. A lot of filth was drifting in the water and I walked home through the water. The moment when I got home, I lay down on the floor and cried a lot. I could not stand anymore because I felt so miserably. Until that moment, I didn't think my house was lost or the whole city was burnt. Our life changed so much and I collapsed in tears, thinking I could not stand anymore. I thought if I complained the misery, my parents would sympathize with me. However, I was scolded by my father. "What are you saying?" "You are still alive." "Your parents are also still alive together." "You have a house with a roof." "It is impossible for you to ask for more."
When I received such reprimands from my father, I was startled. I think I collapsed in tears because I had a thoght that I would be consoled or had a sense of relief, but on the contrary, I was scolded. I had a real feeling for the first time that I certainly lived, contemplating on the situation. I remembered it later and I think I got out of the psychological palalysis at that moment which Lyfton said. My real phychological reaction to the period between 6th August and 16th September came out for the first time then. I analyzed so by myself. I think it was a valuable moment. In my case, I had the moment a month later and now I think I could mentally recover quite rapidly thanks to the moment.
【The deaths of my classmates】 
I think it was in the middle of October. We heard that our women's school would resume and actually it started borrowing an elementary school in Ushita. The women's school had a piece of land in Ushita mountain and later we got together there and celebrated our living. We built something like a cabin with galvanized sheet iron. Once it rained, rain drops hit the roof noisily and we could not hear teachers' voice. The time was hard because there was no window and cold wind blew.
Some of my friends who got together then came to school wearing air-raid hoods on which should be with us. I wondered why they wore them on but I could not ask them about it for a while. They had skin heads because they lost their hair under the influence Nof A-bomb. They hided their heads because they were ashamed of it.
It was in the middle of October. When we were taken the attendance, our teacher said that one of our classmates seemed to die yesterday. Our classmates die one after another alomost everyday. That's why we survivors experienced a new kind of deaths.
【Bikini incident】
Our women's school became junior high and high school of new system. When I graduated my university, I received a scholarship from an American university. It was in 1954, the year when Bikini nuclear experiment was carried out which Japanese people never forget. It was in Spring when the incident in Bikini happened. I arrived in America in August, the summer of that year.
There was a press conference because a survivor came from Hiroshima. I was asked by a reporter for the Bikini incident. I, who just graduated from university and didn't know about the world, said everything honestly which I had. Then, from the next day, anonymous threatening mails came to our university. Who do you think gave money to you, or are against the nuclear policy of America? Who began Pearl Harbor? A lot of threatening mails. It was just after I arrived in the States. I received such a baptisim. That's why I couldn't go to school and had been contemplating by myself at the home of a professor. I could not go back to Japan because I just came to the States. I suffered from mental agony thinking how I should live in this new continent. As a result, however, it became a chance to confirm my mission. I felt my special responsibility.
【Married and to Canada】
I went to America in 1954 and left there and married in 1955. When we met, my husband was teaching at a Japanese school and supposed to finish his one-year contract and go back to Canada. At that time, Canada had an immigration law which did not accept Chinese and Japanese except for relatives of Canadian citizens. It was a racial issue. Even if he went back to Canada, we could not marry, not in Virginia, so we got married in Washington D.C., the capital of the States, and we could enter Canada.
【From a place of education】
I studied social welfare at the graduate school of Toronto University. The reaction of Canada for A-bombs seemed not threatening but indifference, no-interest, and ignorance. It was very strong that their attitude for the issue of A-bombs or Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not theirs' but the one of Japan and America. It was in 1955.
I said to Canadian that the issue had not nothing to do with you but had much to do with you. Some Canadian scientists were involved in the Manhattan Project. Canadian people did not know the issue had not nothing to do with them but they got largely involved in it historically and scientifically. They said "We were not involved in it. It was the issue of America." And I said "No, this is the fact. You should learn a bit more."
Later, I worked for a board of education as a social worker. I was in a place of education. We are living in the nuclear age and we have to teach the meaning of it to younger generations but the curriculum was as it had been, and just a few lines mentioned about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I had to do something for that situation.
Various teachers requeted and I talked about my experience. But I thought I should not rely on just the goodwills of such teachers. The whole system should be changed. We organized a committee in the board of education and drew up a curriculum again to retrain teachers.  It was drawn up in an authoritative board of education. Then we could proceed everthing smoothly. We can not move here without authority. We became to be able to ask for cooperations of teachers more easily.       
【Take a movement for abolition of nuculear】
We are going to see the 70th anniversary from the experiences in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And a lot of countries have been making efforts for nuclear arms reduction. But we have made very slow progress in nuclear arms reduction. Just 9 among almost 200 countries which belong to the United Nations are assuming airs of importance as nuclear power nations.
In the United Nations, they have Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and get together every 5 years, but they have made no progress. Non-nuclear power nations say they cannot wait anymore but nuclear power nations say they do not like to part with their nuclear weapons they have. The nuclear power nations, which participate in the treaty, make a promise to make an effort for nuclear disarmament, feeling legal responsibility. But they actually cannot keep the promise and most of the non-nuclear power nations become irritated thinking they cannot wait any more.
They cannot wait any more, so those non-nuclear power nations have been trying to make a treaty, to make a treaty that anyhow nuclear weapons must not be used; such a movement has started about a year ago. Norway was at the front and there was a conference in Mexico in February 2014. I testified to exposed to radiation then. Another conference will be held in Vienna, Austria, on 8th December. A lot of people all over the world are saying that the time has come when they should abolish nuclear.
When we think of the inhuman nature and criminality of nuclear weapons, we cannot talk about that without experiences of A-bomb victims. We had been focusing just on a nuclear deterrant or something like that for such a long time and we finally wake up; I think we are in such a time now. It is very important time now. Everyone in the world should have an awareness of the issue and do something as a responsibility of each person. I would like everyone in the world to take actions which move his or her country's government and change nuclear policy. We should not pass over the work which is not finished yet to the next generation. Our generation has done so much wrong things, and I think it is immoral to pass over such a world to the next generation.
Translation: CCS Seminar Class in Kyoto University of Foreign Studies in 2016
Supervisors: SHONAKA Takayuki and Paul D. Scott
Translation Coodinator: NET-GTAS (Network of Translators for the Globalization of the Testimonies of Atomic Bomb Survivors) 

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