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Gender Male  Age at time of bombing 1 
Recorded on 2014.10.8  Age at time of recording 70 
Location at time of bombing Hiroshima(Direct exposure Distance from the bombing hypocenter:2.3km) 
Location when exposed to the bombing Ushita-machi, Hiroshima City [Current Higashi-ku, Hiroshima City] 
Status at time of bombing Infant 
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 

FUJIMORI Toshiki  (70) Then, 1year 4 months Exposed in Ushita-machi, 2.3 km from the hypocenter. His sister Toshiko had been mobilized for building demolition and didn't come home, so… his family went repeatedly near the hypocenter to search for her. In the mountains of rubble and on the riverbank lay the bodies of girl students. They never found Toshiko, only her school bag. If we inherit the A-bomb experience and convey it to the world, we can eliminate war and nuclear weapons.He says he wants to tell this to as many people as he can.

【The Family before the Bombing】
I lived in a family of 12 people, including my grandfather, both parents, and 9 children, including me. We made furniture, so there were lots of apprentices. I am told we were quite a lively group. To feed us, my mother raised chickens for eggs and grew squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables. That wasn't enough for us, so Mother would go to her parents' home and get food from them. They were in a village in Higashi Hiroshima called Shiwa-hori. That is where my mother was from. My oldest and second oldest brothers were in elementary school, so they were evacuated to a location far from Hiroshima. Just older than me were twin sisters who were not yet in school, so they were evacuated to my mother's parents' house. We were 9 children, so there were 20 years between my oldest sister and me. At the time of the bombing, my oldest sister was working at the Hiroshima Communications Bureau. My next oldest sister, Yasuko, was commuting to Shipping Headquarters in Itsukaichi, which was west of Hiroshima City.  My third oldest sister was a senior in First Hiroshima Municipal Girls High School.  My fourth oldest sister was a freshman. My third oldest sister was a mobilized student working at Japan Steel Works making bullets for guns. On August 6, Japan Steel Works was closed, so my sister was at home.

【August Sixth】
On August 6, I was a bit sick so my mother put me on her back and was going to take me to the Hiroshima Postal Services Agency Hospital.  An air-raid alert sounded, but it was a reconnaissance plane and no air raid followed so the alert was cleared in less than 30 minutes at about 7:30.  My mother, with me on her back, was walking along the bank of the Kyobashi River toward the hospital. Two bridges, Koheibash and Kandabashi, still exist and she was walking somewhere between them.  The alert had been cleared, but she heard the sound of a B29. She stopped to look up wondering what was going on. At that instant, the atomic bomb exploded, and we were blown through the air.  Between the epicenter and my mother and me was a two-story private home. We were in the shadow of that house, so we were spared the direct heat rays. But we were blown into the air and down to the bottom of the riverbank.  After a while, she doesn't know how long, she noticed that I, who was supposed to be on her back, was actually in front of her.  She held me in her arms as she climbed the riverbank. From the city center, smoke was already rising, and from behind as well, flames were leaping up.  

She ran around in confusion, then finally, to escape the flames, fled toward the mountain in Ushita. An old memorial pagoda stood there during the war It still exists. It was on a flat space halfway up the mountain and was made of concrete. Mother climbed up to that pagoda to escape the fire. She was beside herself with worry, half hysterical. It was not like anyone had been told to run to the mountain in Ushita if something happened. People just naturally came running to that mountain. My grandfather and third oldest sister, Misao, who were at home, were trapped under the rubble when the house collapsed. They managed to crawl out. They were covered with cuts and crying but they made it to Ushita Mountain. They thought they would be saved if they could just get to the mountain. They got separated, but both made it to the mountain. My oldest sister was at the Hiroshima Communications Bureau, so she was in a building 1.4 km from the hypocenter. It was close to the hypocenter so, though the ferroconcrete building remained standing, the inside was gutted. She, too, ran for the mountain in Ushita. My oldest sister made it to the mountain nearly unscathed. My second oldest sister was in Itsukaichi so she didn't come home that day. My fourth oldest sister, Toshiko, of course, did not come home that day. The younger four were evacuated so they were fine. My father was working in the Hiroshima Construction Division near Hiroshima Station. They say he got home around dark that evening. So of our 12 person family, 4 were evacuated, 8 were exposed to the bomb, and two did not come home that day.  

【Search for Toshiko】
On August 7, the fire was still smoldering and smoke was still rising. My oldest sister, Hidemi, and my father went looking for Toshiko. My father said it was dangerous and tried to stop her, but Hidemi said she was absolutely going, so my father took her with him down into the city. My father and Hidemi told me the experiences they had when my mother was telling me about hers. On August 6, Toshiko had been demolishing buildings not far from the hypocenter, so they walked there. They ended up coming home without her. The next day, Mother, with me on her back, went to look. They went looking over and over but they never found Toshiko's body. Near the earthen wall of a temple they found where she had put her cloth school bag. We knew it was Toshiko's from what was inside. The things from her bag Mother took home and kept in our house. After my mother and father died, the rest of us donated her bag and her sailor uniform to the Peace Memorial Museum. I look at that sailor uniform and it seems surprisingly small. I can't believe it shrank with time, but it was truly a tiny sailor uniform. According to the two who went looking for Toshiko on August 7, there were bodies everywhere lying around in the mountains of rubble. There were a lot of dead school girls on the sand and the riverbank along the river at low tide. It was just such a terrible scene. You can see this in A-bomb drawings, but they saw people who died with their heads in cisterns trying to get water. In those days, oxen and horses were used for transportation, and they were lying around as well. It was August so they were rotting quickly, bloating up big and looking grotesque. The whole situation was completely beyond words. My parents often talked about the balls of fire, the yellow flames they saw at night. It was after the bombing, so there were no lights. It was completely dark, but they said they saw phosphorous burning.

【Damage to Health】
I was told that all eight of us who were in Hiroshima had health problems. Spots of blood under the skin, that sort of thing. I don't know the cause, really, but my whole upper body was infected and festering, so I was wrapped in bandages. I am told they all expected me to die anytime. They all lost their hair. They were surprised but had no idea what to do. If you don't know what's wrong, you don't have any medicine. Very few doctors had any idea about these symptoms, so the whole situation was just frightening. 

【Life after the War】
I was still a nursing infant so I have no direct memory of the experience. I do know for sure that we were always hungry. I also know the family was always talking about squash. You can always grow squash if you have water and sunlight, but not all squash tastes good. These days, really sweet, delicious squash is in the stores, but in those days, some squash was so bad it was hard to eat, but it was all we had. The rations we got were hardly extravagant. My mother's parents were farmers so she often went there to buy food. I say "buy food," but it wasn't something you could just go and do. If you got caught coming home with rice, it would be confiscated. Even I have some memories of that life. I remember seeing my mother get off at Hachihonmatsu Station, get some rice at her parents' house, put it into her backpack, then have it discovered and confiscated in the train. We all worked very hard to get food. I remember that much. 

【Effects on the Second Generation】
Misao had two children. The oldest boy got polio about 1960. Misao thought it might be due to the atomic bomb. She talked to her husband and they decided they would definitely have no more children. Her son's polio turned out to be light, and he recovered without aftereffects. So they had a second son, and they rejoiced that he was perfectly formed. But this second son, at 4 years old, suddenly fell ill and had no appetite. As they watched him carefully, they were shocked to see that he was exhibiting exactly the same symptoms that Misao had exhibited right after the bombing. His mouth was swollen, and he was bleeding from his gums. Worried, they took him to Hiroshima University Hospital where he was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. In those days, that diagnosis was a death sentence. Misao was terribly shocked. At 7, during his first year in elementary school, he died of leukemia. It was extremely difficult for him and for his family. With her husband, Misao had written I Wanted to Live, a diary of her son's fight with the disease. A writer cleaned it up and it came out in two editions, as a book and a picture book. It was about the way the radiation in hibakusha was affecting the second geneation so, it addressed a big social issue.  

【For No More Hibakushas 】
It was strange, but every year on August 6, my mother would gather us children and tell us her experience. But that was the only time she talked about it. When Mother would start talking, my father and sisters would join in and tell their experiences. That's why I have my mother's and my family's experiences in my memory. I was in elementary school and my mother was shedding tears as she told her experience. I asked, "If it's so bad it makes you cry, why do you tell it?" She repled, "Because I don't want you to go through anything like it." As an elementary school student I couldn't understand how telling her story could keep me from experiencing it. But my mother probably understood intuitively that telling her A-bomb experience might help spread the understanding that this must never happen again, and that understanding might keep the bombs from being dropped. After I retired I finally understood why she shared her A-bomb experience with her children. 

The most common demand from all hibakusha is to never, ever make any more hibakusha. And this, of course, means we have to prevent nuclear war, which means getting rid of nuclear weapons. Without getting rid of nuclear weapons, there is no way to guarantee that we will not make any more hibakusha. Nuclear weapons must never be used. If they aren't to be used, then let's get rid of them. There is no other way to assure real security here on Earth. I will keep telling my experience for the purpose of eliminating nuclear weapons. We have a saying. "Today a listener, tomorrow a speaker." People who listen to hibakusha stories today should tell those stories to others tomorrow. This phrase expresses our desire that the A-bomb experience be known everywhere. When hibakusha say no more hibakusha, they touch something in their hearts that does not allow them even to think about revenge. If the hibakusha appeal spreads through the Earth and everyone comes to feel this way, we can hope to get rid of nuclear weapons and war itself. I don't think anyone expects nuclear weapons to vanish immediately, but I want to make this appeal to as many people as I can.

Translation by Steve Leeper Supervised by Miwako Sawada Cordinated by 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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