国立広島・長崎原爆死没者追悼平和祈念館 平和情報ネットワーク GLOBAL NETWORK JapaneaseEnglish
HOME Read memoirs of atomic bomb survivors View testimonial videos of survivors Listen to narrated accounts of the atomic bombing Radiation Q&A

HOME / Search video testimonials / Select a video testimonial / View testimonial videos of survivors

OKUJO Kazumi(OKUJO Kazumi) 
Gender Male  Age at time of bombing 8 
Recorded on 2003.12.10  Age at time of recording 66 
Location at time of bombing Nagasaki(Direct exposure Distance from the bombing hypocenter:3.4km) 
Location when exposed to the bombing Nakagawa-machi, Nagasaki City [Current Nakagawa, Nagasaki City] 
Status at time of bombing Elementary student 
Occupational status at time of bombing Elementary School 
Hall site Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims 
Dubbed in English/
With English subtitles
Dubbed in English 

1. Kazumi Okujo was exposed to the A-bomb at Nakagawa-machi, 3.4 km from the epicenter. He was 8 years old.
2. Showered in radiation himself, he watched people coming out of fires, asking for help. The effects of A-bomb disease started to show clearly after he turned 50.
3. [home and family at the time]
4. There's a hill between Nakagawa-machi and Urakami. The Suwa Shrine borders Nakagawa-machi. The end of the streetcar line is Hotarujaya. Just this side of that.
5. That's where I was exposed. My grandfather, father, mother, me, younger brother and baby sister. We all were.
6. [moment of the bomb]
7. I was playing in the water outside and thought, ""hey, an airplane"" but there weren't any sirens. Everybody was just taking it easy, enjoying a moment of peace.
8. Then something seemed wrong. A glitter came out of the clouds. It sparkled. By the time everyone noticed it was a B29 and started to panic, it was too late.
9. I looked closely and saw maybe a parachute, but it looked like two ping pong balls. I remember seeing two. It came way down and then exploded in mid-air.
10. The light was absolutely incredible. Like the earth exploded. It was sort of yellowish-white. Hard to explain, but just an incredible light. Needless to say, that's when I was showered with radiation.
11. I was blinded. I couldn't see, but somehow I got back in the house. Just as I jumped in, there was a strong bomb blast.
12. There was a moment before the blast but when it came, the house was a mess. Glass and roof tiles flew everywhere.
13. The hill between Urakami and Nakagawa-machi. I think that eased the blast to some extent. So although I was showered in radiation, there was some distance.
14. And the blast was that much weaker, so I got away with no injuries. I believe that's also why I got out alive.
15. [wondering what happened]
16. To tell you the truth, I had no idea. All I can say that everyone, including me was bewildered. Thought the earth had exploded.
17. Nobody knew what happened. Happy voices turned into screams of fear. It was hell beyond imagination. It was insane.
18. Everyone was stunned. I think I was just standing there shaking. Left clearly in my mind is the voices of mothers calling for their children. Desperately.
19. ""Baby!"" ""Mommy!"" All I can hear is these voices calling. And all I could do was shake. Honestly, I didn't have a clue.
20. [tragic scene immediately after]
21. Some time had passed and the adults had strictly told us not to leave the air-raid shelter. My father was at the shipyard but the rest of my family was in there.
22. It must have been early evening when I finally stepped out of the shelter. I was still in a daze, not really knowing what had happened. There was smoke and dust everywhere.
23. Right before the bomb, when I was playing, it was so hot outside that the black cicadas were making a big fuss. But as soon as the bomb fell, the noise stopped.
24. Then it became very dark, as if a rain storm was about to start. The darkness stayed through the afternoon.
25. As evening approached, fires had broken out all over town. I can remember looking from Atago-machi and seeing fire belching from the tower at the prefectural hall.
26. As time went on, the city turned into a sea of fire. That's when I witnessed hell again.
27. People came away from the fire, up to the hills, in droves. Convoys of ghosts. From here, there and everywhere.
28. By then it was impossible to tell whether they were men or women. You couldn't tell if they were black from burns or from dirt. There was a well nearby. They came there for water.
29. I don't know if I was scared, I stood watching them from the corner of my house, just shaking. I'll never forget one mother carrying a small child on her back.
30. With arms dangling, the baby looked to be sleeping. But actually that child was already dead.
31. With her cupped hand, the mother offered water to her baby saying, ""drink lots."" When I saw that, I was overwhelmed. Later I realized that the baby was dead.
32. Scenes like that and of dangling skin, weak voices, cries, calls for water, convoys of such, in droves.
33. I call them the pack of ghosts. I remember fires burning for 3 days and 3 nights. That's what I remember.
34. [effects on family]
35. My father was working at the shipyards. Of course I was worried about him, so I asked my mother.
36. She was stern with me. ""Give it up,"" she said. ""He was down in the worst parts. Don't expect him to be alive.""
37. But still I was anxious. He didn't come home for 4 days. As time went by, I guess I started to give up.
38. Then he suddenly came home. After 4 days. Of course there was no transportation. There was no way for us to get close to town so did we ever rejoice when we saw him.
39. But then he went right back out. He went to look for his younger brother, my uncle, who worked near the arms factory in Urakami. I think he was most worried about him.
40. So he had to go and look for him. Finally, he found his brother in the air raid shelter, moaning and half unconscious and brought him back to Nakagawa.
41. He was barely conscious. He had been working near a window and his back was stabbed all over with glass. There was no doctor or medicine.
42. So they tried to slice his back with a knife to get the glass out, but it was so deep they couldn't get at it.
43. He was in such pain. He moaned and begged my parents to let him die. The glass couldn't be cut out, so they just put iodine on it.
44. I heard that he suffered tremendously. A few days later, he died. Things like that happened.
45. [unforgettable]
46. I guess it was about 2 weeks later. I was strictly forbidden from entering the city, but I was curious so I went with my friends.
47. On the road we saw, I remember so well, horses all bloated, lying on their sides.  And streetcars standing as they were, burnt to their frames.
48. There was a horrible smell so I looked and saw trucks being piled up with loads of things. I later heard that those things were dead bodies.
49. They said they were taking the bodies to some school field to burn them. It gave me the chills.
50. We didn't actually see the dead bodies, but we saw the horses and the way those trucks looked, loaded with bodies.
51. Going into town when we were told not to, may have had some physical effect.
52. [as a hibakusha]
53. After I turned 50, symptoms started one after another. People would say, ""oh you look well,"" but in fact I had two-thirds of my stomach taken out because of stomach cancer, in 1993.
54. Luckily it was discovered early, but when I went in for check-ups, my white blood cell count was around 3,000, when it should have been over 4,000.
55. I also have thyroid problems. That and my liver. Especially fatty liver. The biggest damage left is in my liver. My thyroid, liver and stomach were shot.
56. My illnesses all came out after I became older, so they're not the A-bomb disease so to speak, but they are effects of the atomic bomb.
57. I think it is also the reason that all hibakusha get weaker with age, get sick and most of them die with some sort of disease.
58. [anxieties towards marriage and children]
59. My wife is also a hibakusha. That's not the reason we got married though. I only found out later. All of her family are hibakusha.
60. It didn't bother me. I thought, ""Oh, of course. Nagasaki residents are all hibakusha."" As a matter of fact.
61. I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't anxious about childbirth. I was worried about our children being born with defects.
62. However, despite the fact that we are hibakusha, they were perfectly healthy. When they were born. So I guess we didn't really give it a whole lot of thought.
63. [hibakusha discrimination]
64. Sure enough, there is still discrimination in Japan, towards people with disabilities.
65. My younger brother didn't apply for the atom bomb survivor's certificate, when my sister and I did.
66. He was married into his wife's family and said that within their biased view, it was better not to get one, although we openly did so.
67. Time is running out. These hibakusha will be gone one day. We must hurry and do something about this radiation issue.
68. 58 years have passed, but the war is not over. I feel that there is an urgent need to expand our movement.

*Many more memoirs can be viewed at both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Peace Memorial Halls.
*These contents are updated periodically.
△Top of page
Copyright(c) Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims
Copyright(c) Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims
All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of photographs or articles on this website is strictly prohibited.