The main character of this book, Sumiteru Taniguchi, is 88 years old living in Nagasaki.
To make Nagasaki the last A-bombed area and to make himself the last A-bomb survivor
We are still delivering the voice of the abolition of nuclear weapons to the whole world.
Seventy years ago, on this day, the American atomic bomb dropped over the sky killed more than 70,000 people in an instant. A black, burnt corpse. A voice calling for help from under the collapsed building. People with torn meat, hanging, and exposed intestines. A bulging face like a pumpkin. A person with protruding eyes. A flock of people who died in the Uragami River in search of water. This Urakami area was a sea of fire all night long. It was hell. Hell continued after that. People who were not burned or injured, those who wandered around the hypocenter in search of relatives, and those who rushed to rescue and rescue suddenly had purpura all over their bodies, spitting blood and dying. On this day 70 years ago, I was 16 years old. I was delivering mail. It was when I was riding a bicycle in Sumiyoshi-cho, 1.8km from the hypocenter. Suddenly, a rainbow-like light was seen from behind, blown away by a strong blast and struck on the road. When I got up after a while, my left hand had skin hanging down like a rag from my shoulder to the tip of my hand. When I put my hand on my back, there was nothing I was wearing, and my slimy and burnt skin became sticky. Curiously, I didn't get a drop of blood from the wound and I didn't feel any pain at all. Then I spent two nights in the mountains and was finally rescued on the morning of the third day. I lived in the hospital for 3 years and 7 months, of which 1 year and 9 months were severely burned on my back, so I wandered on the edge of my death while lying face down. As a result, my chest rubbed against the floor and even the bones rotted. The chest is still deeply scooped out, and you can see the heart moving between the ribs. Vital capacity is said to be close to half that of humans. Those who barely survived were left for 12 years without the destruction of their livelihoods and health, the fight against illness, and the support of the state. Encouraged by the Japan Council against Atomic Bombs, which was boosted by the damage caused by the Bikini hydrogen bomb test in the United States, we survivors were able to set up an organization of survivors in 1956. I didn't enter the pile of corpses that day, and I was able to survive in the movement of the A-bomb survivors. After the war, the "Constitution" was enacted, which promised the world that Japan would not go to war again and would not have weapons. But now, we are pushing for permission to exercise the right of collective self-defense, pushing for constitutional amendment, and going back to the wartime era. The security bill that will lead to the war that the government is about to advance is an attempt to completely overturn the movement and thoughts of abolishing nuclear weapons that have been accumulated by many people who wish for peace, including the atomic bomb survivors, and cannot be forgiven. Nuclear weapons are cruel and inhumane weapons. The overwhelming voice of the world is that it should be abolished. I have inherited the wishes of many of my colleagues who have fallen in the last 70 years, and as long as I live, as one of the living witnesses of war and atomic bomb damage, for the realization of a world free of war and nuclear weapons, the reality is I pledge to continue speaking to the world in front of all those who wish for peace.
August 9, 2015 A-bomb survivor representative Sumiteru Taniguchi
* The above is the full text of Mr. Sumiteru Taniguchi's "Oath to Peace" read aloud at the commemorative ceremony of the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb on August 9, 2015.
Mr. Sumiteru Taniguchi giving a speech
Mr. Sumiteru Taniguchi immediately after the bombing