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We rushed home and found my sister – she was shell-shocked, but fine.Later, we discovered that the bomb was dropped a few meters away from my sister’s school. My mother singlehandedly saved both me and my sister that day.” Shigeko Matsumoto TESTIMONY “There were no air raid alarms on the morning of August 9, 1945.
6, 1945, and Nagasaki three days later—was that rare historical moment that requires little hindsight to gain its significance.
World War II would end, and the Cold War soon begin.
Amid the death and destruction, some combination of luck or destiny or smarts saved them—and therefore saved the voices that can still tell the world what it looks like when human beings find new and terrible ways to destroy one another.
Today, photographer Haruka Sakaguchi is seeking out those individuals, asking them to give a testimony about what they lived through and to write a message to future generations.
My father somehow got a hold of one, and believed what it said. With several children and seniors in tow, it was a demanding trek. ” When they opposed, he got very upset and stormed out to go to work. Our family – those of us at the barrack, at least – survived the bomb. However, he soon came down with diarrhea and a high fever.
He built us a little barrack up along the Iwayasan (a local mountain) to hide out in. On the morning of the 9th, my mother and aunt opted for staying in the house. We changed our minds and decided to hide out in the barrack, for one more day. His hair began to fall out and dark spots formed on his skin.As a firsthand witness to this atrocity, my only desire is to live a full life, hopefully in a world where people are kind to each TESTIMONY “American B-29 bombers dropped leaflets all over the city, warning us that Nagasaki would ‘fall to ashes’ on August 8.The leaflets were confiscated immediately by the kenpei (Imperial Japanese Army).Many of the victims collapsed as soon as they reached the bomb shelter entrance, forming a massive pile of contorted bodies. My siblings and I were trapped in there for three days.Finally, my grandfather found us and we made our way back to our home. Half burnt bodies lay stiff on the ground, eye balls gleaming from their sockets.New frontiers of science were opening, along with new and frightening moral questions.As TIME noted in the week following the bombings, the men aboard the Enola Gay could only summon two words: “My God!Their skin had peeled off their bodies and faces and hung limply down on the ground, in ribbons.Their hair was burnt down to a few measly centimeters from the scalp.I don’t remember much, but I do recall that my surroundings turned blindingly white, like a million camera flashes going off at once. I was buried alive under the house, I’ve been told. I lost hearing in my left ear, probably due to the air blast.When my uncle finally found me and pulled my tiny three year old body out from under the debris, I was unconscious. More than a decade after the bombing, my mother began to notice glass shards growing out of her skin – debris from the day of the bombing, presumably.