Memories of You
The victims thought of their families, and those feelings moved their wounded bodies.
While going through unbearable suffering, they were thinking of their loved ones even in their last moments.
Waiting for Mother
Kazuko Okamoto's younger brother, Shozo Okamoto (then, 12), was exposed to the bomb at his building demolition site. He was badly injured and fragments of glass were deeply embedded all over one side of his body.
Shozo was able to flee as far as the water reservoir in Hesaka, but too exhausted to go on he asked a passerby to relay a message to his family. Upon receiving the message, his older sister, Chie, went to get him and desperately tried to care for him once they got home. Shozo seemed to really enjoy the single grape that was put into his mouth.
Their mother, Masayo, arrived at Chie's house the next day and Shozo soon died, just as if he had been waiting to see his mother.
Donated by Kazuko Okamoto
Wait for Me, Father!
Sumie Kazumura's father, Giichiro Matsuda (then, 48), was exposed to the bomb near the hypocenter, and was badly burned on his back. From the next day, his family desperately tried to care for him, but on the 8th he died while worrying about his youngest child, Sumie.
Sumie's older sister, Junko Matsuda (then, 13), was exposed to the bomb at her mobilization site. Her back and fingertips were badly burned. She expended all of her energy desperately trying to flee the city but was unable to go far. She was brought home on the 7th by her older brother, Hiroo, and although the family tried to treat Junko’s wounds, she died on the 24th while asking her father to wait for her as if she were following him.
This is the dress shirt worn by Giichiro and the belt for working trousers worn by Junko on that day.
Donated by Sumie Kazumura
I Want to See My Daughter
Matsuyo Tagawa's older sister, Asayo Tagawa (then, 23), was with her mother, Wakano Tanii, in Zakoba-cho cleaning up at a building demolition site when they experienced the atomic bombing. She was badly burned all over her body. Concerned for her daughter, who was staying at her family's house in Furuta-machi, Asayo desperately made her way there. Her daughter (then, 2) remembers how her mother looked when she had returned; “When my mother came home, her face was dark black and her eyes were shining.” After seeing her daughter was safe, Asayo died the following day, August 7th. This is the blouse that Asayo was wearing on the day of the bombing. Her mother’s remains were never found.
Donated by Matsuyo Tagawa
But You've Got a Son
Atsuko Harada's oldest daughter, Takeko Harada (then, 14), was exposed to the bomb at Hiroshima Station. She was facing the blast and her whole body was burned. She was brought to the dormitory at Japan Steel Works where she had worked as a mobilized student.
Atsuko rushed to Takeko's side and thanks to her care, Takeko gradually recovered, but on September 17th there was a sudden change in her condition.
Takeko pleaded with her mother to return home soon to be with her son, showing concern for her little brother who was in his 5th year at elementary school. She begged her mother to let her go be with her father, who had died on August 6th. On the 23rd, Takeko died while in her mother’s care.
These work trousers were one of the personal items Takeko left behind at her home in Hijiyama.
Donated by Atsuko Harada
Take Care of My Daughter
Junkichi Miyatani's father-in-law, Masanori Miyatani (then, 28), was exposed to the bomb at his military post. He had serious injuries to his back, head, and face, his fingers were stuck together, and he was missing his ears.
On August 11th, Masanori's family learned that he had been taken to Fukuya and went to get him. Masanori hadn't received any treatment for his wounds and was lying on a dusty floor. Near his head was a scrap of paper on which his injuries had been written.
Masanori's family brought him back home that same day and frantically tried to care for him, but he begged them to kill him and continued to suffer until the 13th when he expressed his gratitude to everyone who had watched over him, asked them to take care of his daughter Junko, and died.
Donated by Junkichi Miyatani
I Can't Leave My Little Brothers Behind
Yo Shikama's older sister, Yuko Shikama (then, 15), was exposed to the bomb at her mobilization site. She had been trapped under a collapsed building and had a serious head injury.
On August 7, thinking that her parents had died and concerned for her now orphaned brothers who had been evacuated, she pushed her injured body to write a letter from her place of asylum addressed to them. Her brothers received the letter two days later and her entire family was able to be reunited.
Her condition began to worsen on August 30. She told her feelings to her parents, telling her father that although she had been scolded a lot by him, he had been a good father, and telling her mother she had hoped to meet her soon in heaven but not too soon because her brothers would be sad. She died on September 4.
Donated by Yo Shikama
Letter addressed to her younger brothers
Ko-chan and Sho-chan, how are you? I'm sorry I haven't been able to write for a long time.
Yesterday unexpected enemy planes appeared and caused a lot of damage in Hiroshima, but your big sister is fine. But, my head has been hurt pretty badly and I’m being taken care of by that nice Hirota Family who I often spoke of at mealtimes.
I still don't know what happened to mom, dad, and Yo-chan, but don't lose hope and please pray for their safety.
Everyone's going to be fine so keep your heads up, alright?
Soon I'll also go to Shio Town. Going towards Hiroshima from Shio Town, this place is just before Hiroshima, so I'll get better soon and then go and see you, okay?
Send my regards to auntie. Sorry my handwriting is so messy as I am writing lying down.