Life of a Student at Second Hiroshima Prefectural Junior High School
|Itsuyoshi Kawamoto, like Shigeru Orimen, had just entered Second Hiroshima Prefectural Junior High School in April that year. He was a first-year student. From what was then Saka-mura, a suburb of Hiroshima, he commuted to school by train. Itsuyoshi wrote in his diary every day. Reading it we learn a great deal about the school life of junior high school students in those days.
The diary continues until August 4. Receiving lessons on Sunday, he went out to work on Monday morning. That is where Itsuyoshi Kawamoto was exposed to the bomb. The day after the bombing, his parents found Itsuyoshi's body near his work site. "He died face down with his hands covering his ears in 'air-raid position.' We heard that his legs were burned off. His name tag was half-burned," says his brother. The family treasures the diary as if it were Itsuyoshi himself.
Courtesy of Chugoku Shimbun
|April 4 (Wed.) Clear|
|This was a happy day for me. Today I began commuting to Second Hiroshima Prefectural Junior High School (Second Junior). I went to Hiroshima on the 6:50 train. It was late, so I was worried for a while. When I got to school, morning ceremony was already started. I told them what happened and they let me in. I was really relieved and started breathing again.|
|April 5 (Thurs.) Clear|
|I woke up at 5:30 and took the 6:05 train to Hiroshima.
At Hiroshima Station I ran into Kamihara and Hirohata from Mukainada,
two students from Second Junior. We walked to school from the station.
It was after seven when we got there.
During morning ceremony we saluted the principal and made a deep bow to the flag, recited the pledge to win, then got our instructions for the day and went to class. Everything is very strict and high-level at Second Junior. I was surprised, but I definitely have to act right.
|April 15 (Sun.) Clear|
|This is the third Sunday so I went to school. Finally, we start classes today. First period is English. Second period is study hall. Third period is history. Fourth period is math 2 (geometry). I studied as hard as I could.|
|April 16 (Mon.) Clear|
|There was an air-raid alert during second period so class was cancelled but we didn't leave school. After an hour nothing happened so we started physical exams. I'm 145 cm tall and weigh 37 kilograms. My bust is 69cm. My eyes are both 1.2. I ran home so I got real sweaty.|
|Arpil 30 (Fri.) Clear|
|A bomb fell for the first time in Hiroshima. It was just before I crossed Enko Bridge. There was a scream, then a terrifyingly loud blast. I was just thinking what a frightening sound it was when black smoke started billowing up. I went over to see right away and it was burning fiercely.|
|May 6 (Sun.) Clear|
|Sunday, but we had school. During fifth period we learned how to take cover. After I got home I went to buy a chick.|
|May 14 (Mon.) Clear|
|Today is my birthday. When I got home I fixed my bike and played around. I got ohagi (rice ball covered with sweet red bean paste) for dinner.|
|May 24 (Thurs.)|
|I had to work today. We cleared the ground after building demolition and made a flat area from Tokaichi to Dobashi. They're going to make a big road. This is the first time I had to work.|
|May 25 (Fri.)|
|Today we continued the work from yesterday. Some pine and other trees were still standing so we had to take them down. I put the shovel I had brought from home down just a little ways away, then it was gone.|
|May 26 (Sat.)|
|Today we had class. After two days of work it seemed like it had been a long time. The English test results were announced. I got 100.|
|July 25 (Wed.) Clear 30 degrees C|
|Today there was another air-raid warning. When it cleared I went to school. Then there was another warning, so I got counted present and went home. There was no train going back then so I took a bus. The warning was cleared so I went swimming.|
|July 28 (Sat.) Clear 30 degrees C|
|Again today, an air raid in the morning. At first some small P51s came and seven were shot down. Next, B-52s came. It was the first time I'd seen them but they looked like B-29s. One was shot down and they say three people parachuted down. Finally, P51s came again. One went down in smoke and flame. They also dropped bombs. I saw a total of nine planes fall.|
|August 1 (Wed.) Clear 32 degrees C|
|I got my report card. My average was excellent. I'm glad. I got ten yen. I got a winder (rubber-band plane) with 5 yen. Tomorrow I have to go do demolition at Shin-ohashi Bridge.|
|August 2 (Thurs.) Clear 32 degrees C|
|Beginning today I have to do demolition for ten days straight. Today I was cleaning up the east end of Shin-ohashi Bridge.|
|August 4 (Sat.) Clear 32 degrees C|
|I had to work again today. When I got back I went to buy rice
bran, eggs and rice, then went swimming. We played tag, and I bought a
Tomorrow is Sunday, but I have to do Tuesday's lessons.