This is an excerpt from THE ATOMIC BOMB DISASTER, AS I SAW IT by Seiichi
Fukuda. The manuscript was given to my family when we lived in Hiroshima
(1965-1968). I have been transcribing it into the computer from an old carbon
copy, yellowing with age. GOOD NEWS! I had previously asked for information of Fukuda-san and his
family. My 2005 New Years present is that his son, Misao, has contacted
me! The world wide web is a mysterious and wonderful connector. I will put
together an update this year when I know more. Also, I do have many more
pages of this account. I hope to add in the full amount one day. I have
also added a new link at the bottom of this page to the story of Reiko,
a survivor of pika-don.
This is an excerpt from THE ATOMIC BOMB DISASTER, AS I SAW IT by Seiichi Fukuda. The manuscript was given to my family when we lived in Hiroshima (1965-1968). I have been transcribing it into the computer from an old carbon copy, yellowing with age.
GOOD NEWS! I had previously asked for information of Fukuda-san and his family. My 2005 New Years present is that his son, Misao, has contacted me! The world wide web is a mysterious and wonderful connector. I will put together an update this year when I know more. Also, I do have many more pages of this account. I hope to add in the full amount one day. I have also added a new link at the bottom of this page to the story of Reiko, a survivor of pika-don.
On the west side of my house was a big willow tree, which provided a shady place. When I reached home, I saw a straw-mat spread in the shade, on which bedding was laid. Several persons, men and women, with burns were lain on it. The inside of the house being strewn with fragments of broken glass, it was not possible to take the injured into the house, so they had to be lain outside for the time being.
As my wife was not lying down but in a sitting posture on the bedding, I readily recognized her. Toyohiko was lain by her side and looked as if dead. Heihachiro and Mihoko, who stayed at home, were squatting in front of the mother.
"Toshimi, is it painful?"
"Yes..."She looked up at me languidly with her entire face burnt and swollen, eyes narrow, lips protruding, giving an appearance like that of a negro.
"Is Toyohiko asleep?"
I carried poor Toyohiko in my arms. His entire face was blistered. Perhaps due to its tenderness, the skin of his face was peeled off, looking most pitiful. Both hands and feet were slimy, so that in carrying him, he had to be handled with the greatest possible care, lest my hands should touch them.
"Toyohiko, I suppose it hurts, doesn't it?"
Hearing my voice, Toyohiko wilted and looking almost dead, lifted the heavy eyelids slightly to look at me, and then made a wry face. Without loss of time, I examined the wounds. The parts suffering from severe burns were the entire face; the front part of the head; the entire outside part of both arms from the shoulder blade to the tip of the fingers, as the sleeves of the clothes were short; the outside part of both legs from the thigh to the feet; and because of thin silk material the clothes burned, causing burns to the extent of about 60% from the nape to the chest. Altogether, about 1/3 of his entire body, or perhaps more than that, seemed to have been affected. I had been told that if more than 1/3 of the body suffered from burns, it would be fatal. I was therefore particularly worried about the case, and even though considered in a favourable light, it did not seem probable that it was below 1/3. How abominable! I wondered if he really could survive. The words of Mr. M. K., which sounded like expression of condolence, might have been quite proper, when viewed calmly by a third party. Greatly alarmed with such thoughts, I next looked at my wife.
Toshimi's burns were not so bad as Toyohiko's, but they were serious enough. As she was lightly clad in blouse with short sleeves and in slacks, a large part was bare. Excepting the triangular shaped portion on the left side of the face from the ear to the mouth, the entire face was scorched. About 1/3 from the upper left arm to the finger tip and from about the middle part of the lower right arm to the finger tip on the outside parts suffered burns. The slacks, which were converted from old silk crepe "haori" (coat) were scorched a reddish brown color from the knee down and were torn into pieces, and the bare parts likewise from the knee to the insteps suffered burns. Her chest was burnt about 2 inches in the shape of "V", the part that the blouse opened at the neck. I guessed the affected parts altogether covered about 1/5 of the entire body, and so thought that there was no fear of death. As it was not advisable to lay the injured outside for a long time, I went into the house to make preparations. What surprised me was the kindness shown by my neighbors. Mr. M. H. and Mr. H. were busily sweeping out into the garden the fragments of glass that were piled up in the 6 mat room downstairs.
"I'm much obliged for all the trouble you have taken. I'll do the rest."
"We must help one another at a time like this. Please leave everything to us, and don't worry about it."
Presently the room was put in order, the bedding was laid, even a screen was set up, and thus a nice sick-bed was prepared.
"The accommodation is not adequate, but you'll excuse us, I hope." Mr. H. explained modestly.
"Oh, it's very nice. Thank you ever so much for the splendid work."
I felt truly grateful for the kindness shown us by our neighbors.
I immediately placed my wife and Toyohiko side by side in the center of the room. Heihachiro, Mihoko and I sat around the two, the whole family getting together once again.
"Oh, Toyohiko, poor thing! Does it hurt?" Mihoko spoke to Toyohiko caressingly.
Then Toyohiko slightly lifted his head and uttered in a rather clear voice, "Milk, milk."
"The voice sounds strong. You'll be all right, Toyohiko. Mama is hurt, so you'll have to wait a little longer. All right?" I tried to soothe him somehow, but Toyohiko was heedless.
"Papa, let me have Toyohiko. I'll give him my milk."
"You're not joking, are you? You're very badly hurt. You must not strain yourself."
"It doesn't matter. Let me have him. How pitiful Toyohiko is!"
I watched with great solemnity the boundless affection of the mother manifested in a casual way, at a critical moment of life and death. Toyohiko pressed his pealed face to the breast and put his pitifully burnt little hands to the mother's chest. The mother supported Toyohiko with her left arm, which was most seriously blistered in red color. Although the miserable mother and her child had been so transfigured that it was impossible to bear sight of, their pose of suckling was the same as usual, as if nothing had happened.
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