Ms. Kinue Tomoyasu was 44 years old at the time of the A-bomb attack. She was at home, 5 kilometers from the hypocenter. She then entered Hiroshima City to search for her daughter. Previously her husband had died of illness and her only son was sent to a battle field. She was living with her only daughter. Ms. Tomoyasu was admitted to the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Victims Nursing Home thirteen years ago.
TOMOYASU: That morning I left home with my daughter. She was working at the industrial Research Institute. Then an air-raid warning was issued. I went back home, but my daughter insisted, ``I'm going to the office.'' even though the air-raid warning had been issued. She reached the train station. The trains were always late in the morning, but they were on time that day. She took the train and when she got off at the station, she was hit by the A-bomb. I went inside my home since the warning was still on. I tucked myself in bed and waited for the warning to be lifted.
After the warning was lifted, I got up and folded the bedding, put it back into the closet, and opened the window. As I opened the window, there came the flash. it was so bright, a ten or hundred or thousand times brighter than a camera flash bulb. The flash was piercing my eyes and my mind went blank. The glass from the windows was shattered all over the floor. I was lying on the floor, too. When I came to, I was anxious to know what happened to my daughter, Yatchan. I looked outside the window and saw one of my neighbors. He was standing out there. I called, ``Mr. Okamoto, what was that flash?'' He said, ``That was a killer beam.'' I became more anxious. I thought, ``I must go, I must go and find her.'' I swept up the pieces of glass, put my shoes on, and took my air-raid hood with me. I made my way to a train station near Hiroshima. I saw a young girl coming my way. Her skin was dangling all ever and she was naked. She was muttering, ``Mother, water,mother,water.'' I took a look at her. I thought she might be my daughter, but she wasn't. I didn't give her any water. I am sorry that I didn't. But my mind was full, worrying about my daughter. I ran all the way to Hiroshima Station. Hiroshima Station was full of people. Some of them were dead, and many of them were lying on the ground, calling for their mothers and asking for water. I went to Tokiwa Bridge. I had to cross the bridge to get to my daughter's office. But there was a rope for tote across the bridge. And the people there told me, ``You can't go beyond here today.'' I protested, ``My daughter's office is over there. Please let me go through.'' They told me, ``No.'' Some men were daring to make the way through, but I couldn't go beyond it. I thought she might be on a way back home. I returned home, but my daughter was not back yet.
INTERVIEWER: Did you see the large cloud?
TOMOYASU: No, I didn't see the cloud.
INTERVIEWER: You didn't see the mushroom cloud?
TOMOYASU: I didn't see the Mushroom cloud. I was trying to find my daughter. They told me I couldn't go beyond the bridge. I thought she might be back home, so I went back as far as Nikitsu Shrine. Then, the black rain started falling from the sky. And I wondered what it was. And it was what's called the black rain.
INTERVIEWER: Can you tell us what was the black rain like?
TOMOYASU: It was like a heavy rain. And I had my air-raid hood on, so I didn't get it on my head fortunately, but it fell on my hands. And I ran and ran. I waited for her with the windows open. I stayed awake all night waiting and waiting for her, but she didn't come back. About six thirty on the morning of the 7th, Mr. Ishido, whose daughter was working at the same office with my daughter, came around. He called out asking for the Tomoyasu's house. I went outside calling to him, ``It's here, over here!'' Mr.Ishido came up to me and said, ``Quick! Get some clothes and go for her. Your daughter is at the bank of the Ota River.'' I said, ``Thank you, thank you very much. Is she still alive?'' He said, ``She is alive,'' and added, ``I'll show you the way.'' I took a yukata with me. My neighbors offered me a stretcher. And I started running at full speed. People followed me and said, ``Slow down! Be careful not to hurt yourself!'' But still, I hurried as fast as I could. When I reached the Tokiwa Bridge, there were soldiers lying on the ground. Around Hiroshima Station, I saw more people lying dead, more on the morning of the 7th than on the 6th. When I reached the river bank, I couldn't tell who was who. I kept wondering where my daughter was. But then, she cried for me, ``Mother!'' I recognized her voice. I found her in a horrible condition. Her face looked terrible. And she still appears in my dreams like that sometimes. When I met her, she said, ``There shouldn't be any war.'' The first thing she said to me was ``Mother, it took you so I couldn't do anything for her. My neighbors went back home. They had wounded family members as well. I was all by myself, and I didn't know what to do. There were maggots in her wounds and a sticky yellowish pus, a white watery liquid coming out her wounds and a sticky yellowish liquid. I didn't know what was going on.
INTERVIEWER: So you tried to remove the maggots from your daughter's body?
TOMOYASU: Yes. But her skin was just peeling right off. The maggots were coming out all over. I couldn't wipe them off. I thought it would be too painful. I picked off some maggots, though. She asked me what I was doing and I told her, ``Oh, it's nothing.'' She nodded at my words. And nine hours later, she died.
INTERVIEWER: You were holding her in your arms all that time?
TOMOYASU: Yes, on my lap. I had had bedding and folded on the floor, but I held her in my arms. when I held her on my lap, she said, ``I don't want to die.'' I told her, ``Hang on Hang on.'' She said, ``I won't die before my brother comes home.'' But she was in pain and she kept crying, ``Brother. Mother.'' On August 15th, I held her funeral. And around early October, my hair started to come out. I wondered what was happening to me, but all my hair was disappearing. In November, I become bald. Then, purple spots started to appear around my neck, my body and my arms, and on the inner parts of my thighs, a lot of them, all over, the purple spots all over my body. I had a high fever of forty degrees. I was shivering and I couldn't consult the doctor. I still had a fever when I was admitted here for a while, but now I don't have a fever so often.
INTERVIEWER: After your son returned home from the war, what did he do?
TOMOYASU: He came back in February of 1946, and he took care of me. When he heard how his sister died, he said he felt so sorry for her. He told me he hated war. I understand. Many of his friends had died in the war. He told me he felt sorry that he survived. He was just filled with regret. My son got malaria during the war, also. He suffered a lot. I don't know why, but he became neurotic and killed himself, finally, by jumping in front of a train in October. I was left alone. I had to go through hardships, living alone. I have no family. I joined the white chrysanthemum organization at Hiroshima University, pledging to donate my body upon death for medical education and research. My registration number is number 1200 I'm ready. I'm ready now to be summoned by God at any moment. But God doesn't allow me to come his side yet. If it were not for the war, my two children would not have died. If it were not for the war, I wouldn't have to stay at an institution like this. I suppose the three of us would have been living together in happiness. Ah, it is so hard on me.
Return to Index