International Peace Pilgrimage
Why We Walk!
Hiroshima Survivor
Akemi Hatano
Sendai City, Miyagi Pref.
My Claim
   I was a victim when a nuclear bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

   At the time of bombing, I was on the street in the Ohata district, 1.8km away from the epicenter. I was 7 years old. My body was tossed around in the dirt from the blast and I lost consciousness after seeing a blinding flash of light. I came to when I heard my mother calling my name. I had a piece of glass lodged in my face above my left eye, where the scar still remains. For seven days after the bombing, my family and I stayed and slept outside. I don't even remember anymore what we ate during that time as there were so many other things occupying my mind. A week after the bombing, I started to have symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, and a loss of appetite.

   My health has since been out of control as I have been constantly sick throughout my life. In 1957, 14 years after the bombing, I started to suffer from extreme fatigue and began to lose consciousness at work. It happened several times, and each time I was sent to the hospital. At one point in 1958, my glands were so swollen that I was hospitalized for one week. Even during a trip to Okayama in 1959, I was not feeling well and had to go to the local hospital.

   36 year after the bombing in 1981, I was diagnosed with stomach cancer and it was recommended that I have an operation. Due to family matters, I had to postpone the operation until July of 1982. Part of my stomach was removed and now I can eat food only in small portions. I still go to the hospital for constant physical problems. Since my daughter was born, she has had recurring fevers and suffers from a sickness of unknown cause. It pains me to think that her health has been affected by my physical experience in the nuclear bombing.

   When I think back on my life, I feel that my family could have been physically well and happier had there been no encounter with the nuclear explosion.

   Nuclear weapons destroy humanity. It is the most brutal action we could inflict and it should never be repeated. I believe that we can all live in a world free of nuclear weapons if we put our hearts together for peace. For our next generations, let us unite our voices to build a world of peace.

(Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations)
Address: Gable Bldg. #902, 1-3-5 Shiba Daimon, Minato-ku
Tokyo 105-0012, JAPAN
Phone: +81-3-3438-1897 Fax: +81-3-3431-2113
Web site:

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