International Peace Pilgrimage
Why We Walk!
Nagaski Survivor
Toshihiko Suto
Maebashi-city, Gunma

   I stood on the hill of Nagasaki Peace Park on the ninth of August last year. I was taking part in a memorial service for the 59th Anniversary of the atomic bomb tragedy.

   My house was on this hill 59 years ago. I left my house cheerfully with the lunch-box my mother had made for me on that morning in 1-945.

   At the time, I was 16 years old and a tenth-grade schoolboy. In those days we boys and girls were forced to work in weapons factories for the war. The one in which I worked was within a kilometer from my house. Every morning, I walked down the hill and went to the factory by street car from Matsuyama Station under the hill.

   It was very fine that morning. The sun shone brightly in the summer sky. Suddenly there was a FLASH in the air. It was a blinding flash! It was a light brighter than sunlight. The radiant light dazzled my eyes. Then I felt that the sun crashed into pieces suddenly. I was caught in this big light and a very strong blast. Time stopped for a short moment. It was just at two minutes past eleven in the morning, August 9th in 1945. An atomic bomb had exploded suddenly in the sky over Nagasaki. "Ahh!" I cried out in surprise and covered my eyes with my hands unconsciously and fell down under a big table on the second floor, which was used for examining parts manufactured in the factory. At the next moment, the ground produced a terrible resonating noise and I felt that the earth quaked violently, shaking and rocking.

   Those massive factory buildings collapsed and were destroyed with a roaring sound. We were shocked and expected to die immediately. In an instant, pitch darkness came across everything. Next a heat windstorm blew violently. The strong wind was so hot that it felt like flames blowing out of hell. I was rolling in the hot smoking air and gradually lost consciousness.

   Sixty years have passed since then. How quickly the time passed! Fortunately I narrowly escaped from death. I got burnt on my neck slightly but my house was burnt down completely without leaving any trace. Four members of my family were killed and their bodies were charred. My mother, two sisters and grand-mother were killed by an atomic bomb made in the U.S.

   In a single moment, all houses and buildings in Nagasaki City were completely destroyed and hundreds of thousands of charred dead bodies were scattered everywhere. Many people were lying dead or seriously injured. They were crying for help and asking, "Water! Give me Water!" I saw a woman lying dead with her burnt baby under her chest. Ghostly looks still haunt my eyes. They were like paintings except with only brown and black colors. It was too miserable to look at. The wretched spectacle of damage by the atomic bomb was beyond description.

   The memorial service for the atomic bomb Nagasaki Peace Park was begun at the appointed time. At 11 :02, countless bells of churches and temples in Nagasaki City began to ring at the same time. "Ding! Ding! Dong!" "Gone! Gone! Gone!"

   The sounds were traveling slowly through the world as if they had grieved and mourned for Nagasaki's misery in 1945, and had called for a peaceful world forever.

   All people of Nagasaki paid one minute's silent tribute to the dead and for peace. The young mayor of Nagasaki, who was born after the war, gave a memorial address and read out "The Declaration of Peace from Nagasaki". He expressed, "Our Hope and Motto is that. such a tremendous disaster will never happen again. Our wish and mankind's wish is the abolition of nuclear weapons from the earth. No more Nagasaki! No more Hiroshima!"

   As soon as this clear "Peaceful Declaration" ended in thunderous emotional applause by people, thousands of white pigeons flew higher and higher, circling in the sky over Nagasaki.


(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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