Story told by a HIBAKUSHA, an atomic bomb survivor,
Mrs. Hada
December 9th, 2015 at Kamokita High School


  On December 9th, the 3rd-year students of Kamokita High School heard about an experience of the atomic bomb attack from an atomic bomb survivor. The speaker was Mrs. Hada Sueko. She was born in Hiroshima in 1936. She was 8 years old when the atomic bomb hit Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945. Her home was only 800 meters away from the epi-center. She had joined the evacuation group of her school and was sent to the countryside before the day. However on August 5th, the day prior to the atomic bomb attack, she returned home for the first time in four months. The atomic bomb was a nightmare experience just after she enjoyed the evening with her family. For a long time she wouldn’t talk about her atomic bomb story. Yet, in 1994, on the fiftieth anniversary of the atomic bomb, she started to tell people about her experience. She began to think about how the importance of passing down what she really hoped for young people to learn. For example: to respect life, the importance of family, and so on. She also hoped for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
  Deciding to take action, she has told her story in many different places: she was invited to Doshisha University in May, 2011. She talked at Hisachi elementary school in 2014 and 2015. In the same year, she even visited America, where she visited four churches and testified about her atomic bomb experience. She was interviewed by the Guardian newspaper as well. We were lucky to be able to invite her to our school and hear about her experience. We were very moved by her story and by her courage to tell us her sad memories, as well as hope for a peaceful world and a happy future for us. Here are a few impressions after hearing about Mrs. Hada’s story.
  From the speech, I was able to learn about many things caused by the atomic bomb. I heard the story directly from an atomic bomb victim for the first time. I strongly felt that the atomic bomb was very scary.  Mrs. Hada said that she could not forget, even now, that she was not able to save her sister from the fire. The story left an impression on my heart. I think that if I had been Mrs. Hada, I would have died. In a moment of a flash, she lost her family. It is really sad. After hearing today’s speech, I want to look more into stories on the atomic bomb. Mrs.Hada had a hard time because she became lonely when she was in the third grade of elementary school, and she had to work with adults. I want to keep her story in my mind in the future, too.
  At the beginning, Mrs. Hada said, “When I was staying in a dugout during bomb attacks, I didn’t feel lonely.” At first, I didn’t understand. But, as I continued to listen to Mrs. Hada, little by little, I was able to understand what she meant. I realized that our family gives us emotional support. When Mrs. Hada was sent to a temple, she became lonely. After several months away, she was able to spend time with her family for the first time in a long time, but it was to be their last night together. When I heard this, I felt very sorry for her. She ran around to help her sister. She remembers it even now. When I heard it, I felt bad again. She said, “Even though I was a child, I had to do a lot of things that I didn’t like and I was not allowed to do anything that I wanted.” If I had been her, I couldn’t have stood it after hearing Mrs. Hada’s story. My thoughts about the meaning of “happiness” are a little different than before. I think we take for granted what we should be thankful for. I want wars disappear from this world. People might get something from wars, but they make tragic memories and often cause many to lose families and friends.
  Today’s lecture moved me in many ways. Actually, this was the first time that I heard a war story about the atomic bomb victims while living in Hiroshima. Mrs. Hada said, “On the morning of August 6th, I was enjoying time with my family for the first time in a long time, but, during, that time, the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. I couldn’t help my sister. People who didn’t look humans were lying in the flames.” When I heard this, I was overwhelmed, and teardrops fell from my eyes. I couldn’t have learned about the reality of war without this opportunity. I think that we should try to learn about the misery of wars and pass down stories to the next generation. Finally, Mrs. Hada said, “I will tell you two things”. One is that I want to understand the pain of other people. Second, is that I want you to say gentle words to people.” As a citizen of Hiroshima, I want to be such a person, as I believe that our hearts can make a peaceful world.

(Translated by English Club members, Kirika and Erika)