18. Creeping out of the Collapsed House

Until Japan wins

My husband, Yoshio Tanaka, was working as a veterinary at the livestock section of Hiroshima Prefectural Office. My husband and I (we were not blessed with children) lived in Higashi-kanon, Hiroshima. He was an official of the Higashi-kanon-machi Town Community and I was involved in the national defense women‘s association. Both of us were devoted ourselves to work for the nation, hoping that Japan would win.

A life in misfortune is miserable.

When the A-bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945, my husband and I were at home. Flash and roaring sound! At that moment our house was collapsed and we were caught under it. A big pillar fell on me and I was unable to move. I called out to my husband for help in vain. He was also caught under the house. We called out and encouraged each other. However hard we called out for help, nobody came. My husband managed to creep out by himself and came to rescue me. He took the pillar off my body and we finally escaped from the house. Since both of us were injured, we helped each other. Reaching the air raid shelter of Higashi-kanon Town Community for refuge, we received first-aid treatment. Inside the shelter we met out neighbors and cried together, hugging one another. We were speechless for a while. Then a shower of black rain came; I cannot remember about what time it was. A town community official suggested that we move to Koi Elementary School. As we couldn' t stay there for long, we started walking toward the school. The scene we saw on the way was so terrible; some houses were totally broken by the bomb blast and others were burning down. It took us a long time but reached Koi in the early evening, where we were admitted by a rescue squad at Koi Elementary School and given treatment for two days.

On August 8, my husband and I walked from Koi via Hiroshima Station to Kaita Station. We took a train from there to Daiwa-cho, Kamo-gun, our hometown, and we settled at my brother‘s house. As my brother was a doctor, we could receive a treatment there and that was very lucky for us. In two months our injuries got better and we came back to Hiroshima. The life in the A-bombed Hiroshima was not easy. Due to our physical conditions, we would often go and see doctors. Now, probably because of my old age, I am not well, and so I am glad that I am in the Home. I' m definitely against wars. A life in misfortune is miserable.

(She passed away of Heart Failure on May 25, 1980 after she wrote this. Our condolences here.)

Written by Shizue Tanaka (79)

The place of my A-bomb exposure
Inside of my house in 2-chome, Kanon-machi, Hiroshima, 1.5km from the hypocenter

The author of the stories here comes under “Hiroshima Council of the A-bomb Counter-disaster Measures ”, which is the managing body of the Funairi Mutsumien, Hiroshima A-bomb nursing home.

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