On an early midsummer morning, from a clear, pure blue sky, a single bomb was dropped. In an instant, the town was transformed into a sea of fire and lost everything. Even now, more than 70 years after that day, people are still suffering from diseases caused by the atomic bomb. And the concern that those diseases may be passed on continues to instill fear in countless generations. From that day, the citizens of Hiroshima have continued to bear that heavy cross which they will never be allowed to set down.
After the War, as the leading Peace Memorial City, Hiroshima has arranged for some bomb survivors to become storytellers, and their tragic experiences have been delivered to people around the world. However, many other survivors like my grandmother, who is now over 90 years old, have mostly not talked about their own experience of the bombing or the struggles that they had to face after the war with their families. In addition to the feeling that they don’t want to remember, they also say that they feel guilty that they are able to continue their lives while others cannot. My grandmother survived the 50% odds, as she was at her home at the time of the bombing, just 1.2 km from ground zero. “They could have survived if they were at such and such place then,” or “They died because they were doing such and such”; when such tiny things ended up deciding a person’s fate, my grandmother just barely survived. Just by looking at the data, one cannot even begin imagine my grandmother’s gravely sorrowful the expression as she talked about the people that she could have saved. Suppressing the pain and the anguish that comes with recollecting those memories, my grandmother talked about those memories for me and for future generations. With all my love and respect for her, I will bequeath this book for the generations who are yet to come. Lest we forget the wounds borne and the pain in the hearts that hibakusha have endured.