The final words of a younger brother heard from strangers, the whispered words of a child on the verge of death, words spoken in those last moments can never be erased from the hearts of loved ones no matter how much time has passed.

Pass case (1945-08-06/1945-08-06)Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

“Please give these to my family on Miyajima”

With his leg pinned between beams from the train station, my younger brother handed over his student’s handbook and train pass, and then burned to death while still conscious.

Shoes (1945-08-06/1945-08-06)Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

“Mother, give me water”

When I finally brought the water, my daughter was dead.

Wrapping cloth (1945-08-06/1945-08-06)Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

I looked everywhere for her and heard that members of Aki Girl’s High School were at the bottom of the riverbed, so I headed there. There, the miserable figures of our children with their blackened faces were lined on the ground.

…Setsuko asked me for water, and soon all of the children who were still breathing began to beg for water. So, I told Setsuko that I’d fetch some water as quickly as I could and went to find some. It was very hard to find water and I ran around desperately looking for some. When I had finally found water and returned, they were all dead. I moistened everyone’s lips with the water while apologizing.

-- From Yoshimi’s account

Shorts (1945-08-06/1945-08-06)Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

“Could I have some money to buy an ice pop?”

My husband put a 50 sen note into his hand and told him he could buy it with that, but he peacefully slipped away.

Cremating the body of our second son (1945-08-06/1945-08-06) by Drawn by Yoshitada Mitsuda Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum collectionHiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Counter (1945-08-06/1945-08-06)Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

“Dad is waiting”

He died while talking about the father he had never seen who died just after he was born.

picture (1945-08-06/1945-08-06)Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Muttering incoherently, he said he was going to travel the world—not today, but tomorrow. I realized we wouldn’t be able to help him and, with my mother, felt sorry for him and cried. (omitted) I told him not to worry about school anymore and get better soon. At length he settled down, but then he became delirious again, telling me that his father was waiting for him. …that boy was what I had lived for, and now I'm reeling and this body doesn't feel like it is mine.

-- From a written account left behind by Ryoko

Credits: Story

Donated by Sayoko Funatsuki, Eiko Kawamuki, Yoshitada Mitsuda, Kiyoshi Amano
Drawn by Yoshitada Mitsuda

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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