It was hot summer time.  Most men were in only T-shirts and shorts, which were all torn to shreds.  Some were completely unclothed.  The scene around us was utterly beyond description.  It was the most miserable sight we had ever seen.


We had no time to remain shocked, however, knowing that these men would die soon if not treated immediately.  We held some in our arms, carried some on our backs, put some on stretchers, shutter boards or the truck bed to take them to the first-aid stations.  The Navy's temporary hospital which stood near the railway station was soon filled up.  Then the junior high school, the girl's high school, the three elementary schools, and even the agricultural experiment station, Butokuden Hall, etc. were packed up in due course.


All the injured who were brought into those aid stations suffered and groaned with pain, having large keloid scars everywhere on their bodies.  It was too hard for us to look at or listen to them.  Not in the Navy's temporary hospital nor in any other posts, were there futon mattresses or the like.  So the people who were bombed and burned all over were put only on the rough, thin straw mats.  It was too painful for them to remain lying there.  They could only huddled like dogs and groan.


Then they started to complain of a thirst.  They cried, "Water, water."  It was strongly believed among people that giving water as demanded would lead seriously injured persons to immediate death.  Therefore, they were given just a little bit of water, enough only to moisten their lips.


The seriously injured victims died one after another, many of them in two to three hours, some later, but in about ten hours all were dead.


I remember a man aged about forty who was admitted in Isahaya Dai-ichi Elementary School.  He sneaked out of there.  I guess he wanted to drink water.  In the back of the station there was a brook, where the man was found dead.  I could imagine he desperately crawled up to the brook, starving for water.

What a pity...


Relief train in the Nagasaki countryside. Isahaya Station. Painting by Yoshiji Tajima / Courtesy of Nagasaki Prefecture radiation victim's pocketbook club  
Both the painter and the speaker are survivors.

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