Sunday, January 29, 2023

Keijiro Matsushima

Keijiro Matsushima was a 16-year-old student at a school in Hiroshima when, on August 6, 1945, he remembers looking up and seeing two American bombers over the city.

Keijiro at the bank of the Ota River in Hiroshima - pausing at the A-bomb dome that is one of the few reminders of the horrors that took place in this city.

"I just thought, ‘Beautiful planes shining in the morning sun’. But the next moment there was a very strong flash and a very strong shockwave and heat wave attacked me," he recalled.

Matsushima describes the people he saw as he made his way out of the city: "Many of them had been so badly burned from head to feet. Their charcoal-grey skin was peeling from their faces, their arms, their necks," he said.

An estimated 45,000 people died on the day of the Hiroshima explosion. But during the following months, years and decades, the death toll continued to rise - up to an estimated 166,000.

“People thought so long as nuclear power is used in peaceful ways, that is OK. But we should have learned the evil of nuclear power from the experiences of Hiroshima and Nagasakim,” Keijiro said.

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