The villager's note and testimony / People of Hesaka village

1. Hesaka in Confusion

Early in the morning of August 6, I went to Yaguchi Station to see the people who were mobilized to build munitions factories in the mountains. At around 7:30, I saw a B-29 flying northward above the Geibi Line. Half an hour later, another came from the direction of Fuchu and I saw it drop something. A fire broke out in a few minutes. I thought it dropped a bomb on the Koyo Kofu factory where crude oil was being used.

I hurried to Yaguchi Elementary School. People who were covered all over with blood and stuck with pieces of glass came to the school. Soon, several mobilized people got together, but I immediately dismissed them and went home to Hesaka.

When I got home, I found fixtures over the paper doors of the alcove blown off to the corner of the garden, sliding screens stuck with fragments of glass and ceilings blown up.

As I was a military official, I went to the school at around ten or ten-thirty. More and more injured people began to come to the school. In advance Hiroshima City had set the place for people to go to by quarter if they suffered war damage. But because many people heard that there was a hospital in Hesaka, they began to go there. As there were too many people coming, I had some of my men take a notice to Nakayama and Amazu, which said civilians should go further. After a while, a lot of soldiers also came.

At around 11:00, Mr. Harada came back in tears. Everyone was shivering and could do nothing. They had only thought of the time when Japan would win the war. I think they felt as if their hearts would break.

When I saw soldiers, their hair remained only under their caps. The rest was burned. I wondered what had happened to them.

The school was filled with injured people. We made register books for them, but we couldn't write all their names down. For treatment, we put iodine into 14 or 15 18-liter barrels and applied it to people's wounds. Dead bodies were cremated in Masaike.

The school didn't have space for the injured anymore. Soldiers were divided into small groups of about 15 and sent to private houses. War veterans brought them to each house. They stayed there for 10 to 15 days. There used to be about 300 houses in Hesaka in those days.

There was only one small car in Hesaka and that was the only means of communication.

There were a lot of military provisions in Hesaka at that time, and I knew well about where they were stored because I was a military official. When we had a flood in September, we distributed soybeans from the military supplies to people. (speech)

Kiyoso Ishihara