The villager's note and testimony / A-bomb victims who took refuge

3. Dear Director of the Hesaka Community Center

I got a letter from you the other day, which reminded me of the long and hard life caused by the A-bombing. I'd like to say thank you for asking me to write my experience on the occasion of publishing memoirs. I'm glad to hear that Hesaka has grown to a prosperous town.

My son passed away at 8:30 a.m., May 4 this year (1976). I'm still in grief over his death. Since I lived with him after his exposure to the A-bombing, I'd like to write about my experience.

For thirty years he suffered from discrimination against A-bomb survivors by some neighbors. They thought him the same as a soldier injured in the war, but his body exposed to the A-bombing was so weak, even his bones were damaged. It was hard to see him easily get tired and sweaty even with a little work.

The skin of his back and his arms was like a plucked chicken's. A scar of 6 cm square, caused by the blast, was on his forehead and it took a long time to heal. The mark was shining after recovery. The upper parts of his ears were both gone, so he couldn't wear a mask. He smelled so terribly that he couldn't go out into a crowd for a while.

Later the mark of his scar got lighter. If he hadn't been exposed to the A-bombing, it would have been possible for him to live a different life. It was indeed regrettable. I'm greatly concerned about the future of his five bereaved children. We could not get support from the government after his death. Moreover, I am too old to support them.

A fellow soldier, Shigehisa Sugiyama, also passed away in February. I didn't expect that two fellows, helping and encouraging each other in the war, would die in the same year. I heard Sugiyama also had been taken care of in Hesaka.

I'm sorry that my writing lacks coherence because I wrote as I thought. While I was writing this letter, I was overwhelmed with sadness. Therefore, I'm not sure whether I could express my ideas properly.

Please take good care of yourself.

Sincerely yours,
Tokue Sugihara

For a month after the A-bombing, he couldn't open his mouth with his face swollen. I fed him rice one grain by one grain and pouring soup into his mouth with a teaspoon. It took a long time to give him a meal.

Tokue Sugihara
July 17, 1976