1. My Background

I was born as the fourth child of my parents, Tatsuo and Kimie, on January 31, 1941.   We were a family of nine all together—my father, mother, six children and grandmother.  I have two elder brothers, one elder sister, a younger brother and a younger sister.  But my second elder brother and younger brother lived separately since they were very little in my mother’s parents’ house in Misasa-honmachi (present Misasa-cho, Nishi-ku).  So, we were seven living together in our house in Takasu (present Takasu, Nishi-ku, 3.2km from the hypocenter.)  Next to our house was my father’s food processing factory, which made cans of processed food and delivered them mainly to the Army Provisions Depot in Ujina (present Minami-ku).  The Army Provisions Depot was a military facility in charge of storing and supplying food for soldiers and fodder for war-horses.  I was a mischievous little boy in my early childhood.  I was often scolded for breaking branches of neighbors’ fig trees while climbing them and for damaging wheat fields by running through them.  I remember that I once fell into an open manure pit.