Mr. Shinichi Konishi

Age: 78
Location: Nagasaki
Distance from hypocenter: 4.0km

“The Hellscape That I Saw That Summer When I Was Six Years Old

Konishi Shinichi

Pika! Don!
It was a fireball explosion that emitted a blinding light and a loud reverberation that shook the earth.
Nagasaki instantly became a wasteland, due to its air blast, heat and radiation.
The hellscape that I saw that summer when I was six years old has never faded from the recesses of my mind.
I would like to continue communicating my thoughts on the importance of peace by depicting the realities of the atomic bomb and the dignity of all life forms.
The origin of peace lies in the ability to share the pain of others.
The Gospel of Mark 12:31 reads “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It teaches us to be kind to others and cherish life above all things. It also greatly inspired the novels “Nyokoaijin” and “Heiwawo” by Dr. Nagai of Urakami. As a member of the Nyokonokai, I too am currently striving to relay this message of peace.”

“When the bomb was dropped, I was standing in front of the Madonna in white at the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Nagasaki, 4km from the hypocenter. I was on my way home from Sunday School studying for my first Communion, and had ritually prayed before the statue located at the center of the entrance. At that very moment, I was engulfed by a blinding light and fell on the ground.

There was a loud reverberation – a sound that I’d never heard in my six years of life. Shattered glass from the second floor rained down on me, and I was instantly covered in blood. The harsh contrast between the bright red blood and blinding white light has never since faded from my memory.

I later escaped to one of three air raid shelters near the church. Friends and family were concerned about my safety. I was one of the last ones to arrive – covered in blood, of course. The bleeding eventually stopped. Later on, a number of priests arrived. Although they were ostensibly healthy upon arrival, four died in the air raid shelter within an hour. Although I was very young back then, I will never forget the smell of burning flesh that permeated the air raid shelter. The summer heat made it especially unbearable.”