Mr. Yasujiro Tanaka

Age: 75
Location: Nagasaki
Distance from hypocenter: 3.4km

“You are only given
One life
So cherish this moment
Cherish this day
Be kind to others
Be kind to yourself”

“I was three years old at the time of the bombing. I don’t remember much, but I do recall that my surroundings turned blindingly white, like a million camera flashes going off at once.

Then, pitch darkness.

I was buried alive under the house, I’ve been told. When my uncle finally found me and pulled my tiny three-year-old body out from under the debris, I was unconscious. My face was misshapen. He was certain that I was dead.

Thankfully, I survived. But since that day, mysterious scabs began to form all over my body. I lost hearing in my left ear, probably due to the air blast. More than a decade after the bombing, my mother began to notice glass shards growing out of her skin – debris from the day of the bombing, presumably. My younger sister suffers from chronic muscle cramps to this day, on top of kidney issues that has her on dialysis three times a week. ‘What did I do to the Americans?’ she would often say. ‘Why did they do this to me?’

I have seen a lot of pain in my long years, but truthfully, I have lived a good life. As a firsthand witness to this atrocity, my only desire is to live a full life, hopefully in a world where people are kind to each other, and to themselves.”