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A Message to the People of Christchurch from a Survivor of the Atomic Bombings

August 6, 2021
Elsie Locke, Peter Low, and Bun Hazhizume. Hiroshima Nagasaki Day commemorations, Cathedral Sq, early 1990s

"Dear People of Christchurch,

My name is Bun Hashizume, a hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor) from Hiroshima. Some of you may remember me from Christchurch's Hiroshima Nagasaki Day commemorations which I attended several times until a few years ago.

I was 14 years old when the bomb hit, and as I was situated just 1.6 kilometres from the hypocentre, I was critically injured. I wrote about this in detail in my book "The Day the Sun Fell".

On that day, I saw people who were burnt all over their bodies, their faces doubled in size, their eyeballs and intestines popping out, and I could not tell their sex or age. These unhuman-like figures wandered around until death came to them.

I am now 90 years old, and yet still suffer the symptoms of atomic-bomb illness.

Thank you New Zealand and the people of Christchurch for continuing to speak out against nuclear weapons. I hope and pray for the day that nuclear weapons will be eliminated from this earth.

Bun Hashizume"

Translation by Marcus Coll

Hazhizume with Dr Kate Dewes in Ōtautahi Christchurch, 2008
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