Stories from an Atomic Bomb Survivor sponsored by Nagasaki prefecture

In October 2022, we offered exchange students an opportunity to listen to the story of an Atomic Bomb survivor online.

Nagasaki Prefecture hopes that “Nagasaki will be the last bombed area.” It gives these kinds of programs to deliver the inhumanity of the atomic bombs and the preciousness of the peace to all over the world and the future generations.

The storyteller was a 95-year-old man, Shohei TSUIKI. He himself explained the situation at the time he was bombed in English. This event was the first time in Sophia University, but around 50 exchange students joined online. We could see how much they were interested in.

Mr. Tsuiki was bombed when he was 18. The audience was in around the same generation as he was at that time, and he clearly remembered various things about the time. One of the audiences asked, “did you know the existence of atomic bombs at that time?” He answered, “I knew the term, but I did not know if it really exists nor how powerful it was.” In this way, he told us the situation of the wartime precisely.

He continued, “everyone around me had gone. I was just lucky to be alive now, I think. I believe that there should be some meanings in the fact that only I was the lucky one, and I thought my role was to hand down my story. So, here I am delivering my experience so the tragedy of the atomic bombs would never ever happen again.”

At the question-and-answer session after his speech, many exchange students interestingly asked him, such as “how did you become mentally tough even though you became bound to spend a harder life after the atomic bomb,” “how do you want to live in the future,” “what do you think about the current international situations now,” etc.

This was the first time that we offered students the opportunity to listen to an atomic bomb survivor. It must have been a valuable opportunity for the exchange students to Japan to listen to a survivor’s story directly, while all the survivors’ generation is aging.