Hiroshima Graph - Everlasting flow
ongoing project

 

 
 
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真夏の早朝、真っ青に晴れ渡った空から一発の爆弾が落とされた。
一瞬にして街は火の海と化し、全てが失われた。
それから70年以上経った今も原爆症に苦しむ人々。そして、それが遺伝するのではないかという見えない恐怖心は、何世代にも渡って植え付けられ続けている。あの日以来、広島市民は重い十字架を背負い続け、降ろすことをずっと許されていない。

戦後、広島は有数の平和記念都市として被爆者が語り部となり、彼らの悲惨な経験が世界中に発信されてきた。しかしその他多くの被爆者と同じく、私の祖母も90歳を越えた現在まで、自身の被爆体験や戦後に味わった苦労を家族にもほとんど語って来なかった。
思い出したくもないという感情に加え、今こうして自分が生きていることが、あの時亡くなった人たちに申し訳ないという気持ちもあるという。
しかし奇跡的に生き延びた祖母がいたからこそ、今ここに私がいる。広島が背負った歴史の証明として、次の世代へと伝えていくべき重要な証言として、祖母の物語を私が語り継がなければならない。

爆心地から1.2km圏内で被爆した人々は、その日のうちにほぼ50%が死亡したと言われている。 
祖母が被爆したのは、ちょうど爆心地から1.2kmにある自宅だった。閃光の直後、炸裂音がしたかと思った瞬間に気を失い、目が覚めた時にはまだ昼間だというのに日が暮れたように辺りが暗かった。
自宅は跡形もなく崩れ去っていた。偶然二階にいたことで家の下敷きになることはなかったが、爆風に吹き飛ばされた無数の窓ガラスが左半身に突き刺さり、特に左脚には今も大きな傷跡が生々しく残されている。
隣人が瓦礫の下から助けを求めてきたが、負傷した女性一人の力ではどうすることもできなかった。
祖母自身もろくな手当てを受けることもできず、川辺の草むらに寝かされ数日を過ごした。体を動かすこともできず、ずっと川を眺めていると、時折、風船のように膨れ上がった兵隊らしき服装の死体が流れてきた。今も川を見るたび、その光景が目に浮かぶという。

街には高層ビルが立ち並び、被爆者から直接体験を聞ける機会も減少した今、70年前の出来事を感じ取ることは難しい。しかし我々は無数の苦難の記憶の土壌の上に暮らしていることを忘れてはならない。
広島に生まれ、広島で育った写真家として、私は消えようとしている祖母の記憶に焦点を当て、視聴者に戦争の苦痛と責任について改めて考える機会を創造したい。

 

​・・・


On an early midsummer morning, from a clear, pure blue sky, a single bomb was dropped.
In an instant, the town was transformed into a sea of fire, and it lost everything.
Even now, more than 70 years after that day, people are still suffering from atomic-bomb diseases. And the concern that those diseases may be passed on continues to instill fear in countless generations. From that day, the citizens of Hiroshima have continued to bear that heavy cross which they will never be allowed to set down.

After the War, as the leading Peace Memorial City, Hiroshima has arranged for some bomb survivors to become storytellers, and their tragic experiences have been delivered to people around the world. However, many other survivors like my grandmother who is now over 90 years old, have mostly not talked about their own experience of the bombing or the struggles that they had to face post-War with their families.
In addition to the feeling that they don't want to remember, they also say that they feel guilty that they are able to continue to have a life towards the people who lost their lives at that time.
However, I am here now because my grandmother miraculously survived. As testimony to the history that Hiroshima holds on its shoulders, as an important testimony that needs to be carried on to the next generation, I must carry on my grandmother's story.

It is said that, of the victims within 1.2 km of ground zero, about 50% died on that day.
My grandmother was at her home, exactly 1.2km from ground zero when the bomb hit. Immediately after a flash of light and at the instant she thought she heard the sound of an explosion, she lost consciousness. When she woke up, even though it was still daytime, her surroundings were dark as if it was nighttime.
Her home completely collapsed to the ground. Luckily, because she happened to be on the second floor, she was not crushed under the house. However, she was thrown by the blast wave and countless glass shards from the window pierced her left lower body. Even now, her left leg especially still has raw scars.
Her neighbor asked for help from under the rubble, but one woman's strength was simply not enough.
My grandmother wasn't able to receive any medical treatment and was forced to spend a number of days sleeping on the grass by the river. She was not even able to move her body and had just kept staring at the river. Every once in a while, corpses of what looked like soldiers bloated like balloons would drift by. To this day she says that she recalls this image whenever she looks at a river.

The town is now lined with high-rise buildings and opportunities to hear about survivors' experiences have decreased, making it difficult to get a feel of events that took place 70 years ago. However, we should not forget that we live on soil with countless memories of hardship.
As a photographer born and raised in Hiroshima, I want to create the opportunity for viewers to think again about the pain and burden of war and put the focus on my grandmother's memories that are about to disappear forever.