By Kenzaburō Ōe

Hiroshima Notes is a strong assertion at the Hiroshima bombing and its negative legacy via the 1994 Nobel laureate for literature. Oe’s account of the lives of the various sufferers of Hiroshima and the valiant efforts of these who cared for them, either instantly after the atomic blast and within the years that stick with, finds the bad quantity of the devastation. it's a heartrending portrait of a ravaged urban — the “human face” in the course of nuclear destruction.

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In the open space in front of his hospital, thou­ sands of dead bodies had to be piled up each day and then cremated in its yard. He had to stay on duty, directing the wounded doctors and nurses engaged in caring for dying people. Moreover, the hospital iL�elf had sustained heavy damages. Dr Shigeto is a large, big-hearted man of action with simple, peasant-like features and a deep, fran k voice. He must have worked in an amazing way during those first postbombing days, yet he also found time to study percep­ tively the yet unknown effects of the atomic bomb.

A journalist friend has been coming here for several days and, also uncertain, j ust sits. The air is full of anxiety: is the Ninth World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs� really going to be held? Various meetings to prepare for the conference are being held in this Memorial Hall, but almost all are secret meetings. Even though I wear a journalist's badge on my shirt collar, I am shut out of all the meetings. The shut-outjournalists and the conference participants who arrived too early ( 'too early' ?

In fact, no one even mentioned it. It is as though the conference were an event taking place in some faraway city. At eleven in the morning, a small fracas develops at the information desk for conference participants, upstairs in the Peace Memorial Hall. Someone is protesting that the number of representatives admitted is fewer than requested. Is this one more sign of the fierce competition among the Japan Communist Party, the Japan Socialist Party, and the General Council of Trade Unions? People working for the Hiroshima Council say, however, that this is only one of the many problems encountered during the morning.

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Hiroshima Notes by Kenzaburō Ōe

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