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A-bomb Artifacts

ID Code 2301-0025
Artifact Name Mess Kit
Donor Futoshi TANIMOTO
Receiving Date 2015/07/10
Size (W×H×D) (mm) 190×150×100
Distance from the Hypocenter(m) 2000
Number 1
Location Kokutaiji, Senda areas
Description Mess Kit
Donated by Futoshi Tanimoto
Approx. 2,000m from the hypocenter Senda-machi
Mr. Futoshi Tanimoto (then, 22) was exposed to the A-bombing in his lodging in Senda-machi 2-chome. Although he was caught under the fallen building, he escaped with his entire body covered in blood, and headed to the athletic ground of Hiroshima University of Literature and Science, which was filled with injured people. In front of a hand pump, there was a long line of injured people who wanted water. Seeing people trying to drink water frantically using their badly burned hands, Futoshi handed them the cover of the mess kit that he had with him at the time. He could not bear to watch the students trying to drink water in such a pitiful state, and continued to push the hand pump. He also went around the injured persons lying on the ground to help them drink water using the inner cover of his mess kit. On the following day, he found the cover laid neatly at the hand pump. After the end of the war, he preserved the mess kit with considerable care as an item filled with the emotions of the A-bomb victims that he had met that day.

Notes by Mr. Futoshi Tanimoto (Summary of an Excerpt)
... they were pushing the pump in turns. They tried to drink the water by cupping it in their badly burned hands, but the amount of water that they could bring to their mouths was very small... My injuries were minor compared to the other people. I decided to push the pump for them. Each of the injured waited their turn in line in a well-mannered way, before drinking the water. Seeing the situation, I felt so much pity for them that I could not stop the tears rolling down my face. I continued to push the pump for a long time. I pushed it again and again, but it seemed that there was no end to the line of people... (Since I was almost collapsing, I left the spot and) found a girl of about three or four years old searching for her mother, saying in a small voice “Mom. Mom.” Her small body was severely burned, with the skin hanging from her little arms and legs. It was a truly pitiful sight. I felt that I should find her mother for her. Carrying the little girl in my arms, I ran around the athletic ground, shouting “Is her mother anywhere here?” However, probably because her mother had died somewhere else or been seriously injured, we could not find her after all...(The only option left for me was to entrust the young girl, who had already become weak, to a rescue team.) I separated from her, earnestly hoping she would be saved.


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