THIS CURRUMBIN WATERS WOMAN SURVIVED THE ATOMIC BOMBING OF HIROSHIMA 72 YEARS AGO AND HARBOURS NO HATE
“ALL YOU HEAR IS THE AEROPLANE COMING. THE NEXT THING EVERYONE GOES OUTSIDE, WATCHING THE AEROPLANE.”
Igrew up in Hiroshima. I was 16 when the atomic bomb hit. I was only 2km away from where it was dropped. I escaped and fled. All you hear is the aeroplane coming. The next thing everyone goes outside, watching the aeroplane. The next minute BOOM.
I don’t know what happened, only that we heard a big boom. Then we escaped, we ran for the mountains. We had to flee away from where it was happening.
When you die, people say you go to either heaven or hell. But that’s not what it is. I tell them “Here, when the atomic bomb go off, that exactly is hell.” People running around, parents calling their children, looking for their children.
Nobody knew where their family was because everyone escaped. Everyone is yelling.
I was inside the house, so I was lucky. I had some of my family.
My father was a butcher. He survived and came back after it happened, then one month after he died.
It happened to a lot of people. They didn’t die straight away but then after, they died. I don’t know why. The air was not good after the atomic bomb. Chemicals in the air.
A lot of people got hurt, I got hurt. On my arm I have a scar. Even 2km away. But of course, three days after it happened, Nagasaki happened too.
I don’t hate anyone for it. War is war. Even today I say don’t hate anyone. That’s why I smile all the time. You can’t hate.
I met my husband in Japan. There was another war, the North Korean War, and my husband went there but stayed in Japan. He was a sergeant major in the Australian Army. He was an Australian war hero.
Before the atomic bomb my grandfather bought a big house, we were already rich. In Japan I come from a line of Shinto princesses. My family was very rich. It was only after the bomb I had to work.
I worked at the YWCA. The army soldiers would come in and have a meal and we all served them. I was teaching the younger girls how to serve properly.
Everyone would say “Judy, Judy, come over here”. Everyone wanted my attention.
But I didn’t take notice of him. I was just working and teaching the young ones. Sometimes we would all go out together, but then he wanted to marry me.
We got married in Japan, otherwise I couldn’t come here.
I was 23 when I came here with my husband. When we came to Australia we lived in the country, at Maryborough, because there were army barracks there.
Back then there was racism. I had to pull my son out of Catholic school because even the priests were racist.
My husband died when he was hit by a car by a drunk driver. He was just crossing the street. I was 42 or 43. I never married again. I didn’t want to, I refused to. Everyone wanted to marry me, but I said, “No thank you”. I had three children, I was busy enough.
When my husband was alive we went to Catholic church but after he passed I started going back to Buddhism. So that’s why I say don’t live life thinking of heaven and hell. Life is here in the world.
I believe in yin and yang, there’s good and bad in everything. There is suffering and there is still war going on, but we are here.
I say to people, we must make sure it never happens again, the atomic bomb.
When the Anzacs march in Brisbane, some people called me Jap, because I am Japanese. But I say, “Don’t you call me Jap, I am Australian.”
My husband was marching in Brisbane in the Anzac march. He was a hero. I am Australian. But I don’t hate them, I don’t hate anyone.
That’s why I’m always smiling and try to help people. You have to help people around you.
I’m very lucky, I had a lot of people help me when I needed it. And family is always first.