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By Kenzaburō Ōe

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

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The excluded directors· mices are patheticallY solici­ tous and mid of authorit\·: the,· might as well h ave been talking to the moon. Still. \larch is onh· six hours awav. and there is no prospect of the conference being readY for the marchers. Chairman Yasui"s tone does not \an-. He repeats \\ith passion and sincerit\· what is clear - perhaps too clear­ to an,· obsen·er. ' He hints that the managing directors are making slow progress. Meanwhile, the regular directors have been to­ tally ignored for a long time.

In any case, the prospect of a total ban on nuclear weapons was dim, indeed, and progress on a limited test-ban - which had stirred hopeful sensations in the A-bomb Hospital patients - had become doubtful during the Ninth World Conference. At such a time , death overtook him. Perhaps this small, zealous patient, at risk to h is own already endangered life, had chosen to contribute to the anti-nuclear movement by speaking a few encouraging words; and thus he possibly hoped to cast away fear of h is impending death and the anxiety that his life would end meaninglessly on a hospital bed.

I am moved by the thought that this empty space will soon be filled with twenty thousand people. Of all the monuments in Hiroshima, the Memorial Ceno­ taph for the Atomic Bomb Victim� is the most frequently --- 34 --- ------- visited. I MY ARST JOURNEY TO HIROSIIIMA ------- walk toward it. An old woman stands beside it. How often I have seen such people standing still and sile n tly i n Hiroshima. On that fateful day in 1945, they saw hell unleashed here. Their eyes are deep, darkened, fear­ fu l .

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