Kaz Suyeishi will never forget the quiet peace of the cloudless August morning in 1945. The 18-year-old was in the front garden of her home in Hiroshima. She was chatting with a friend, when a gleam of silver in the sky caught her attention. “It looked like an angel,” she said. “It was the most beautiful airplane. It looked like heaven and peace.”
The plane was ‘Enola Gay’, dropping the world’s first atomic bomb, nicknamed ‘Little Boy’, over the Japanese city, on August 6. “That little bomb changed heaven to hell,” recalled Suyeishi. The flash of silver disappeared, replaced by a white spot in the blue sky. The sky changed to gray. Then red. Then black. The next thing Suyeishi remembers is regaining consciousness under a mound of wreckage that had been her neighbour’s house. She is above 70.
The atomic bomb killed 2,00,000 of Hiroshima’s estimated population of 3,50,000. And 1,40,000 of Nagasaki’s estimated population of 2,70,000 population was killed by the atomic bombing of August 9.
Suyeishi, who suffered radiation sickness after the bombing, was one of the lucky ones. She lived. She dedicated the rest of her life to spreading the message of peace. “You can’t see the scars here,” she pointed at her face. “But I am scarred in here,” she said, tapping her chest. “I don’t want anybody to go through what I went through. I never want it to happen again.”
A musician, Ryan Oba, was moved by Suyeishi’s story and composed a song about her watching the bomb drop. He called it ‘Little Girl and Little Boy’. “I couldn’t get it out of my head,” Oba said. “She was expecting to see beauty, and it was the Enola Gay.”
“The sky was clearer than clear it should be. The crew had unlimited visibility. As if the heavens wanted everyone to see how great the anger of a ‘Little Boy’ could be.
I wonder why it’s here? Can’t you see it Mother, coming near? Please carry me. Lift me higher up so I can see!
The bay swings open. Now he’s away! Tell the folks back home a ‘Little Boy’ went out to play. No more war. There’s nothing to fight. All we’re seeing are a million points of light.
Nothing but light, nothing but light…
We’re nothing, nothing but light.