I know I’m lazy, and I should have finished this about a month ago. Anyway, the program finally got to Dr. Konishi. Unlike all of the bombastic and overblown dialogue we had to endure up to this point, Dr. Konishi’s address was simple and direct. He told about how he was with his middle school class working at the docks, but they were several kilometers from the epicenter and happened to be inside at the moment of the blast and thus were spared any severe medical complications due to radiation exposure.
Much of his experience was similar to that of other victims, but two things stuck out to me. He remembers one victim crying out for water, but he was so severely burned that his face looked like tofu. He said that the face of this man continues to haunt him in his dreams, and it is the primary reason he has worked so hard as a anti-nuclear weapon activist. The other is that the day after the bomb, he has absolutely no memory of the entire day. He only knows from speaking with his friends what happened that day, that they went into the city to help survivors.
I can’t really do justice to it, you can read an account of his experience here.
Dr. Konishi’s address was profound. No matter how you might feel about nuclear weapons, there is a power to the first-person account that cannot be denied. But I felt that his message was somehow cheapened by the rest of the program. When Dr. Konishi spoke, my subconscious was thinking, “This is important. I need to listen to this.” But during the rest of the program, my feelings were more like, “This is uncomfortable and vaguely creepy. I don’t fit in here.” Fortunately we waited through it so that we could hear Dr. Konishi’s address. It was well worth it.