@46 days until Hiroshima Summit: Sankichi Toge

by Miho Kuwajima, Staff Writer

“Bring back my father. Bring back my mother. Bring back the elderly. Bring back the children.” This is the beginning of “Collection of A-bomb poems” which A-bombed poet Sankichi Toge (1917-1953) published in 1951. This passage is inscribed on a stone monument at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park located in Naka Ward, Hiroshima.

Mr. Toge experienced the atomic bombing at Midori-machi (now part of Minami Ward) about three kilometers away from the hypocenter. He delved into what he had seen and experienced in person, and composed the poems. In 1949, he formed a literature circle “Warera no uta no kai (Club of our poems).” Resisting strict censorship during occupation, he and his peers kept delivering anti-war and anti-nuclear messages.

He repeatedly coughed up blood. He later passed away when he was receiving a lung lobectomy. He was 36. In this year marking the 70th anniversary of his death, a gathering will be held to pass down Mr. Toge’s will across generations.

(Originally published on April 3, 2023)