All of us have great strength within. This is what I learned from a writing of Yoshio Toui Sensei, an educator in Japan. He shared a story of Nagasaki atomic bomb experience written by a girl, Michiko Ogino, who was 10 year old at that time. I was inspired by the story of Michiko’s mother who rescued her 2 year old daughter in the devastation. This is the writing of Michiko Ogino.
It was a sunny beautiful day, with no cloud.
We, three sisters, were playing on the 2nd floor of our house.
At that time, I saw a strong flash lightening, and the next moment, I found myself buried under the house. I could not move.
The eldest sister was able to go out and called for help. Several sailors came and I was rescued. Then I heard a small girl crying at the other side of the house. It was 2 year old sister who was still under the house.
I found her legs under a big beam. She was crying loud. All the sailor men together tried to move the beam but the 4 or 5 beams were all connected and they could not move even an inch.
The sailors gave up and were gone to help other people.
Where is mom? What is she doing? Please come back hurry. My sister’s legs will be cut off. I was so worried and only waited for help.
At that time, I saw a person running and approaching to us as fast as an arrow. Her hair was all curled. It looked like a woman, almost naked. Her body was violet in color. She spoke to us in a loud voice. It was Mom. “Mom!” We called her loud.
Fire started breaking out here and there.
And fire started also very close to my house. My Mom’s face turned pale blue.
She looked down her youngest daughter. And she stared around the place to see how beams were piled up.
Then she found a small space, where she placed her body beneath.
She put the beam on her right shoulder and gave full strength. I heard a big sound, Bari Bari, and saw the beam stay in the air.
Sister’s legs were freed and the elder sister pulled her out. And my mom jumped to her and held her tightly. We all cried.
I learned the atomic bomb exploded when my mom was picking eggplants in the field. Her clothes were burnt and torn, so she was almost naked. Her hair was all curled. Her body was severely burned. Particularly at her right shoulder which she used to push the beam, the flesh appeared and blood was bleeding.
My mom fell down on the ground weakly.
She started to suffer from pains.
By going through heavy pains, she died at that night.
After introducing this story, Toui sensei posed a question to a group of young girls.
"Was this mother an exceptionally strong mother?
Was she a strong mother who could move something several sailor men together could not move?
Your mothers would do the same to help you in such a situation.
Mothers hold all this strength within."
Toui sensei emphasized the power of mothers. What I learned from Toui sensei was that not only mothers but also all people possess great strength within. I was very much inspired by what mother of Michiko did. It is mother’s compassion with which we can tap this potential.
I would like to share with many people, that we have great potential within. Before saying, “No I cannot,” why don’t we try it again with more compassion next time. We may be able to lift the heavy beam as the mother did to rescue her daughter.