Chapter 4 : Nyokod


Although confined to bed, Dr. Nagai continued his research and writing on atomic bomb disease.

Nyokodo (As Yourself Hermitage) was constructed in the spring of 1948 when people were beginning to put up makeshift shacks on the atomic wasteland. It was built by donations from the church and from the people of Urakami.


The tiny house was called Nyokodo (As Yourself Hermitage) after the Christian maxim


"Love others as you love yourself."



Within reaching distance around his bed were articlesfor daily use, writing paper, reference books, pens and paints.


 From the tiny two-tatami-mat room (about four square meters in area), Dr. Nagai produced one famous work after another as a way to encourage the people of Urakami. He published novels and essays such as Rozario no Kusari (The Rosary Chain), Kono Ko wo Nokoshite (Leaving These Children Behind), Seimei no Kawa (River of Life) and Nagasaki no Kane (Bells of Nagasaki). Kono Ko Wo Nokoshite was later made into a movie, and Nagasaki no Kane inspired a hit song that is still popular today.


As Yourself Hermitage as it looked at the time of construction.

Nyokodo as they look today.



"Nyokodo, my place of lodging, has an area of only two tatami mats. My bed takes up one mat, and Makoto and Kayano live on the other... I happily came to live here, considering it God's blessing. The people of Urakami love others as they love themselves, truly a blessing for a person far from home andweary from the hardships of the way. That is why I called this house "As Yourself Hermitage" andwhy I constantly offer prayers of thanks."


(from Kono Ko wo Nokoshite [Leaving These Children Behind])