A Bruneian in Hiroshima in 1944

In 1944, when the Americans dropped the two atomic bombs over Nagasaki and Hiroshima during the Second World War, not many people know that, our elderly statesman Pengiran Haji Mohd Yussof was a student at the Hisroshima Bunrika Daigaku school Hiroshima. Pengiran Yusof survived the bombing and eventually became the State Secretary in 1964 and Menteri Besar in 1967. Along the way he was made a a Cheteria and carry the title Pengiran Setia Negara, he also wrote the lyrics to our national anthem as well as a number of books. He was also formerly an Ambassador to Japan and currently is a member of the Legislative Council.

I first read Pengiran Setia Negara's personal account of the Hiroshima bombing when I was in Primary 4. At that time, an excerpt of his account was part of the stories in my Malay comprehension text book. I was not sure where the excerpt came from. Last year, I came across his book entitled "Barat-Timbur dan Bom Atom" which was published by DBP Malaysia in 2002. In this book that same personal account was there on what happened during the aftermath of the bombing and how he and a group of friends, both Japanese and International made their way out of Hiroshima and for him personally how he managed to get back to Brunei. It is really a moving account.

The book is available at Syarikat Mega for $9.60.

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