Suzuki’s account of things ran like this:
‘You have wonderful good luck. Nobody understands. They rush to pull you out before the fire catches. You must be dead. Great is their wonder to find you still alive.
It was terrible a sight. I am nearly sick. Everybodies is so sorry for you. Everybodies prays to God for you. The doctor thinks you do not live for ten, twenty minutes.’
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They decided to send me to Dr. Hama’s hospital at Shingu 10 miles away. Suzuki continued, ‘All young men carry you to train, very careful. They carry you all way one hour train journey.’
This crash took the form of the nightmare I had had perhaps fifty times – that my sight went black while I was flying, and left me waiting for the inevitable crash.
Although I had had a terrific impact with the ground, and could count thirteen broken bones or wounds, I was not seriously hurt. Things like a broken arm and crushed ankle seemed minor troubles. I suppose my damaged back was the worst thing, probably because with the language difficulty the doctor was not aware of it. It was ten years before I was completely recovered from that. Hama was a brilliant doctor; I had a slash in my leg about a foot long, and he used to dress this with some ointment, and I marvelled at how fast it healed.