10 Things You Didn’t Know About HIROSHIMA ATOMIC BOMBING

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*CORRECTION: In the video, the location of Nagasaki is off. It should be more on the left side of Kyushu island.

1) Godzilla

Godzilla, the giant Japanese dinosaur-looking monster, a worldwide pop culture icon; who’s been in numerous movies.

Why am I mentioning this? Well, Godzilla owes its existence to the atomic bombs. In the aftermath, with the devastation still fresh in the Japanese consciousness, Godzilla was created as a metaphor for nuclear weapons and their destructive capabilities.

2) The Korean Casualties

An enormous number of Koreans also perished in the blast. In fact, around 25% of casualties were Koreans. Korea was under Japanese rule at the time so there were many drafted or conscripted Koreans in Hiroshima & Nagasaki. It’s unfortunate that the Korean victims of this tragedy have often been neglected

3) Close Call Kyoto

Today’s Kyoto landscape would have been greatly altered, and not for the better, if the Americans had gone about their original plan. The targets were in fact supposed to be Hiroshima & Kyoto. However, the US Secretary of War at the time, Henry L Stimson, insisted on sparing the city

4) The Pamphlet Warnings

Just prior to dropping the Atomic bombs, the US Airforce released pamphlets or leaflets from their planes warning Japanese citizens of the impending destruction. They were largely ineffective.

5) The Little Boy & The Fat Man

These were the American codenames of the two atomic bombs.

6) The American Casualties

12 American airmen were captured, then taken to the Chugoku Military Police Headquarters in Hiroshima, where the American weapon of mass destruction indiscriminately took them out.

7) Go

An important Go tournament was held in the suburbs of Hiroshima, about 5 km from ground zero; a pivotal match up was ongoing between champion Hashimoto and the challenger Iwamoto. When the atomic bomb went off, people were injured, buildings were damaged, and the game came to an immediate halt. Fortunately no one died as tournament officials had earlier moved the game away from the blast radius after coming across the American pamphlets.

The players took this opportunity to have a quick lunch break. Afterwards on the same day, they finished the game. White won.

8) Operation Meetinghouse

As devastating as the atomic bombs were, it didn’t even rank as the most destructive bombing event of WW2. That title goes to the deathly firebombing of Tokyo by the US Air Force, also known as Operation Meetinghouse. This was estimated to be the single most destructive bombing attack not just in Japan, but in history.

9) The Flame Of Peace

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park was built in dedication to the legacy of Hiroshima as the first city in the world to suffer a nuclear attack. In the park, sits The Flame of Peace which has burned continuously since 1964, and will remain lit until all nuclear weapons are removed from the world and the planet is free from nuclear threat.

10) The Improbable Survivor

Tsutomu Yamaguchi worked for the Mitsubishi company, and on August 6th, 1945, he was away from home on a business trip in Hiroshima.

He witnessed the Little Boy dropping from the sky and the explosion ruptured his eardrums, blinded him, and left him with serious burns. But he was alive.

The very next day, he dragged his body to a station, made his way out of Hiroshima and back to his hometown. At home, he finally received treatment for his wounds.

Two days later, despite being seriously injured and heavily bandaged, he informed Mitsubishi that he was back from his Hiroshima business trip and ready to report to work. So, he went to work, as if nothing major had happened.

Yamaguchi was lucky to have survived the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb. However, he was unlucky that he went back home..

..to Nagasaki..


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