Friday, February 22, 2013

Foreign Friday

Hiroshima diorama illustrating the extent of damage
from the atomic bomb, dropped August 6, 1945
(red ball at top of photo depicts the atomic bomb)
Hiroshima Museum
Hiroshima, Japan
April 1980
Hiroshima following the denotation of the atomic bomb August 6, 1945
(photo taken from a museum display - April 1980)
Hiroshima following the denotation of the atomic bomb August 6, 1945
(photo taken from a museum display - April 1980)

According to Wikipedia, within the first two to four months of the bombings, the acute effects of the bombs killed 90,000–166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki, with roughly half of the deaths in each city occurring on the first day.

Those who survived the blast(s) suffered radiation illness, cancer, and disfigurement the remainder of their lives. Survivors' stories can be found here.

Like all wars, World War II changed the world in many ways, and individuals from all the countries involved suffered greatly, directly and/or indirectly. I am an idealist, but sadly an ideal world does not exist. I've studied history and understand why the United States bombed Japan; however, I saw things from a different perspective at the museums in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. My idealism was suddenly faced with reality, and my emotions covered the whole spectrum in the blink of an eye.

In 2011, I watched in horror as the tsunami surged ashore in Japan. To me, the destruction was eerily similar to the aftermath of the atomic blast.

I cannot imagine a country having to rebuild itself from something as devastating as not one, but two, atomic bombs (one was dropped on Hiroshima and another one was dropped on Nagasaki three days later) as well as a tsunami. I admire the tenacity, resilience, and grace of the Japanese people.

More photos of Hiroshima and its museums will be featured in future Foreign Friday posts.

5 comments:

  1. I cannot even imagine. The only thing I can compare it to is the scars Hurricane Camille left here in 1969. Families were lost, and from the air, you can still see the damage all these years later.

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  2. These photos are sobering. It's unimaginable devastation. It must have been so interesting to go through through this museum. I'm looking forward to the future posts.

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  3. I Admire the Japanese for their rebuilding and resilience. The damage is so horrible looking

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  4. Interesting and sobering photos, Nancy. Have you read Street of a Thousand Blossoms? I think you might like it.

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  5. I am sure it was sad times for many of the Japanese families:(

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