The Beauty Of Hiroshima – A Look Back Forty Years
Hiroshima has been through a lot in the past forty years. It’s gone through bombings, rebuilds, and more. But what may have passed unnoticed is the city’s beauty and all that it has to offer. In this blog post, we will take a look back at Hiroshima and all that it has to offer—from its stunning architecture to its delicious cuisine. We hope you enjoy reading about Hiroshima as much as we did writing about it.
The Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
On August 6, 1945, the United States of America dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The bombing killed more than 140,000 people and injured more than 200,000. On August 9th, Japan launched a full-scale counterattack against Allied forces in the Pacific theater which ultimately led to their surrender two months later.
Hiroshima was not alone in its devastation. Nagasaki also experienced significant damage from the atomic bomb. In total, over 210,000 people were killed or injured as a result of the bombings. Estimates suggest that these attacks hastened Japan’s surrender and saved countless lives. Forty years on from these devastating events, we take a look back at what remains – both beautiful and heartbreaking – from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The aftermath of the atomic bombings
The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki left a vast wasteland in their wake. The cities that were once thriving metropolises now lay in ruins, with barely a building left standing. The aftermath of the bombings was both horrific and shocking, and it is difficult to comprehend just how destructive they truly were.
The bombs dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, killed an estimated 150,000 people instantly and caused another 150,000 deaths from radiation-related illness over the following years. In total, the bombings resulted in the deaths of around 200,000 people.
The aftermath of the bombings was also catastrophic for the environment. Almost entire neighborhoods were levelled by the force of the explosions, leaving behind nothing but smoking rubble and incinerated buildings. This made it impossible for any plants or wildlife to recolonize the area; instead, it became a desolate wasteland known as “Hiroshima Green Hell”.
In addition to hospitals and other essential infrastructure being destroyed by the blasts, many civilians found themselves sheltering in underground tunnels or under collapsed buildings due to the intense heat and radiation emitted by the bombs. This made them particularly susceptible to bone marrow diseases like leukemia which had already become rampant due to previous bombing campaigns in Japan.
To this day, there are still few places where tourists can visit without encountering reminders of Hiroshima’s tragic past. Every year on August 6th – Japan
The reconstruction of Hiroshima
The reconstruction of Hiroshima is now a thriving city with a population of over 1.2 million people. The city has been rebuilt in an effort to create a model for post-disaster reconstruction, and it has been praised for its sustainable planning and architecture.
Hiroshima was the most devastating atomic attack in history, with an explosive yield of approximately 15 kilotons of TNT. The attack killed approximately 200,000 people instantly and injured another 400,000 people. Over the next month, the city continued to suffer from fires and radiation exposure.
The United States responded to the attack by launching an air campaign against Japan that would ultimately result in the surrender of Japan. On August 6th, 1945, days after the bombing of Hiroshima, President Harry S Truman addressed the nation about the bombing and its effects: “The Japanese were trying to kill us all.”
Life in Hiroshima after the bombings
Hiroshima was almost completely destroyed in the atomic bombing that took place on August 6, 1945. However, because of the city’s significant historical and architectural value, many people have chosen to rebuild it. The first reconstruction efforts began almost immediately after the bombing and continued until 1955. Since then, Hiroshima has been rebuilt many times thanks to the support of its citizens. Today, Hiroshima is a thriving city with a population of over one million people.
The cityscape is dominated by high rise buildings and there is a great deal of innovation taking place within the city walls. There are also many cultural attractions including museums and theatres which offer visitors a wide range of exhibits and performances. It is impossible to visit Hiroshima without feeling deeply moved by its beauty and history.
The beauty of Hiroshima forty years on
In the months and years following the devastating atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, the city was still reeling from the devastation. On Sunday, August 15, a group of foreign journalists traveled to Hiroshima to witness first-hand the effects of the nuclear attack. Along with writer Osamu Tezuka and photographer Tadayoshi Nakamura, LIFE Magazine’s John Hersey arrived in Hiroshima two days later.
“Hiroshima is like a vast open sore,” wrote Hersey in his report “Hiroshima: A Photographic Record”. “Every building has been hit at least once by conventional bombs or shells; every yard contains shattered glass and twisted metal. The survivors wander listlessly through what used to be comfortable homes, looking for food that no longer exists.”
Despite the devastation caused by the atomic bomb, some aspects of life in Hiroshima were still beautiful. One such site was Kamiya Shrine, which was covered in snow due to its elevated location. The shrine had been rebuilt after being destroyed in World War II and now lay in ruins again. However, despite its crumbling state, there was still something about it that captured Hersey’s attention: “The beauty of this scene is inexpressible,” he wrote. “But it lies not only on the external appearance of things but also within those broken walls and roofless chambers where once dwelt men devoted to peace and good cheer.”