Atomic Bomb Museum & Peace Park
09.10.2012 - 09.10.2012 -25 °C
After yesterday's festivities, we stepped out for a more sobering trip to the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum and Peace Park to learn about the 1945 bombing.
The museum demonstrates through remnants of buildings and objects the devastation that the atomic bomb had on the city of Nagasaki. Photographic evidence and personal accounts from victims also testifiy to the destructive, long term effects the bomb had.
At the hypocenter, the heat of the bomb reached between 3000-4000 degrees. Anyone caught there was immediately carbonised and their bodily fluids evaporated. The wind pressure caused by the energy of the bomb flattened anything around it, so that even the reinforced steel walls of the local prison were demolished.
Anything within a 4km radius was immediately effected, many people suffered severe burns. Later illness included various cancer forms, hair loss, psychological disorders and cataracts. Many children of subsequent generations were born with defects. Around 73,000 people died from the A-Bomb and around 74,000 were injured.
Even now, it can not be said that the poisonous substances released by the bomb have been eradicated from the city.
The city of Nagasaki now works towards the abolishment of nuclear weapons worldwide by actively campaigning and educating people. Here is a snippet from the 2012 Nagasaki Peace Declaration:
'Nuclear weapons were born out of distrust and fear of other countries as well as the desire for power. Nagasaki will also be emphasizing peace and international understanding education to help create a world where future generations can live in a society based on mutual trust, a sense of security, and the notion of harmonious coexistence'
The Peace Park was created as a dedicated space for remembrance of the suffering and loss caused by the bomb.
The monument at the Hypocenter:
Remnants of the Shinto Shrine and Cathedral- 2 buildings destroyed by the bomb.
The Peace Fountain:
Monuments dedicated by other countries to show support to Nagasaki:
Dominating the park was the Peace Statue
The statues right hand pointing upwards symbolises the threat of the atomic bomb. The left hand stretching horizontally symbolises peace. The lightly closed eyelids convey the idea of an ancient prayer for the souls of the war dead. The crossed leg symbolises meditation and the other leg is poised ready to go and help humanity.
After a long informative and emotional day (we had to fight back some tears on several occasions) we headed back to our hostel. We picked up some Castella, a traditional cake for Nagasaki introduced by the Portuguese when Nagasaki was Japan's only trading point with the West. Time to kick back with a brew!