“In Nagasaki, American planes did drop warning leaflets – but not till Aug. 10, a day after the city was bombed.”
– Lydia Millet
Nagasaki is the capital and the largest city of Nagasaki Prefecture on the island of Kyushu in Japan. The city’s name means “long cape” in Japanese. Just like Hiroshima Nagasaki was on my list because of the atomic bomb dropped there during WW2, I wanted to see what it felt like standing at ground zero.
When I asked Tomei, a survivor in Nagasaki, if he recalled these leaflets — which told of the devastating power of the new bomb and said: “Attention, Japanese people. Evacuate your cities” – he said he remembered them well. “The leaflets were a great help to us,” he said, and smiled gently. “We had nothing left, because every single thing had gone into the war effort or been destroyed. Toilet paper was scarce.”
I decided to walk to the hypocenter to see a bit more of the city. On the way I went past Megane Bridge, aka Glass Bridge, which is “famous” because the reflection makes it look like glasses… Nagasaki is happening. Woop… I saw a turtle tho, practically made my day 🙂
The hypocenter itself was, you guessed it, powerful. It was pretty intense, but a beautifully made memorial. The atmosphere was a bit hampered by the throngs of school children being guided around, but at least it wasn’t annoying. I just felt it’s good they teach the kids history. The information plaques were fairly balanced and positive. There has been a statue erected commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bombing as well, it was pretty heartbreaking actually. A mother holding a dying or dead child…