Updated: Nov 11, 2021
"from the dimly flickering flames of a burnt and festering Hiroshima"
–TŌGE Sankichi, "At a Field-Dressing Station"
This weekend marks the end of the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan and the 76th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On August 6, 1945, at 8:15 AM, the US dropped the world's first nuclear bomb over Hiroshima, Japan. The bomb, given the code name “little boy,” exploded about 2,000 feet above the city, killing an estimated 140,000 Japanese civilians. The US dropped a second bomb three days later on Nagasaki, killing another 70,000 Japanese civilians.The majority of deaths occurred on the day of the bombing; however, ongoing nuclear radiation in both cities, combined with the U.S occupation of Japan resulted in countless more deaths. The explosion destroyed nearly every building within a mile of the explosion. Of the few surviving buildings, the Hiroshima Dome, also known as the A-Bomb Dome, and Hiroshima Peace Memorial, serves a particular purpose towards historical memory and peace making. The site commemorates the location of the US nuclear attack and is often used as a place of prayer for Japanese victims of the US bombing. Hiroshima-Nagasaki by Japanese artist U.G. Sato renders this building into a human-like figure, who is holding onto a bouquet made of a world map. The work speaks directly to the process of disaster and rebuilding, specifically urging the global community to unify in the name of an anti-nuclear world.
–Saúl Ontiveros Getty Marrow Undergraduate Archive and Research Intern