[dropcap]H[/dropcap]iroshima and Nagasaki are possibly two of the most famous Japanese cities in the world next to Tokyo itself, although the reason for their fame is slightly less positive. These are the only two cities on Earth where nuclear bombs were detonated during wartime with the intention of killing or destroying the enemy.
Two cities were completely destroyed, thousands of people were killed, and a nation was completely changed. Whatever your view of politics or the world, these are few things you might not know about Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
1. The person closest to the blast in Hiroshima that was confirmed to have survived was less than 200 meters from ground zero in a basement.
2. The vault of a certain bank in Hiroshima withstood the explosion. After the war, the manager of the bank sent the Mosler Safe Company of Ohio a letter with this line: “Your products were admired for being stronger than the atomic bomb.”
3. Tsutomu Yamaguchi survived the blast in Hiroshima, crawled into an air raid shelter, and caught the first train to Nagasaki in the morning so that he would make it to work. After Nagasaki was bombed three days later, he survived that blast as well.
4. The US dropped nearly 50 pumpkin bombs (practice bombs) on Japan before the two big ones. These pumpkin bombs were non-nuclear versions of fat man and little boy.
5. Gingko Biloba trees are known for their remarkable resilience. Some of the only living things to survive Hiroshima were 6 such trees, all of which are still standing today.
6. After Hiroshima was bombed, hundreds of people made their way to Nagasaki, only to be bombed again. Along with Tsutomu Yamaguchi (#22), 164 others survived both attacks.
7. Nearly a quarter of the deaths in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were actually Koreans who had been conscripted to fight in the war.
8. Neither Hiroshima nor Nagasaki were the most destructive bombing attacks of World War II. That title belongs to Operation Meetinghouse, which was the allied firebombing of Tokyo. In fact, it has been labeled the most destructive bombing raid in history.
9. It took Tokyo about 3 hours to realize that Hiroshima had been destroyed. They didn’t know what had actually happened until 16 hours later when Washington announced it.
10. The blasts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were so powerful that they permanently burned shadows of people into the Earth.