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"Little Boy" made a big hole
August 10, 2011 10:22 AM   Subscribe

Hiroshima after the atomic bomb 360º panoramas of the destruction, taken six months after.
posted by dabitch (18 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.

Frightening to think that the blast was incredibly small by modern standards.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 10:37 AM on August 10, 2011


Lessons from the past are soon forgotten. We could be seeing this happen again.
posted by tommasz at 11:00 AM on August 10, 2011


In the first panorama, if you look west you can see the "Genbaku Dome" and in the foreground, a cemetery that looks basically unscathed. The only things left standing that close to ground zero were the tombs of the dead.
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:22 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Long-suppressed color footage from Hiroshima. (See embedded video at bottom.)
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:27 AM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I remember reading that someone proposed leaving Hiroshima in this state, and using it as the site for the United Nations.
posted by Relay at 11:41 AM on August 10, 2011


It is generally considered that the Pacific War began on 7/8 December 1941 with the Japanese invasion of Thailand, the invasion of British Malaya, and the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan. Also useful for context: Japanese war crimes.
posted by semmi at 11:51 AM on August 10, 2011


Thank you for that valuable context, semmi, as we were all laboring under the misapprehension that the nation of Japan was merely idling on a street corner when the US dropped an atomic bomb on it. Perhaps we could simply agree that the destruction was catastrophic and the civilian deaths appalling without having to lay out exactly how much you think they deserved it.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:24 PM on August 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


semmi, i really hope you spent a little time and looked through the panoramas - because even though my view of the japanese role in ww2 and its end probably isn't any different then yours, the context that i though of wasn't "well, after all the stuff they did, they asked for it"

it was more like, "after all the stress and conflict this world has been through in the past 66 years, we've been very lucky that this hasn't happened on an even larger scale - and we'd damn well better make sure that it doesn't"
posted by pyramid termite at 1:21 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


You can link to specific parts of the image. Here's a guy on a bike, and here's a man comforting a crying woman.
posted by dabitch at 1:45 PM on August 10, 2011


Horace Rumpole: The notion of "deserving" is in your head, not mine. So is the notion that " they asked for it." However, I am touched by the sufferings and death of the millions of individuals by individuals as much, even more, than an "impersonal" explosion, regardless of the magnitude. I believe we must pay attention to individual's the capacity for cruelty before we'll accomplish largely rhetorical political aims.
posted by semmi at 1:53 PM on August 10, 2011


However, I am touched by the sufferings and death of the millions of individuals by individuals as much, even more, than an "impersonal" explosion, regardless of the magnitude. I believe we must pay attention to individual's the capacity for cruelty before we'll accomplish largely rhetorical political aims.

Then do your own FPP about that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:59 PM on August 10, 2011


Holy shit.
posted by fancyoats at 2:25 PM on August 10, 2011


Well, that ruined my afternoon.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 2:54 PM on August 10, 2011


.
posted by Thomas Tallis is my Homeboy at 3:36 PM on August 10, 2011


charlie don't surf, I found it, this is the cemetery you mean. How.... sad.
posted by dabitch at 4:31 PM on August 10, 2011


Yes, that's the cemetery. It would have been next to a temple. I was kind of shocked to see this when I went searching for the famous Genbaku Dome, which is now the centerpiece of Hiroshima Peace Park.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:30 PM on August 10, 2011


Lessons from the past are soon forgotten. We could be seeing this happen again.

Actually, I disagree: The world took the nuclear lesson from Hiroshima very seriously. Despite innumerable other conflicts since, we have not dropped another nuclear bomb on people since that time - despite the many thousands that have been made.

One thing that really struck me when I was in Hiroshima early this year, was a different - to me, possibly more important - lesson the world chose not to take.

We think of Hiroshima primarily as a nuclear tragedy, however in reality nuclear weapons were simply a different - novel - delivery mechanism. For me, the larger tragedy of Hiroshima was the tragedy of war itself: its cost, the almost decadent waste, the toll it exacts on our collective humanity, and charity, and empathy.

The real tragedy of Hiroshima was the tragedy of war, and the conscious decision to engage in it at gross expense to so many.

That lesson in culpability, humility and struggle - and the implicit, searing, indictment that the continued ubiquity of war and the decision to make it represents - is orders of magnitude more difficult than a simplistic lesson that nuclear weapons are a unique evil and the damage they wreak is somehow more terrible than the everyday wounds, deaths, rapes and destruction that mortars, machine guns and humanity's inhumanity can muster.

That's what I took away from Hiroshima, at any rate.
posted by smoke at 8:29 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dropping those bombs was pure evil.
posted by agregoli at 1:21 PM on August 11, 2011


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