|Above, the Hypocenter Park statue that is referenced in the article on Nagasaki. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
The city of Nagasaki is about to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on August 9, 1945.
Nagasaki is now a "dashing city" that rose like the mythological phoenix from the ashes of the bombing.
The United Kingdom's The Independent has a good article on Nagasaki.
It starts with:
There is something vastly humbling about standing in the precise place where a nuclear explosion occurred. It does not take me long to find the Hypocentre Park in Nagasaki, but it takes me a few minutes to come to terms with the magnitude of this location.
Right here, at 11.02am on Thursday 9 August 1945, an atomic bomb did its dirty work. In doing so, it effectively ended the Second World War, while reaping a body count that may have totalled 80,000.
This was, perhaps, the most decisive moment of the 20th century. And yet it is also treated as something of a footnote. The tale of Japan's downfall in the summer of 1945 usually focuses on the destruction of Hiroshima – the victim of the first A-bomb dropped in anger, three days earlier on 6 August. That unprecedented move caused the deaths of around twice the number of people, and came wrapped in the stark shock of the new. Nagasaki was "just" the sequel. Yet the 70th anniversary of the event will be remembered just as solemnly as ever next Sunday during the city's yearly Peace Memorial Ceremony.
Those who visit Nagasaki, Japan's most westerly city (pinned to the left flank of Kyushu, the third largest and most south-westerly of the four main islands of this archipelago nation), will encounter plenty of landmarks relating to the bleak events of seven decades ago.But, as the article points out, Nagasaki is now a vibrant city:
Yet, visitors will also unearth a place that has shown remarkable resilience, emerging from the rubble and ash as a dashing metropolis where intriguing restaurants, galleries, shops, and bars abound.I have to agree. I visited Nagasaki in 2007 and also found it to be a dashing city.
To read more, go here.