Hiroshima Day 2023: The 6th of August is observed globally as Hiroshima Day to commemorate the atomic bombardment of Japanese cities during World War II. The United States’ atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the only recorded use of nuclear weapons during an armed conflict in history.
On August 6, 1945, the first nuclear bomb was detonated on the city of Hiroshima, wiping out approximately 40 percent of the city’s population. On August 9, three days later, the second nuclear bomb was detonated over Nagasaki. Today marks the 77th anniversary of one of the most catastrophic occurrences in human history.
What Happened on that day?
After Germany’s unconditional capitulation to the allied forces in May of 1945, World War II continued in Asia as the forces fought the Japanese Empire. The United States authorised the Manhattan Project and developed the nuclear bombs Little Boy and Fat Man, which were unleashed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively.
On August 6, an American B-29 Bomber reportedly detonated the Little Boy atomic bomb on Hiroshima, killing 90,000 people instantly. After three days, another B-29 dropped Fat Man on Nagasaki.
The decision to drop atomic weapons on Japanese cities was made after an analysis revealed that far more people would perish if allied forces invaded Japanese territory. The United States believed the atomic weapons would force Japanese forces to surrender, which they ultimately did.
As a result of the atomic bombings, Japan was forced to capitulate to the allied forces, which led to the conclusion of World War II. After the destructive event of 1945, the devastation was not contained and continued for decades through radiation, affecting tens of thousands of lives annually.
Consequences of the Bombing
At noon on August 15, 1945 (Japanese time), Emperor Hirohito announced the capitulation of Japan over the radio. The news rapidly spread, and celebrations of “Victory in Japan” or “V-J Day” erupted in the United States and other Allied nations. The formal capitulation agreement was signed aboard the U.S. battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2.
The precise death tolls from the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are unknown due to the extent of the devastation and chaos, including the destruction of a large portion of the two cities’ infrastructure. However, it is estimated that between 70,000 and 135,000 people perished in Hiroshima and between 60,000 and 80,000 perished in Nagasaki due to acute exposure to the explosions and long-term radiation exposure.
Hiroshima Day 2023: Facts
- There are more animals than humans in Japan.
- The noisier you slurp your noodles, the tastier they are thought to be.
- Since the number four (‘shi’) sounds too similar to the Japanese word for mortality, it is considered unlucky.
- The average train delay in Japan is 18 seconds.
- Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market is the largest seafood market in the globe.