Monday, 13 June 2011

The Atom Bomb museum - Nagasaki

Of course one of the main reasons that Nagaskai is famous is for being the second place in Japan to be hit by an atom bomb. It happened only three days after the Hiroshima bombing and obviously completely destroyed a thriving city. The museum was our first stop in Nagasaki and naturally quite a harrowing experience, but we felt it needed to be done. Over 73,000 people died immediately from the bombing and over 74,000 were injured, and many of their personal stories are related in the exhibition, along with detailed accounts of the events and recovered items from the carnage.

The approach to the museum is surprisingly serene, along a weeping willow-flanked river.
Brightly-coloured garlands of origami storks greet you at the gates. These have been donated by children visiting the museum, in memory Sadako Sasaki. She was a girl who developed leukemia ten years after being exposed to radiation from the Hiroshima atomic bomb. She believed that if she folded 1,000 paper cranes, her illness would be cured. Sadly she died, having folded 964 cranes. Sadako's friends took over the task of folding 1,000 paper cranes and it soon became a symbol of the worldwide prayer for peace throughout Japan and also overseas.
The building is impressively designed, with a light filled spiral hallway that leads down to the exhibition.

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