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The Ruins of the Nagasaki Atomic Bombing

By Staff Writer
August 07, 2023
On August 9, 1945, during World War II, the American B-29 airplane dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki on the western coast of Japan’s Kyushu Island, causing enormous damage to the city. Nagasaki has a nationally designated historic site made up of the ruins of the atomic bombing.

The Hypocenter

The Hypocenter, being the exact position below the area where the atomic bomb exploded in the air, is notably the most important site. This is located in the Prayer Zone area of Heiwa Koen (Peace Park). In 1968, a memorial monolith was built here to mark ground zero of the atomic explosion.
Hypocenter at the Nagasaki Peace Park

Belfry of Urakami Cathedral

A belfry of the former Urakami Cathedral located approximately 500 metres northeast of the hypocenter can be seen lying in state on a hill. The now rebuilt cathedral originally had two bell towers. One of them was crushed while the other was blown off by the atomic bombing which destroyed the cathedral.
Urakami Cathedral's Fallen Bell Tower in Nagasaki City

Former Shiroyama National School Building

Approximately 500 metres west of the hypocenter lies the former Shiroyama National School. During the war, the building was painted in camouflage and split between the school and the Mitsubishi Arms Factory in order to decentralise the main factory, which was prone to become a target. Although the school was demolished in the 1980s, a corner stairway of the building has been preserved in a peace museum build on the former site of the school.

Gateposts of Nagasaki Medical College

Most buildings of the former Nagasaki Medical College (present-day Nagasaki University School of Medicine), located 700 metres southeast of the hypocenter, collapsed or burnt at the time of the atomic bombing. Of the two gateposts from the main entrance, one was slanted while the other remained intact.

Second Torii Gate of Sanno Shrine

The second tori gate of Sanno Shrine, which was 800 metres southeast of the hypocenter, are the only remains of the shrine. The torii stands on one pillar as its other support column was knocked down by the atomic blast, and it was therefore split in half. The force of the shockwave turned the torii about 13 degrees on its pedestal base and damage caused by the heat can be seen on the surface of the remaining leg.
One-legged Torii-Gate of Sanno Shrine in Nagasaki City
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