The Nagasaki Atomic Bomb and Nature

Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum

Regrowth of Nature Post-Atomic Bombing

Atomic Bomb and Plants

The atomic bomb left deep scars on both humans and nature.

The damage to this nature shows us just how destructive the damage from the atomic bomb was.

Hypocenter - The blast struck from directly above this location, leaving the trees standing.
Trees Around Hypocenter – Although the trees were charred by heat rays, they remained standing. Because the blast struck directly from above, the branches were cleaved from the trees. 
These blown-back trees indicated the direction of the blast. Distance from Hypocenter: 0.8 km South-Southwest
Bamboo trees were leveled in the opposite direction of the hypocenter.  Distance from Hypocenter: 1.1 km West
Japanese Spindle                                                                                                                                               The leaves of this plant were variegated and crinkled due to radiation. The variegation can be seen throughout the plant from the stem to the leaves. 

Lives were saved by trees that blocked the blast wind. Lives were lost as trees fell. Atomic bomb survivors gathered under the trees to escape the summer heat.

The memories of that day still remain with these trees.

“Survivors Gathering Under a Tree”

Drawing by Atomic Bomb Survivor

“Tombstones Scattered by the Blast”

Drawing by Atomic Bomb Survivor

“My father was working at in a classroom in the Nagasaki Medical University Pathology Department. I went searching for him with my mother, but we never found him. I still remember that horrific sight.”

Drawing by: Atomic Bomb Survivor

Ray of Hope from the Trees

The great camphor trees of Sanno Shinto Shrine are estimated be 400 to 500 years old. The blast wind of the bomb blew away all of their branches, cleaving their charred trunks. Although these trees looked as if they would never grow again, new buds began to sprout a few months later. The sight of these trees regaining their former strength gave Nagasaki’s citizens the strength to work towards recovery.

Distance from Hypocenter: 0.8km South-Southeast

Newly Budding Camphor Trees, Two Months After Atomic Bombing

Present Day Camphor Trees

30 trees survived the atomic bomb. The scars on these trees depict the tragic consequences of the use of nuclear weapons and show us the power of nature to overcome disaster.

This tree, located 1km north-northwest of the hypocenter, survived the atomic bombing and remains today in the garden of a private house. Its charred inner trunk can still be seen.
Great Camphor Trees of Sanno Shinto Shrine (Present Day) – The remarkable power of nature to rebound from destruction can be seen in the regrowth of these trees.
Credits: Story

Curator — Shotaro Okuno
Curator — Ayano Matsuo

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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