August 6, 1945

And on that very note, let us not forget that 55 years later, we as humans all live under the shadow of our own destructive powers. Man's introduction to the atomic age came when uranium a-bomb "Little Boy" was detonated above the military port city of Hiroshima at 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945- a perfectly clear day. Nearly 140,000 people died (many were instantly vaporized by the intense heat of the bomb, while others recovered, only to succumb later to extreme radiation related maladies). As the writer Yuichi Serai once wrote, "When mankind dropped the atomic bomb, I think, people abandoned God and their humanity."

To gain some perspective on my choice of this horrific image, I wrote my entire senior thesis on the literature of the Atomic Bomb experience, or "Genbaku no Bungaku" and have spent years collecting books on the bizarre culture that was born out of Hiroshima and the atomic age in Japan in general.

Draft press release by U.S. President Truman. Seeing that I have been spending a considerable amount of time reading and researching original documents on the occupation of Japan (and the role that Japanese American military intelligence translators played in the days, months and years after the Emperor surrendered), re-reading Truman's pr machine in action is sort of a mindfuck.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Wow, all that talk about "harnessing the power of the universe"--it's like some really creepy action movie. And it makes me weirdly nostalgic for the days when the government was blatantly vengeful. Now I think Bush would somehow try to convince us that the bomb was dropped to liberate the citizens of Hiroshima.