Seventy years ago today, on 6th August 1945 at 8:15am JST, the US bomber Enola Gay dropped “Little Boy” on Hiroshima. Three days later, another bomber from the same squadron, Bockscar, dropped “Fat Man” on Nagasaki.
The Japanese government were struggling to surrender and end the war: the US government wanted to try out the effect of their two kinds of nuclear weapons on two cities that had not yet been firebombed. After the two nuclear weapons had been dropped, negotiations could be allowed to begin: Japan’s surrender was announced on 15th August.
By 15th August, the US bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had already killed between 84,000 and 123,000 civilians: by the time Japan formally surrendered to the Allied forces on 2nd September, over 246,000 civilians had been killed by the US bombing on those two cities.
CND representative, Ben Folley, reports from Hiroshima on 6th August:
‘As the delegates pour into the city, a peace march of hundreds who have walked from Tokyo also arrives at the Memorial Peace Park. The Japanese anti-nuclear movement is growing – many are from amongst the hibakusha – the survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But many others are young people – around 600 attended Saturday’s youth rally, calling for a nuclear free world.
On 6th August 1945, a nuclear weapon was used in war for the first time. Three days later, over Nagasaki, a nuclear weapon was to be used in war for what, so far, has been the last time.
The artist Isao Hashimoto made this film as a “bird’s eye view of the history”, a month per second. “The blinking light, sound and the numbers on the world map show when, where and how many experiments each country have conducted. I created this work for the means of an interface to the people who are yet to know of the extremely grave, but present problem of the world.” Isao Hashimoto was born in Kumamoto prefecture in Japan in 1959.