NAGASAKI – The Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum is exhibiting 26 recently discovered photographs taken a year and four months after the bomb was dropped on Aug. 9, 1945.
Nagasaki Municipal Government officials found the pictures, including one showing ground zero, at the U.S. National Archives.
Notes written on the back of the pictures indicate they were taken on Dec. 6, 1946, by one of the American researchers who visited Nagasaki to investigate the damage caused by the bomb.
“The photographs are valuable because they show that the area suffered severe damage, but at the same time we can get a glimpse of how it was being reconstructed,” a city official said.
One shows an arrow-shaped monument standing in the middle of a field, bearing the inscription “Atomic Bomb Ground Zero” in Japanese. It is unknown who set up the monument, which appears to stand about 5 meters tall, at about the same place where the current memorial is located.
There are photos of an arms factory destroyed by the blast and houses rebuilt 500 meters from the epicenter. Other pictures show a building belonging to Shiroyama Elementary School and a stone arch of Sanno Shrine with one of the pillars blown away, both of which still exist today.
The show, which opened Wednesday, will run through Sept. 28. Admission is free.
The Nagasaki Municipal Government also conducted research at the U.S. National Archives in June and discovered some 2,000 photos, including around 30 in color, believed to have been taken by the U.S. military.
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum meanwhile offered a preview Wednesday of 30 pictures taken in the city around September or October 1945.
The pictures show bombed-out buildings and injured people taken from angles and locations different from the pictures already owned by the museum.
They are part of 1,761 photographs taken by the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey team, the U.S. military and the Manhattan Engineering District, which was responsible for developing the atomic bomb.