Hiroshima after the Atomic Bomb (1 of 5) by Shigeo Hayashi
1. RA119-134 photo by Shigeo HAYASHI / Photographed from a watchtower of the Hiroshima Prefectural Commerce Association / October 5, 1945 / Location: Moto-machi / Distance from hypocenter: approx. 260m
The photographer’s comments:
On October 1, 1945, I stood at the hypocenter of the Hiroshima atomic bombing and made a slow revolution. In that instant I had a difficulty grasping that this city had been felled by a single explosion. Nothing in my experience had prepared me to conceive of that magnitude of destructive force.
Working as an army engineer for three years, I had dealt with explosive materials on a daily basis, and I thought I knew their power. Standing there, I simply could not accept at an emotional level that a single bomb had done all this.
(taken from Shigeo Hayashi’s “Approaching Ground Zero” in Hiroshima and Nagasaki: the Atomic Bombings as Seen through Photographs and Artwork, Nihontosho Center.)
See the other Hiroshima 1945 panoramas.
5. HG100-109 photo by U.S. Army / Photographed from the hypocenter area - Shima Hospital / October, 1...
3. K-BMA001-014 photo by Harbert F. Austin Jr. / Photographed from the roof of the Kodo elementary Sc...
2. A723-741 photo by Shigeo HAYASHI / Photographed from the roof of new Chugoku Shimbun building / Oc...
The eight islands of Japan sprang into existence through Divine Intervention.
The first two gods who came into existence were Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto, the Exalted Male and Exalted Female. It was their job to make the land for people to live on.
They went to the bridge between heaven and earth and, using a jewel-encrusted halberd, Izanagi and Izanami churned up the sea into a frothy foam. As salty drips of water fell from the tip of the halberd the first island was formed. Its name was Onogoro.
So far, so good. But when Izanagi and Izanami first met on their island, Izanami spoke to Isanagi without being spoken to first. Since she was the female, and this was improper, their first union created badly-formed offspring who were sent off into the sea in boats.
The next time they met, Izanagi was sure to speak first, ensuring the proper rules were followed, and this time they produced eight children, which became the islands of Japan.
I'm sure you did not fail to miss the significance of this myth for the establishment of Japanese formal society.
At present, Japan is the financial capital of Asia. It has the second largest economy in the world and the largest metropolitan area (Tokyo.)
Technically there are three thousand islands making up the Japanese archipelago. Izanagi and Izanami must have been busy little devils with their jewelled halberd...
Japan's culture is highly technical and organized. Everything sparkles and swooshes on silent, miniaturized mechanisms.
They're a world leader in robotics, and the Japanese have the longest life-expectancy on earth.
Text by Steve Smith.