Monday, April 11, 2011

History of Japan

Location: Japan's neighbors include the Republic of Korea, China, and Russia.

National flag: Known as the Hinomaru, the flag depicts the sun as a red ball against a white background.

National anthem: "Kimigayo"

Population: 127,427,000 (as of March 2010)  
Land area: 377,944 square kilometers 
Unit of currency: yen


Language: Japanese (The written Japanese language uses a combination of three writing systems: kanji, hiragana, and katakana.)
Main religions: Shinto, Buddhism, and Christianity
Capital: Tokyo (population 13,043,441 as of July 2010); land area 2,187.58 square kilometers)


 Photos taken by us.


To watch the video click on the link below


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. How many people died as a result of the atomic bombings?
Deaths were caused by the atomic bombings as well as later deaths due to the radiation exposure. The total number of deaths is not known precisely because the records were destroyed. There is an estimate of the total deaths that took place within two to four months after the bombings took place.

Table Estimated population size and number of acute
(within two to four months) deaths in Hiroshima
and Nagasaki after the atomic bombings.

Estimated city population at the time of the bombings
Estimated number of acute deaths
340,000-350,000 persons
90,000166,000 persons
250,000-270,000 persons
60,00080,000 persons

  1. How many cancers in atomic-bomb survivors are attributable to radiation?
  • Cancer death to radiation exposure is higher in the exposed areas near the hypocenter. Nearly half of the leukemia deaths and about 10% of cancers are due to radiation exposure.

  1. Are radiation-induced cancers still occurring among atomic-bomb survivors?
  • Cancers due to radiation are still occurring among the A-bomb survivors. The risk of leukemia, seen especially among children, was highest during the first ten years after exposure to radiation of the bomb, but has decreased over time and has now virtually disappeared. Risk of cancers other than leukemia seems likely to persist throughout the lifetime of the survivors.

  1. What health effects other than cancer have been seen among the atomic-bomb survivors? 
  • There has been a relationship between radiation and deaths from causes other than cancer. A total of 18,049 non-cancer deaths occurred between 1950 and 1997 among the 49,114 persons that were detected with radiation in their bodies. The risk for non-cancer deaths is considerably smaller than that for cancer deaths, but because non-cancer causes consist of a larger fraction of human deaths, the total number of estimated radiation exposed non-cancer deaths is about 50-100% of the number of estimated radiation-related cancer deaths. Researches have been made in which they analyzed the relationship between radiation exposure and people whom had non-cancer disorder. Statistically there was more risk for those who were detected with uterine myoma, chronic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis, thyroid disease and cardiovascular disease.
    The results showed that the thyroid gland in young people was more sensitive to radiation not only in the development of thyroid cancer, but also in the possibility of the development of non-malignant thyroid disorders.
    Cataracts are another condition related to radiation. Symptoms can appear as early as one or two years following high exposure and many years after exposure to lower doses. Some non cancer diseases may be associated with altered immune functions in survivors. 

  1. What percentage of the original atomic-bomb survivor study population is still alive?
As of 2007, about 40% of the RERF study population was still living, and more than 90% of the survivors exposed under the age of 10 were still living. 
As of 2007, the average age of the RERF study participants was 74 years.

  1. Are Hiroshima and Nagasaki still radioactive?

  1. Why was Hiroshima "targeted," and not Tokyo? 
    Many say that it was one of the targets because no one had heard of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and no one knew anyone from there. Most world maps from before WWII do not even mention these cities at all. 

  1. How far did the damage of the atomic bomb reach?
     The area within a radius 2 km from the hypocenter was reduced to ashes. It was reported that even window panes at the point of 27 km were broken. The damage expanded to a wider area because of black rain which contained radioactivity from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


The atomic bomb explosion on Hiroshima was on 1945.

Fashion in the 1940´s: Women had their eyebrows very thin and defined. They painted with lipstick their upper lip very accentuated and it was called ¨Cupids bow”.
Children in that time took the same subjects as the ones now. Reading, spelling, math and geography are some of them. However, the classrooms were different. The desks were all separated so the students wouldn´t talk, and the chairs were bonded to the floor in straight lines. Teachers were very strict. Everything was more orderly, when recess time came, everyone would march out their classrooms. Children would go to school riding their bicycle or walking, and mostly boys and girls played on separate playgrounds. They learned about what was going on like the war, and tried to help as much as they could by recycling old rubber tires and metals to make new weapons.   Children didn´t have money to spend so they learned how to take care of their books and other belongings.
In that time, Hollywood started to produce many movies that became war-time favorites. Major movie studio profits grew to record levels. There were technological improvements in the sound recordings, the lighting, and special effects. Hollywood was dominating the entertainment industry, but the television was developing very fast.
The 1940´s is the decade known as ¨The Decade of War¨. It was a time when mostly everything someone heard had something to do with killing and blood. Yet, there were many interesting sports and games. When the war was over, there were many marriages.

Similar Disasters and Interesting Facts

Nagasaki suffered the same fate as Hiroshima the same year but three days later. On August 9, an atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. “Bockstar” was the name of the airplane that carried the bomb named “Fat Man”. The blast of this bomb was bigger than Hiroshimas´ but its impact was reduced by the citys´ natural topography. The bomb caused a big damage. An area of about 2.3 miles by 1.9 miles was destroyed. The medical facilities of Nagasaki were not totally destroyed, yet many people were injured or dead. Thirty five thousand people were killed, sixty thousand people were injured, and five thousand people were lost. Seventy percent of the city´s industrial zone was destroyed.

Interesting facts.
The fireball that was the result from the explosion of the bomb was fifty percent hotter than the surface of the sun.
After the destruction that caused the atomic bomb, Hiroshima received donations of streetcars from everywhere in Japan. Hiroshima was able to rebuild its streetcar system which today is the most extensive system in the country.
This city used to be a center of military activity, but after the bomb it became a center of peace.
It is interesting to know that today, one quarter of Hiroshima´s electricity is from nuclear power.

The Aftermath to the Disaster

Hiroshima was in ruins and thousands of people were dead. Sixty percent of the deaths were caused by the burns of the radiation flash and by the fires that covered the entire city. There were many effects caused by the exposure to the bombs radiation. People had nausea, they suffered from bleeding and some lost their hair. Other effects were leukemia, cataracts, and malignant tumors. Ninety percent of the medical personnel of Hiroshima were killed, and there were no medical supplies.
Days after the bombing the Japanese formed the “Atomic Bomb Countermeasure Committee," which was made up of members of the war and Navy, and included Technical Board representatives. On August 7, a first meeting if the committee was held. Army and navy personnel were sent to investigate Hiroshima. Temporal first aid stations were established all around the city.
After a month that the atomic bomb was dropped, a typhoon hit Hiroshima. The city was in a state of lethargy because there were no companies or factories to employ them, and they had no food to eat.
Hiroshima pleaded the abolition of nuclear weapons and lasting peace. Since the end of the war, the city has continually developed as a “city of peace”.

World War II ended with the dropping of the atomic bomb with a code name of “Little Boy” in Hiroshima.

Disaster Description

It all happened on August 6 and 8 of 1945 during the final stages of WWII. The United States sent an Ultimatum to the emperor of Japan telling them that if they did not surrender, they would attack. Japan refused to surrender and so, the USA attacked with two bombs, Enola Gay and Little Boy.
The first bomb was thrown in Hiroshima on August 6 at 8:15 am. Those who were closer the hypocenter were killed and very few were severely injured. The ones who were close to the hypocenter and killed were turned into dust in seconds and their bodies left a stain on the ground.
The city turned black right away with smoke and ashes. The city was on fire, buildings had collapsed, and it was like living in hell. The sun couldn’t be seen, for the sky had turned gray with all the smoke of the atomic bomb. People were crying out loud for help. Every single way in which you turned you could see dead people.
People that had been severely injured had loose skin that hung down; others had no hair or eyeballs. Millions were killed in an instant, many others survived and died hours or days later, others died months or years later due the effects of being exposed to radiation, and few survived.
Many people that were exposed to radiation got sick. Some got cancer like leukemia, others got some other diseases. For many years radiation was passed throughout generations. Many babies were born with defects due to radiation exposure. Those few people that survived and reproduced had children with three eyes or no mouths and many other things that were seen among those babies that had parents that were exposed to radiation. This was seen for several years after the atomic bombing.

Background to the disaster

During the final stages of World War II in 1945 the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed. These cities were bombed to end the war. This also was one of the consequences for attacking Pearl Harbor. The Americans believed that the number of people saved by ending the WWII would be greater than the number of people killed by the bomb.
On July 26, Truman along with other Allies made the Potsdam Ultimatum stating that if Japan didn’t surrender, they would attack Japan. Japan didn’t surrender. Instead they trained everyone, even civilians, to be ready for the attack of the US. The bomb was not mentioned on the ultimatum.
To avoid an invasion and save lives, the USA drops atomic bombs on two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 8 1945. Japan then surrenders.

Manami, a Survivor

The darkest dream I ever had happened when I was just a teenage girl. The scary part about it is that it wasn´t a dream, it was real. How could something like that happen in real life? I don´t think that there´s something worst that could happen than what happened forty five years ago. I had just turned seventeen, and I had a whole life full of dreams ahead of me. My father worked at the Shima Surigical Clinic, and he was a great doctor. My mother was a good cooker, and my two brothers were the funniest little things in the world. My boyfriend, Riku, was a soldier. I remember that when he called me Mana, instead of calling me by me complete name Manami, I felt butterflies in my stomach.
In August 5, Riku came to dinner at my house to celebrate my birthday. It was a beautiful night; the sky was full of stars bright as neon light. We had a great time with my family, but I had to sleep early because the next day I would go to school. I woke up at six in the morning and got ready for school. Mother told me to walk my brothers to their school, so I did. After leaving them, I enjoyed walking to the high school because it was a beautiful day, or so I thought because I didn´t imagine that something terrible was going to happen. When I entered the building, an air alert started, a radio was near me so I went to hear what was happening. Everyone started to go crazy but at the same time everything was really quiet. There were U.S.A planes coming, so we started running to a safety place. About at eight o clock, the air raid alert was lifted because it looked like only three planes were passing by to check the weather. Everyone got back to doing their thing. I was expecting another normal day, going to school, then to my house to eat delicious food, going for a walk with Riku, and at the end of the day reading a story to my favorite two persons, my brothers.
I got to my first class and started to write on my diary. It was just eight fifteen a.m. when I heard the hardest and noisiest sound that could ever be imagined. It was a tremendous noise; it was really loud that everything vibrated. I couldn’t even think about anything because it was really distracting. The vibration didn´t stop and I was trembling because I was scared. How could something be as loud as that? I thought. Then I realized that something was wrong, really wrong. Everybody was screaming because it hurt! The ears hurt! Suddenly my world went black. I thought I was dreaming. I don´t know how but I was below a desk. I didn´t recognize anything, I didn´t even know why smoke was all over the place. It was dark as hell. No one was moving, but at the same time everyone was running and screaming. Inside my head there was only silence. Tears were running down my eyes. Red and orange huge flames were invading everything that I could see. The sky was covered by a huge mushroom cloud. All I could feel was pain, mostly my skin hurt and I was trying to figure out why. The only thing that calmed me down was that I was thinking that my family was fine. No one of my family members was in this building, so I thought that they were fine and that calmed down the pain that I was feeling. All this happened in less than a minute. How could it be possible? When I got the strength to get up to see what had happened and to ask for help, all I saw was hell. I thought I had died in that moment. It was something horrible to look at. Many of my friends were lying dead on the floor. Why was I even walking? I couldn’t help the tears fall of my eyes. I had to find out what had happened, so I kept walking until I don´t know how I got out of hell. I was surprised when I saw that I had just entered into a worst hell. Does that even exist? Everything was burning, everything was black, and the sky was darker than the night. Now I couldn’t support the pain, so I looked for something that wasn´t in flames and sat down just listening to nothing. It was quiet as church, but I could hear sobs. How was I going to find my mother? Where was my father? Was he fine? Were my lovely brothers alive? Did Riku know what had happened? All this questions inside my head gave me the strength to get up and to look for the ones that I care about, my family. Because of the smoke, I couldn’t see a thing, but I kept on going shouting the names of my brothers. Souta! Takumi! Where are you? I just kept shouting, but black rain started falling down. It was full of dirt and dust. I recognized someone and got closer to him. It was Suota. Even if I was hurting, I felt a relief because one of my brothers was okay, and it meant the world to me. Will Takumi be alright? I asked Suota where was Takumi? He didn’t answer me. I started to get nervous when somebody touched my hand. Thanks god it was Takumi. Now we only had to look for the rest of the family. We started to walk to where my house was, but at one point we just gave up and sat on the floor. I didn´t want to say hell anymore so I closed my eyes and fell asleep. Suota woke me up because he was crying and screaming. I didn´t know what to do, he was hurting. I held him tight and sang a song to him. He fell asleep. We stayed there for three days with no water and food. I just remember that I saw a soldier coming toward us, but that´s it, I fainted. When I woke up I saw my brothers, and we were somewhere I didn´t recognize. I quickly stood up and went asking for my parents. I wanted to know if they were okay. Everybody was busy so I decided not to ask anyone and go myself to look for them. It was a tremendous disaster outside. What had happened? I kept walking and saw nothing. More than one half of the buildings I could see were demolished. I went back to the little building where I had woken up. Just when I entered someone was looking for me. Manami? Who is Manami? Someone was asking. I just raised my hand, and then everything stopped. I only heard the sound of a tear hitting the floor. My dad had died. What could be worse than that? Nothing. I didn´t answer, I just went back outside to think. My dad was dead, was my mother also dead?
After four days that we stayed there, my mother appeared. She had all her skin covered by something black. She looked like an old person, but it didn´t matter. She was alive. The three of us went to hug her, and no one could speak. Then a soldier came and told us that the bomb had killed millions of people. Now all my questions were answered. A bomb had caused all this pain. My dad was killed, most of my friends were killed, and even my boyfriend was killed. The nightmare didn´t end that day. Every single day after what had happened, people died because of the radioactive particles that were everywhere. The saddest thing is that my precious Souta died three weeks later.
Now I go to bed every night thinking about that sour day, and I can´t help it but tears start running down my eyes. I just wish it hadn’t had happened.

I´m a Survivor

It was just another normal day for me, for everyone. I can still remember this day like if it were yesterday. I woke up and did my daily morning routine. Instead of going to work, I happened to take the day off. That day I stayed at home with my brother. We were the only ones that survived from our family.
It all happened in the morning. I was at my house reading the newspaper by the window besides my younger brother. My brother pointed at this blue flash of light in the horizon, and that’s when the bomb was dropped. It felt like it had all happened in slow motion. When my brother points at the sky I slowly turn my head to where he was pointing. I then feel this very hot wave of heat coming my way. The blast of the bomb was brutal; it had blown us away to the other side of the room and before I knew it, I was lying on the floor all injured. I felt really, really hot and a horrendous pain crept throughout my body. I could barely move and even though I was in pain, I did my best to help my brother.
At first I thought something had happened in our neighborhood because I could hear my neighbors suffering, screaming for help. Maybe someone had thrown a small bomb. As I went outside I realized everything was dark. I was wrong something big had occurred. I couldn’t see the sky; it was pitch black. The day turned out from being a sunny summer day to a nightmare. You could hear everyone screaming, crying out loud for help.
My brother and I went to look for some water near the river bridge. The river was full of dead bodies. The water was black and muddy. We were both real thirsty so we took some water with our hands and drank it. At that time, we didn’t know about radiation. Everyone was drinking water, black water full of radiation.
While in the bridge, we saw this little girl who was probably 7 years old. She was crying for help. Her mom had got stuck when a part of the building collapsed; a beam had fallen on top of her lower body. The bottom part of her body was paralyzed; she couldn’t move at all. My brother and I along with other people tried helping her by lifting the beam though it was nearly impossible. We needed some machinery to get the beam off her. Everyone was weak and no matter how many people helped, we couldn’t get her out. Then a fire broke out putting our lives at risk so we, feeling very sorry for her, had to move on along with her daughter to some other place.
Everything was dark and the city was in fire. It was like my worst nightmare had come true. We were walking because we didn’t know where to go, and as I said before, everyone was crying for help, we could hear all the people suffer. It was horrible hearing and watching all those things. Some peoples’ skin was peeling off and hanging, others had no clothes at all because their clothes had been burned. You could see dead bodies everywhere, and there was this lady who had her eyeballs sticking out. It’s like we were living in hell.
After what seemed like years, it started raining. It wasn’t normal rain, it was black rain. I guess the rain was black due to all the dust and smoke on the air. Everyone started drinking and dancing in the rain, happy that there was water. After all that had happened in the morning, rain was like a miracle since water was nowhere to be found at the moment in the city. People didn’t know about radioactivity and all the things that could happen in the future, so everyone was just drinking it. Little did we know that in the future this would cause lots of problems. The rain kept on going for like seven or eight hours. And even after all the rain, the fires didn’t go off.
After this event had occurred, I went into medical treatment. My brother died later on his fifty’s for radiation activity on his body. From my whole family, my brother and I were the only survivors. Sadly, we never found our parents which means they died right away when the bomb made a blast.
I am now one of the Directors of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Being one of the lucky survivors of this unexpected, horrendous event, we want other generations of adults, teens and children around the world to learn about this, to learn about Hiroshima. We all want to hand our message to everybody to stop nuclear weapons and that violence is not the answer. We want for those children to hand out the message to the next generation. I really hope we won’t never, ever encounter a similar event like this. If we educate our children about what occurred at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, hopefully, they won’t make the same decisions as adults and know that millions of lives are in play.