Atomic Bomb Museum
The Testimonial for Peace in Nagasaki
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum is a memorial on the north-eastern heights of Nagasaki on Kyushu Island. The hypocenter of the blast was chosen to build a museum committed to the remembrance of the second atomic bombing on Japan at the end of World War II.
Humankind will forever remember 1945, August 9, 11 :02 a.m., the date of Nagasaki’s bombing with a plutonium weapon, three days after Hiroshima. The city was targeted instead of Kokura due to the weather conditions, and immediately lost a third of its territory and about 73,800 inhabitants. There is no denying the tremendous damages caused by nuclear weapon. As this threat is still looming, remembering for the present and the next generations is essential and that is the purpose of both Peace museums in Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
More recent than Hiroshima’s, Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum opened in 1994 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the bomb A blast. It is also smaller, divided in three spaces, including two main underground levels, with a total superficies of 8,000m².
A moving and shocking testimony
In the first basement floor (B1F), archive and video rooms complement the Remembrance Hall Atrium where twelve pillars of light symbolizing peace were made standing towards the epicenter of the blast. At the end of the hall, a registry compiling the names of the victims is on display on a sober shelf.
The rooms at the second basement floor (B2F) exhibit old newspapers articles, pictures, and diaries of the times, exposed in an almost life-sized set and proceed to retell chronologically the event. The exhibition succeeds to be factual, enlightening without drama, and deeply human, focusing on our sense of existence. Note however that some pictures may hurt the sensibilities of a younger audience.
The last part of the Museum, above ground, is home to a library, an information office and conference and meeting rooms that help transition to the "present" world. It shelters a surprising and disheartening installation: 70,000 lights symbolizing August 9 victims pierce the water of a circular pond where trees accumulate.