Nagasaki: 70 years later

August 11, 2016
Statue at the Nagasaki Peace Park

Statue at the Nagasaki Peace Park

A Travel Blog By: Jerilyn Hanohano

A couple years ago, HHF Planners had the opportunity to visit the city of Nagasaki on the island of Kyushu. While Nagasaki has a rich history as a seaport, trading post, and ship building industry, it is remembered by most people today as one of the Japanese city to be struck by an atomic bomb during WWII.

On the morning of August 9, 1945, a B-29 bomber departed for the primary target Kokura, Japan. Unable to obtain a visual target due to cloud cover and smoke from a previous firebombing at a nearby city, the bomber rerouted to Nagasaki, approximately 65 miles southwest. That day at 11:02 AM, the bomb was released and detonated over Nagasaki destroying the northern portion of the city and killing 35,000 people.

Today, a memorial stands at the hypocenter of the explosion and the nearby Peace Park and Atomic Museum serve as reminders of the event. There was a calm, gravity to the place on the overcast day I visited, but there was also a sense of hope. The museum is full of artifacts, photos, and testimonies displaying the grave impacts of the atomic bombing and nuclear weapons. But outside the grounds, people are living. Seventy years later, the city perseveres.


Jerilyn is a planner and associate at HHF with a broad range of experience from site planning to environmental planning for a variety of clients, including public agencies, private developers and non-profit organizations. She has managed and supported projects throughout Hawai‘i and the Pacific Rim with an emphasis on federal master planning.

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