This Photograph was taken by Yamahata Yosuke in Nagasaki the day after the bombing. A young Woman is desperately searching for her relatives... at her feet is one of the tens of thousands of incinerated inhabitants of the city. The bomb was detonated above the crowded urban center, and in the area directly underneath the explosion everything was pulverized into dust. There were no corpses to be found, but the victims had left their shadows behind.... the radioactive thermic rays searing the shadows of people into stone or concrete. Mr. Yamahata took this Photo some distance from that area, in a zone where everything was uniformly smashed into small pieces. Bodies were found in this zone, and many of them had been turned into carbohnized statues... some charred bodies were even left standing! Others were turned to piles of ash, but most people had merely been incinerated like the victim in this Photograph. An estimated 70,000 people had died in the blink of an eye, with an equal number being fatally maimed. Hibakusha (Japanese for "Atom Bomb Survivors") are still dying today in Nagasaki from the after effects of the explosion.
At 28 years old, Yamahata Yosuke was the first Photographer to enter Nagasaki after the Atomic Bombing of August 9th. Entering the city the day after it had been devastated, Mr. Yamahata wandered amongst the ruins of the radioactive wasteland documenting the effects of the bomb. He took more
than 100 photographs.... the most extensive documentation from either Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Mr. Yamahata became violently ill in August of 1965 on the 20th Anniversary of the Bombing. He died a year later of Cancer at the age of 48.
To commemorate the 56th Anniversary of the Bombing of Nagasaki, ART FOR A CHANGE is presenting an exhibition of 12 hibakusha Paintings. The works are accompanied by text and the testimony of the Artists. The hibakusha Art can be found at the following URL;