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In August 1945, a mission was carried out to drop an atomic bomb on the industrialized area of Kokura in Kitakyushu City. Due to smoke from fire bombings the previous day, and the intentional burning of coal tar by the Yahata Steel Works, unable to find the precise target, the mission crew decided to head to Nagasaki; the secondary target. The atomic bomb nicknamed “Fat Man” was dropped on Nagasaki at roughly eleven o’clock in the morning on the 9th of August, exploding approximately forty-five seconds later. The bomb was dropped almost three kilometers northwest of the planned epicenter and therefore, it was largely confined to the Urakami Valley, big sections of Nagasaki City being protected by the surrounding hills and mountains. Despite this, the bombs effects were devastating with many people dying not only in the initial explosion, but also in the aftermath due to illnesses. This effect is still felt to the present day.Located approximately five minutes walk away from the Nagasaki Peace Park stands the Nagasaki Hypocenter Park. A tomb dedicated to those who died and were never found is located in the middle of concentric circles. This monument marks the exact location and hypocenter of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki. In addition to this, a single piece of the old Urakami Cathedral, which survived the explosion, continues to remind people of the importance of peace. Visitors are even able to view the state of the surrounding area as it was after the bomb had been dropped, parts of the scorched ground having been preserved since the 9th August 1945.The Nagasaki Hypocenter Park is not only a historical site of significant importance, but an emotional experience in itself where visitors can reflect on both the past and the future.
History and heritage