Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rare colour film footage of the devastation of Nagasaki discovered in U.S. national Archives

by Chris MaGee

This story may not be Japanese feature film news, but it is certainly big news for Japanese history caught on film. The Mainichi Daily News is reporting that an hour-long colour film of the devastation that followed in Nagasaki after it was bombed by U.S. Forces on August 9th, 1945, an attack that claimed an estimated 80,000 lives. The film was discovered by Prof. Brian Burke-Gaffney, the Dean of the Human Environment Faculty at the Nagasaki Institute of Applied Science while catalouging materials relating to the history of Nagasaki and its bombing stored in Washington D.C.'s National Archives. The footage was apparently shot by the crew of a hospital ship which docked at Nagasaki's Dejima pier in the days following the atomic attack.

While filmed footage and artifacts of the aftermath of the bombing of Hiroshima are better catalogued and research is better funded through the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation cataloguing and preservation of artifacts relating to the attack on Nagasaki, like this newly discovered colour footage, has been left to local volunteer organizations in the Nagasaki area.

You can read the full story of this important footage and Prof. Burke-Gaffney's efforts to secure funding to fully study it at the link above. Note that the above image is not from the newly discovered footage.

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