Perfect timing. During our visit to Nagasaki cherry blossoms bloomed at ground zero of the 1945 atomic bomb. Quite a contrast.
Cherry blossoms favor us with blooming for a week. Coincidentally, when we toured the museum in Nagasaki cheery blossoms were everywhere. Check it our for yourself at gypsynester.com.
Perhaps sadly, the main tourist attractions in Nagasaki, Japan recall the devastation suffered on August 9, 1945 and ensuing years. These “attractions” are Ground Zero, the Atom Bomb Museum and Peace Park.
Over the years, I have visited cities in England and Germany devastated by bombing during the second world war. Also, the towns in Kent which received heavy bombing southeast of London. Now, Nagasaki. In all cases, the war is a seventy year old memory, with very little contemporary evidence of the devastation. But Nagasaki’s experience with “fat man” and its plutonium core was different. The blast took 40 thousand lives in one second, and then another 80 thousand or more with long term radiation effects. Cleanup and rebuilding began immediately after the war. Today, Nagasaki is a thriving small city of 500,000.
Nagasaki Cherry Blossoms – Dejima Island Gateway to Japan
Back in the 1600’s, Japanese Shoguns feared the influence of foreign traders and accompanying Christian missionaries. So, they created a firewall called Dejima. This was a small empty island off the coast of Nagasaki. Traders could dock at one end of the island. Japanese could enter over a bridge at the other end. The Dutch traders developed Dejima into a successful administrative and warehouse space in 1641. For 200 years, the Dutch had a lock on import and export of many goods to and from Japan.
Except for the missionaries. They found the door to Japan firmly locked. During the seclusion era, European influence of religion, art and science was banned. This continued until modernization began around 1860. Christianity was legalized and Nagasaki became central to Catholic missionaries.
Today, Dejima has been recreated as a popular museum.