Photographer: Hiromichi Matsuda
Title: Nagasaki, 20 Minutes After 1945
Date: August 9, 1945
This image taken by Hiromichi Matsuda, showcases the dark and ominous point the world was in during World War II. The Americans destroyed the entire city of Nagasaki, which poses an interesting question for both the 20th and 21st centuries: how much power do individual countries have? Can America destroy the world if it wanted to? To continue, looking at the image in black and white really brings out the simplicity of such a horrific event. It is interesting to look at all of the elements captured just twenty minutes after the explosion. For example, the people in the bottom right hand corner are staring at the terrifying scene with looks of awe. Furthermore, due to the fact that this image was captured so quickly after the Americans dropped the “Fat Man” bomb, the remaining horror of the bomb is still looming in the air above the destroyed town. The lingering remnants of the destructive bomb have the ability to make us question how much danger is looming over us currently and what dangers will be present and lingering as our world continues to grow and more problems arise? Overall, this powerful image can be viewed from a reflective perspective, looking back on the horrors of the second world war and comparing it to how far we’ve come. However, Matsuda’s image can also be viewed from a more pessimistic angle, looking to see what danger will arise in the future, or rather questioning whether or not the danger ever left.