Thursday, August 6


Nagasaki, Japan
August 10, 1954
Photo by Yosuke Yamahata

"... it's sixty years later
near the hypo-center of the a-bomb
i'm in the middle of hiroshima
watching a twisted old eucalyptus tree wave
one of the very few lives that survived and lives on
remembering the day it was suddenly
thousands of degrees in the shade... "
~ from Reprive by Ani Difranco

The story behind the photo:

Photographer Yosuke Yamahata travelled into the city of Nagasaki the day after it was levelled in an instant by an atomic bomb. (He had just travelled through Hiroshima a few days earlier, immediately before that city was also destroyed.) Most of the images he shot while documenting the devastation chronicle an unspeakable “hell on earth,” to use his term, but one image stands in contrast to the horrors of war: a lone tree, half destroyed while the other half remained intact. For many viewers, it has become a symbol of resilience and hope.

Yamahata writes:

“Human memory has a tendency to slip, and critical judgment to fade, with the years and with changes in lifestyle and circumstance. But the camera, just as it seized the grim realities of that time, brings the stark facts … before our eyes without the need for the slightest embellishment.”

Here you can learn more about Yamahata’s Nagasaki series

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