The atomic bombs the United States dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had a profound impact on the world at the time. This impact was felt around the entire world, but was most clearly felt where they were dropped, namely the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Many Japanese citizens in these cities were instantly killed when the bombs were dropped, and many more died in the days and weeks after. As there are many different angles and perspectives to explore with this topic, one that I would like to research is the social climate of these cities in the immediate aftermath of the bombs. What was the psychological impact on the survivors of the atomic bombs? What were the attitudes of the Japanese, particularly the survivors, towards the United States in the weeks after the bombs? The United States worked vigorously to censor information about the bombs, so how aware were Japanese citizens who lived outside those two cities of what had transpired? I’d also like to do some brief research of the physical and material settings of these cities. For example, was medical care adequate for the survivors in the immediate days and weeks following? What did the destruction of the cities look like? So, these are some of the questions I’d like to research and believe that it will give a better sense of the atmosphere in this particular time and place.
There is much research on the topic of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Browsing through websites such as JSTOR and Historical Abstracts, one can find an abundance of research on the broad topic as well as events on the micro-level. For primary sources, databases such as archives.org and the Digital Public Library of America website contain many primary sources in 1945 Japan, both visual and textual. One example of a visual primary source may be this video, for example, as it provides a glimpse of the medical conditions of the Hiroshima survivors. I plan to use these websites as well as other resources to provide evidence for my research topic.