On this day: a Japanese Church in Ruins

UrakamiTenshudoJan1946Urakami Tenshudo (Catholic Church in Nagasaki) destroyed by the atomic bomb, the bell of the church having toppled off. 7th January 1946.

One of the many buildings destroyed in the 9th August, 1945 atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan was the city’s Catholic church. The Urakami Tenshudo was of historical significance because of the centuries of persecution Japanese Christians faced for practicing their religion.

At Urakami people risked death by torture for following a religion Japanese authorities saw as undermining their power and bringing too much Western influence to the Empire.

Urakami was ground zero for the nuclear attack on the city.

Photographed here on the 7th of January, 1946, the destroyed church is seen to still be a ruin five months after the atomic bombings that forced Japan’s surrender in the Second World War.

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On this day: the Japanese retreat from Borneo

This photograph is dated the 21st of October, 1945. After surrendering to Australian forces, Japanese soldiers and civilians on the Southeast Asian island of Borneo prepare to leave for Jesselton (modern-day Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia) for repatriation.

As with Russia in territories annexed by the Soviet Union, Imperial Japan imported hundreds of thousands of their own people into occupied territories outside Japanese borders. These locations included Korea, China and Taiwan. There, they enjoyed a higher social standing than the original occupants.

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21st of October, 1945. After surrendering to Australian forces, Japanese soldiers and civilians on the Southeast Asian island of Borneo prepare to leave for Jesselton (modern-day Kota Ki

 

The Japanese conquest of Burma.

The Japanese invasion and conquest of Burma concluded in May, 1942. The campaign marked the beginning of Japan’s years-long campaign in the South-East Asian region in the Second World War.

In the image below, Japanese troops can be seen lined up at the Burmese border in January, shortly before the invasion began.

IJA_15th_Army_on_border_of_Burma Troops of Japanese Fifteenth Army on the border of Burma The Invasion and Conquest of Burma January 1942

On this day: the bombing of Darwin

800px-Darwin_42The explosion of an oil storage tank and clouds of smoke from other oil tanks hit during the first Japanese air raid on Australia's mainland, at Darwin on 19 February 1942.

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The first of Japan’s Second World War attacks on Darwin, Australia occurred on the 19th of February, 1942.

The same fleet that bombed Pearl Harbor bombed the Northern Territory, but considerably more bombs were dropped on Australia than in the US.

Remains_of_the_Darwin_Post_OfficeRemains of the Darwin Post Office after the first Japanese Air Raid. 19 February 1942.

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The attack came in two waves, and hundreds of people – including civilians – were killed. It was the beginning of many Japanese attacks on Australia (there were approximately 100 more attacks), who had been involved in the conflict since the beginning of the war.

Christmas as a prisoner of war.

The Chungkai Camp was operated by the Japanese during World War Two, and prisoners – including soldiers from Britain and the Commonwealth – were made to work on the Burma–Thailand Railway.

This “Christmas card” is in the collection of London’s Imperial War Museum, and was created in either 1943 or 1944. It depicts Father Christmas in a loincloth, carrying a sack of presents through a bamboo fence.

It was very dangerous to make images while a prisoner in the camp. One prisoner, Jack Chalker, reported his sketches of camp life being discovered by a Korean guard. Chalker was beaten for days as punishment.

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On this day: a Thanksgiving festival in an internment camp

Halfway through the Second World War, after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States joined the conflict, American citizens and legal US residents of Japanese descent were moved to internment camps for the remainder of the war.

Construction of the Gila River War Relocation Center in Arizona began in May 1942.

A few months later, in the same year, the camp hosted a Christian service and then a Harvest Festival parade on Thanksgiving Day. The holiday fell on the 26th of November that year.

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