On this day: the bombing of Tokyo

780px-Tokyo_1945-3-10-1The Bombing of Tokyo (東京大空襲 Tōkyōdaikūshū), often referred to as a series of firebombing raids, was conducted by the United States Army Air Forces during the Pacific campaigns of World War II.

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The most destructive bombing raid in history was conducted by the United States on Tokyo from the 9th to 10th of March, 1945.

Known as Operation Meetinghouse, many areas of Tokyo (including residential) were totally destroyed.

Aftermath of WWII US bombing of Tokyo, 9-10th March 1945.

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This was part of a wider bombing campaign which ran from 1944 until the end of the war.

People conduct a funeral at a makeshift altar in central Tokyo on May 26, 1945, after a U.S. bombing.

A funeral is conducted in the middle of the rubble.

Between 75 000 and 200 000 people were killed, and some one million were left homeless.

645px-Firebombing_of_TokyoTokyo burns under B-29 firebomb assault. May 26, 1945.

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Seen as retaliation for Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, while the bombing in Tokyo actually did very little to stop Japan in World War Two, it worked wonders for pro-war propaganda in the United States.

On this day: the Great Fire of Meireki

Handscroll depicting scenes from the Great Fire of Meireki. Japan.

The Great Fire of Meireki (also known as the Furisode Fire) began on the 2nd of March, 1657. Between 60% and 70% of Edo (now Tokyo) was destroyed.

Over 100 000 people were killed.

Legend has it that the fire happened because a cursed kimono was accidentally burnt.

The damage was more severe because most buildings in Japan at the time were constructed out of wood and paper.

The fire lasted for three days.